Mobile food vending vehicles may be used in a variety of manners in the Newcastle Local Government Area.
What is a Mobile Food Vending Vehicle?
A mobile food vending vehicle is a registered vehicle under the Road Transport Act 2013 such as trucks and vans and used for the sale of food and drinks. Pushbikes, carts and other objects are not included in the Local Approvals - Mobile Food Vending Vehicles Policy (pdf)
Private Land Use
The State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 was amended in February 2014 to allow mobile food vending vehicles to trade from private land without Council consent. Certain development standards apply including a requirement for the consent of the landowner, a limit of one vehicle per site and the hours of operation being restricted to 7am to 7pm in residential zones. Notification to Council is still required.
Public Land Use
Food vending vehicle may operate at approved special events, such as festivals, fairs and shows with the permission of the event licence holder who holds a Section 68 Approval. Your vehicle will be included on the approval with the submission of your public liability and motor vehicle insurances.
Trade on Council roads is limited to approved areas as shown in the maps below.
All food vending vehicles must:
- Hold a current Section 68 approval issued by City of Newcastle issued under the LGA
- Operate only within the hours of 8am – 10pm
- Not sell alcohol, cigarettes or other non food products
- Carry valid insurance policies:
- Compulsory Third Party Insurance
- Broadform Public Liability insurance to value of $20,000,000
- Registered vehicle insurance CTP Gap Coverage Endorsement.
Are vehicles used for the purpose of on-site preparation and sale of hot and cold food (considered medium and high risk).
Food trucks must:
- Only operate in areas specified in appendix 1 of the draft policy
- Be located within existing lawful parking spaces
- Comply with the local parking restrictions
- Only stand in any one location for a maximum period of four hours at a time, inclusive of set-up and pack-up times
- Not return to an operating location for four hours
- Comply with the relevant road rules.
Food trucks must not:
- Operate directly in front of a residential building
- Operate within a 50m radius of another mobile or fixed food business
- Impact on bicycle lanes, pedestrian ramps, footpaths, public street furniture, fire hydrants, telephone booths and post boxes or the like
- Be wider than 2.5m
- Be longer than 7.5m unless a separate Road Occupancy Permit is sought
- Receive deliveries while in operation
- Remain in any location on-road overnight
- Provide tables or chairs or other seating or furniture.
Are vehicles used for the purpose of selling tea coffee, drinks, cakes, sweets, ice-cream or other similar food (low risk). Food vans routinely change location and can make intermittent stops of up to 15 minutes at any one time.
- Food vans may only operate in the areas specified in appendix 2 of the draft policy
- A food van is not to be positioned within 50m radius of another mobile or fixed food business.
Step 1 - Please review the Local Approvals Policy Mobile Food Vending Vehicles (pdf) to ensure your business is capable of meeting the requirements.
Step 2 - Complete the enclosed application form, including all the supplementary documentation required to assess your application. Lodge form with Council and make payment of the application processing fee. See Councils Fees and Charges.
- Public Liability Insurance
- Compulsory Third Party
- Register Vehicle Insurance against loss of property
- Food Safety Supervisor certificate (if applicable)
- Management Plan.
Application for approval to use a mobile food vending vehicle (pdf)
Step 3 - If your application is successful, Council officers will contact you to arrange a time for an inspection of your vehicle. Once the vehicle is satisfactorily inspected, you will be issued with an approval to operate, for the financial year valid until 30 June, unless otherwise revoked.
Operator found not complying with the policy will have their approval revoked immediately and may not be granted a new approval to operate in the future.
Before you get started
All food businesses whether temporary, mobile or fixed must notify Council of their activities. Please complete and return the
Food Business Update Form. (pdf)
Food businesses must ensure their staff are appropriately trained to handle food. Business serving unpackaged, potentially hazardous foods will require a Food Safety Supervisor (FSS). A copy of the certificate must be kept in the vehicle. For more information go to the
NSW Food Authority’s website.
Preparing Food At Home
A separate approval might be required for the preparation of food as part of a home business. Please contact Council’s Food Services on (02) 4974 2000 to determine whether you need an approval.
Mobile Food Vending Guideline
All mobile food vending vehicles must comply with the Food Act 2003. The Guidelines for mobile food vending vehicles have been developed to assist businesses comply with the legislation. Copies of the guide can be downloaded from the NSW Food Authority’s website.
For further information or to discuss the details, please phone Council's Customer Enquiry Centre on (02) 4974 2000.