Katherine Town Council will discuss their current Mobile Food Vendor Policy at its upcoming ordinary meeting to be held on May 25.
Have you found yourself wondering where the Great Northern Barramundi Men have gone? They're still here, but perhaps not for long.
The Katherine Information Centre carpark may be recognised as the spot you could once grab some fresh Northern Territory seafood from, but now you'll find the Great Northern Barramundi Men (GNBM) in amongst the hustle and bustle at the carpark on Lindsay Street.
According to Gavin Sibley of GNBM, the fresh seafood suppliers were asked by Katherine Town Council to relocate from their spot adjacent to the Stuart Highway after 18 months onsite.
The request was made two days before Christmas last year, and followed multiple meetings Sibley previously had attended with various members of Council.
"I haven't got an issue per se, the problem is the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing," Sibley said.
"I've seen everybody at Council and they agreed to keep me where I was, and two days before Christmas they moved me. They said that area wasn't zoned for food.
"I know we don't pay rent and all that, but we do pay a fee each week to the Council. I don't mind paying, they've got to make money too but we just want it sorted out."
As mentioned by Sibley, Council cited their reasoning for moving as zoning regulations, but according to Katherine Times contributor, Bruce Francais, the basis for removal had been altered after the fact.
"The Council has now conceded that zoning is not the problem, and claimed it is merely moving the fishmonger to a better location," he wrote.
"The Council has also said that local businesses are complaining their own businesses are suffering as a result of the fishmonger operating in town."
At the present time, there are no permanent specialised seafood businesses located in Katherine.
While the relocation has resulted in a fall of sales, Sibley said his concerns predominately lie around the safety of his customers and the wider community when accessing the site.
"Where they have us now, it's too dangerous because it's all caravan parking. There's already been two prangs there and we're trying to get people out of their cars to sell seafood," he said.
"Our sales have dropped because no one knows we're here. I'm not worried about that, I'm concerned about safety. It's getting too bad, something is going to happen.
"Saturday is a really busy day, when we get there Friday afternoon we can't even park there half the time because it's full of caravans. If someone runs into our van or knocks somebody over when they're getting something, what happens?"
Despite how beloved the seafood sellers are in town, GNBM have 'had a gut full' and aren't far off bidding farewell to their Katherine customers.
"We're ready to pull out, we've had a gut full," Sibley said.
The original story was published on May 20, 2021 at 10.30am before updates were made.
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