Mobile food vehicle permits

From 1 July 2012, mobile food vans have been allowed to operate in Yarra.

In May 2013, Council resolved to make changes to the guidelines after some food truck operators claimed the rules were too restrictive.

What changes were made to the guidelines?

  • Council may from time to time nominate sites that can be occupied for a period of up to three (3) years.
    Such sites will be put up for tender by Council.

  • MFV sites must not be located closer than 100 linear metres - instead of 200 metres as stated in the first version of the guidelines - of an existing and operating take away food business unless its hours of operation are outside those permitted existing trading hours of nearby food businesses.

  • If a MFV wishes to operate within a residential zone the site must be assessed by an officer and approved by a manager. Such approval, if granted, will be given for a trial period of 90 days. If the manager is of the opinion that it is appropriate for the MFV to continue to operate after any objections are received he will issue an annual icence. Initially a three month pro rata fee will be applied. (The current guidelines state that MFV sites cannot be located within or immediately adjacent to areas zoned as residential under the Yarra Planning Scheme.)

  • Multiple vehicles will be allowed under one permit.

  • Council officers will only issue one warning prior to action being taken.

Guidelines for operating a mobile food business in Yarra

If you would like to run a mobile food business in Yarra, you should first familarise yourself with the guidelines Council has introduced to manage these kind of businesses.

Mobile Food Van guidelines
Permit fees
Making an application
What happens once I submit my application?

Mobile Food Van guidelines

The guidelines (in place since July 2012) provide information about where you can set up, how you should handle litter and respecting the rights of nearby residents and businesses.

docx format Mobile Food Vehicle Guidelines as Amended by Council 22 May 2013 (90.97 KB)

Under the guidelines, mobile food vans are not permitted to operate within 100 linear metres of an open take away food business, although in busy entertainment areas Council officers could grant a permit providing affected traders were consulted first.

The guidelines also stipulate that:

  • Residential amenity should not be unreasonably compromised by the operation of a mobile food vehicle
  • Litter must be cleared at all times from in and around the mobile food vehicle site by the operator
  • The preparation, handling and serving of food and drinks to patrons must be conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Food Act 1984 and Council's Public Health Unit
  • Mobile food vehicles must not be located closer than 100 linear metres to an existing and operational take away food business unless the mobile vehicle's hours of operation are outside the existing trading hours of nearby food businesses
  • Mobile food vehicle sites cannot be located within or immediately adjacent to areas zoned as residential (including mixed use zones) under the Yarra Planning Scheme
  • A temporary permit must be obtained to operate within a Council park or reserve during events, festivals or other occasions as determined by Council
  • Council officers will monitor the operation of a mobile food vehicle trading permit to ensure the permit and guidelines are consistently being met
  • Observation of a breach or complaint will be followed up by Council officers with the permit holder.

Permit fees  

The annual permit fee for a mobile food van is $2000 (GST Free).
Annual permits are also offered at a concessional rate of $1500 (GST Free).
If you think you may be eligible for a concessional rate, contact Council's Compliance Branch on the details at the bottom of this page to discuss it with one of our officers.

Making an application

If you think you can meet the requirements set out in the guidelines, fill in the application form for a permit below.

docx format Application for Mobile Food Vehicle (44.91 KB)
pdf format Application for Mobile Food Vehicle (136.71 KB)

You also need to fill out the Statement of Trade form below and include that with your application.

doc format Statement of trade for temporary food premises (116.50 KB)

What happens once I submit my application?

Once officers receive your application, they will inspect the site/s you've nominated to operate from to ensure they meet criteria set out in the guidelines.
If the nominated site/s are approved, Council may need to order and install parking signage to indicate the trading activity at the site before you can begin operating.
The application assessment could take up to six weeks.

Further information
Compliance Branch
9205 5166


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