Food vans to help meet holiday demand in Kalbarri after Seroja forced some eateries to shut

Phoebe PinGeraldton Guardian
Food trucks at Hammond Park in Kalgoorlie.
Camera IconFood trucks at Hammond Park in Kalgoorlie. Credit: Carwyn Monck/Kalgoorlie Miner

With an influx of tourists expected during the upcoming school holidays, Kalbarri has been forced to think on its feet amid its cyclone recovery, with the council ticking off on a food van trial to help meet demand.

The Shire of Northampton Council agreed on Friday to trial the mobile service in Kalbarri, which would see multiple food vans (run by existing licensed food vendors) to operate in an as-yet unconfirmed location for two weeks starting on July 2.

Shire chief executive Garry Keeffe said many businesses had not reopened since cyclone Seroja devastated the popular tourism spot, with just a handful of cafes and eateries up and running.

“There was the experience during COVID where a number of cafes didn’t open and there were lines ... of people outside the pub, and now you have around three cafes operating,” he said.

“(The food vans) would provide visitors with another alternative.”

Mr Keeffe said the vans would operate from 5pm-9pm and be either near Sally’s Tree or the car park at the intersection of Clotworthy and Grey streets.

“(The locations) are not in the middle of town so it doesn’t affect other cafes if they do decide to open up,” he said.

Shire planning officer Michelle Allen said she often received feedback from tourists saying they had been unable to find anywhere to eat in Kalbarri.

“It is the area of most angst for tourists, and even now before the school holidays, we have people ringing to say they love Kalbarri, it is great, but there is nowhere to dine,” she said.

Only Shire of Northampton-approved operators will be eligible to participate in the trial.

Councillors will assess the success of the trial at the August council meeting.

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