A council decision has cleared the way for food trucks to begin operating at a wider range of locations across Murray Bridge.
Vendors were previously able to operate only in the car parks outside Johnstone Park and the Station, or at events.
They will now be allowed to set up at the wharf, along Charles Sturt Drive at Sturt Reserve, and in car parks at Thiele, Avoca Dell, Woodlane, Long Island and Baker Reserves as well.
Councillor Theo Weinmann said a lot of pressure was already being put on local businesses, and they did not need to compete with food trucks.
"This is a very upmarket thing these days, you see it down in Adelaide, but it's going to affect business in our district," he said at the council's meeting on January 29.
He criticised the decision to let vendors set up at Woodlane, saying that would affect the shop at Mypolonga.
But Mayor Brenton Lewis said the location, operating hours and number of bricks-and-mortar businesses would be taken into account before a permit was granted.
For example, he said, the policy would prevent Murray Bridge's Thai food van from setting up across the road from the Thai restaurant in Bridge Street.
"Mobile food vans are a sign of the times," he said.
"To align that with businesses closing is a hard call.
"I believe there's enough protection in there for an existing business owner not to have an operator across the road operating under different times and conditions.
"No fly-by-night operator is ever going to get a look-in."
Cr Airlie Keen hoped the policy would allow more start-ups to get into the industry.
Vendors will have to pay a fee of $20 per day, $75 per month or $915 plus GST per year, equivalent to the property rates payable on a block of vacant land.
They will also need to provide their own public and product liability insurance; draw up a site plan showing parking, signage and access, including for people with a disability; and have their trucks approved by council health officers.
Bricks-and-mortar businesses will also be able to apply to the Small Business Commissioner to have the rules changed.
The two food trucks already trading in Murray Bridge will be able to continue trading under their current permit conditions if they choose.