By Goya Dmytryshchak | Star Weekly
Food trucks are being trialled at Seaworks Maritime Precinct in Williamstown for the month of July, in a move that has upset traders.
Seaworks executive officer Pauline Hobbs said five trucks and a cart would be outside the Pirates Tavern on Friday nights until the end of the month.
“We believe that it will bring a diversified market to Williamstown because it’s not the people that would normally come to dine here, and we’d like to think that it will actually add activity to the region,” she said.
“I think it will compliment trade, and some other case studies in Richmond – they certainly complimented the trade.
“That’s not to say it’s going to happen here, that’s not to say that people are going to turn up. We really don’t know.
“But we’re trialling it to see what the outcome of that is and then report that back to council and the traders.
“For us, it’s about activating Seaworks and having something that’s different to other places.’’
Vendors will be La Revolucion, Senor Churro, White Guy Cooks Thai, Toasta, Smokin Barrys and the Brulee Cart.
Williamstown Chamber of Commerce president Laura Nardo said people should support struggling restaurants rather than food trucks.
“I would prefer, and the chamber would prefer, that people supported brick and mortar restaurants that are here year round for our locals and our tourists,” she said.
“They pay rates and support should be thrown their way and not to the food trucks that can just up and leave if it’s inconvenient for them or if they don’t get business that they want or need to survive.
“Our brick and mortar businesses really struggle to survive, especially during the winter months.”
Ms Hobbs said winter was a good time for the trial because it would give a true indication if people would come out specifically for the food trucks.
“The Winter Night Market at the Vic Market works really well,” she said.
“I mean it’s not the sort of numbers that they get in summer but certainly they get some numbers through.
“If you trial it in summer, it’s likely to be successful just because it’s warm and people are going out at night.
“If you trial it at this time of the year where the activity is not as strong in this area … it’s actually a good time to trial something like this because we’ll see if people will specifically come out for this.”
Street vendors have previously been restricted to four sites in Hobsons Bay: Point Gellibrand in Williamstown, Newport and Altona boat ramps, and Altona’s Cherry Lake.