National Park Food Vendors
NATIONAL PARK FOOD VENDORS
Mr TURNER (Myall Lakes) [5.50]: I draw to the attention of the House a matter concerning the vending of food items in the national parks in my electorate. Two milk vendors trading in separate
partnerships have approached me concerning a contractual and tendering arrangement to enter the national parks to supply milk and bread. The current procedure is that for specific periods tenders are called for to supply those items. A fee suggested by the National Parks and Wildlife Service is paid for the tender to that service - a process I should have thought which did not require a fee. I will pursue that matter at another time. At present milk vendors have a tied area for which no other person can tender because only that vendor is entitled to sell milk in that area. Another concern is that the restrictions imposed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service are quite impractical and bureaucratic. A consent authority or document - the legal validity of which I am not quite sure - which must be signed states that the activity the vendor will undertake will be that of a mobile kiosk. Clause 8 of the document states:
Quite frankly, in this modern day and age, such restriction is absolutely ludicrous and ridiculous. Thousands of people visit the Myall Lakes National Park and the Booti Booti National Park. The contract relates to the September-October and Christmas holiday periods. Officers of the National Parks and Wildlife Service expect vendors to enter the parks and sell only milk and bread, and if visitors to the parks want any other food items they must uproot themselves, leave the parks and drive along dirt roads to purchase those goods. The National Parks and Wildlife Service in my electorate is constantly complaining about insufficient funds to upgrade roads. Is it any wonder! By restricting the activity of vendors many people are forced to travel on the roads. This could be overcome by allowing one person to sell items other than bread and milk to users of the parks. I do not suggest a wholesale fruit and vegetable operation or set up of that nature. One vendor could make available such consumables as eggs and butter. Visitors to the parks are being denied that service.
Vendor operators have been advised by the National Parks and Wildlife Service that when they go into the parks they must hide food items other than milk and bread. It is quite impractical and stupid to suggest that a milk vendor should have to hide such items as yoghurt, custard and orange juice upon their entry to the parks. The National Parks and Wildlife Service should provide service to those using the parks and not require them to traipse up and down dirt roads in search of food items other than bread and milk. To illustrate just how silly the restriction is I shall inform honourable members of the plight facing the Pacific Palms surf lifesaving club. The club, which is one of five located in the national park, has been prohibited under its lease over the past four years from selling ice creams, lollipops and drinks from its canteen. If one were to walk 50 metres from the canteen, one would no longer be in the national park, if one were to jump in the water and swim out 50 metres, one would no longer be in the national park, yet one cannot purchase ice creams or soft drinks from that canteen. The National Parks and Wildlife Service is being bureaucratic in relation to its attitude requiring vendors to sign formal documents which provide that produce other than milk and bread must be hidden by vendors when they enter national parks. If free enterprise operators want to enter national parks and provide a service to those entitled to use the parks, they should be encouraged to do so and not hampered. It is time the National Parks and Wildlife Service began administrating its parks rather than attempting to run a bureaucracy.
Mrs CHIKAROVSKI (Lane Cove - Minister for Consumer Affairs, and Assistant Minister for Education) [5.54]: I am advised by the Minister for the Environment that as a new initiative tenders this year were called for the rights to sell milk, bread and ice in the Myall Lakes and Booti Booti national parks for a period of 12 months. I am further advised by the Minister for the Environment there is no instruction for licensees to hide any products they may carry with them into the respective parks. However, only those goods they are licensed to sell may be offered. As the concerns raised by the honourable member for Myall Lakes are obviously of great concern to the people involved in these tendering arrangements I will ensure they are raised with the Minister for the Environment.
The operator will not sell, cause to be sold, attempt to sell, expose for sale or cause to be exposed for sale any commodity other than milk & bread.