Council Listens On Footpath Trading

Bass Coast Shire Council has listened to the concerns of businesses and has declared a moratorium on footpath trading fees while it reviews the matter.

Last night, a meeting of businesses and Council provided a forum to discuss business concerns with the footpath trading fees. The meeting was Chaired by Pat Barry, of the Wonthaggi Business Association (WBA), and attended by Councillors, staff and local business owners from across the Shire. 

“The meeting was carried out in a very orderly and constructive way, and it was good for Council to hear directly from businesses about their issues,” said Bass Coast Mayor Clare Le Serve.

“Businesses need to be reassured that Council stands solidly behind them. We understand that businesses are doing it tough at the moment, and have taken onboard their feedback.

“Council met this morning and agreed to introduce a moratorium on the payment of footpath trading fees while it reviews the matter. Specifically, we will be looking at the level of fees, the process of communicating them and the method of calculation.

“Council also committed to have a clear decision on the matter before the end of the year, so that new invoices can be issued in December.  In the meantime, if a business has already paid the fee, we can take this as a credit for the future fee, or they can request a reimbursement.

“It is important to remember, however, that this is a moratorium on paying the fee; all other conditions related to footpath trading permits as per Local Law No. 1 remain in place.

“I think another important outcome of last night’s meeting is a new connection between Council and local business. We hope that we can continue to build on this,” said Mayor Clare Le Serve.

Council is sending letters to all affected businesses to notify them of the moratorium.