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On 1 March, the Local Government (Mobile Food Vendors) Amendment Act (Amendment Act) and the Local Government (General) (Mobile Food Vendors) Variation Regulations (Regulations) came into effect.

The Amendment Act and Regulations amend the Local Government Act 1999 (SA) (LG Act).

The amendments have brought significant changes to the regulation and permitting of mobile food vendors in Council areas.

The change in the legislation is aimed at supporting small businesses and allow mobile food vending businesses to meet local demand for a quick and easily accessible food source.

The addition of Section 222(1a) in the LG Act now binds Councils to grant permits to mobile food vending businesses for the purpose of conducting their business over a public road.

There are new permit guidelines and conditions for compulsory adoption by Council. The main permit guidelines are:

  • A maximum monthly fee of $200 (exc GST) or a maximum annual fee of $2,000 (exc GST);
  • To prescribe conditions that the mobile food vendors do not interfere with any vehicles on roads, disabled parking, public transport and other road related infrastructure; and
  • Creation of location rules pursuant to Section 225A of the LG Act and requirements relating to the location rules prescribed by 25C of the regulations to the LG Act. The location rules are mandatory and require the locations to be a reasonable distance from a fixed food business during their operating hours.

During the transition of the amendments to the LG Act, mobile food vending businesses granted a permit under the old section 222 may surrender their permit to the Council and request a fresh permit under the amended section 222. If council receives a request for a new permit, the council must grant the holder of the surrendered permit a fresh permit which automatically cancels the surrendered permit. Council is also required to refund the fee of a surrendered permit or incorporate the refund into the charges for the new permit as per the method set out in schedule 1 of the Amendment Act.