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Byron Shire
May 26, 2024

Byron Bay parking charges could raise $1m a year

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Byron Shire mayor Simon Richardson has thrown his weight behind a review of parking in Byron Bay that recommends a flat-rate fee of $2 per hour throughout the town centre.

Cr Richardson says the study, which was released last week, found that the majority of people who sought parking in the town centre were there for a quick trip and used a car park for less than an hour.

‘One step is to increase the number of shorter term car parking spaces,’ he says.

‘A quicker turnover in car parking means that a greater number of locals can get in and out of the town centre faster and spend less time circling the block,’ he said.

And while demand is high, he says another step could be expanding the paid parking area to gain significant financial returns to council and the community.

‘With in the parking review, the consultant proposed a flat rate of $2 per hour throughout the town centre.

‘The resident parking coupon would still be in place and means that locals can park there for free for up to four hours.’

‘The new paid parking income stream could see a minimum $1 million annual return to council and the community each year for improving maintenance or providing seed-funding for new infrastructure. It potentially means new toilet blocks, better gardens, roads and footpaths.

‘If implemented, paid parking would not apply after 6pm and therefore would not impact on the night time economy with people heading out to dinner or a band.’

Mayor Richardson also said that a modest fee would be a more equitable way to share the costs of infrastructure between locals and visitors.

‘With 729,000 domestic day trippers arriving in town each year, their impact on the community and infrastructure is significant but financial input to council is minimal.

‘We can’t do a bed tax but we can collect a couple of dollars from each visitor through the extension of paid parking.

‘Similarly we’ve managed to keep general rates to the rate pegging limit for the past five years and we have not asked ratepayers for any additional increases.

‘Council would like to keep it that way and raising some revenue for infrastructure from parking users rather than all Byron Shire residents is part of the solution,’ he said.

But the proposed changes could affect those who park in town and work 9am-6pm.

The mayor says all-day parkers – except those with their own private parking – would need to park on the perimeter of town or find a new car space when the time limit was up. Mayor Richardson acknowledged that the proposed changes to parking arrangements could have consequences for residents, workers and visitors, which will need to be managed carefully.

Comments from the public are now sought, and for more visit www.byron.nsw.gov.au.


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  1. What a perfectly great idea. Please don’t listen to retailers who always say paid parking will kill business. About time those visitors made a bit of a contribution. And please also open the car park behind the top of Jonson St from the road between the roundabouts so visitors know it’s there AND can get into it. And thanks for thinking of the locals, Simon. You’re the best Mayor in a long time.

  2. It’s easy for a Mayor who doesn’t even live in Bay Bay to advocate making its residents pay the price for his inability to deal with the impact of tourism on it. Why should ratepayers be penalised
    for council’s lack of imagination in revenue sourcing? I’ll be buggered if I’ll pay $2 an hour just for a trip into town. I’ll go to Ballina to do my shopping – cheaper, more facilities and free parking. Byron businesses will suffer badly from this myopic move.
    Let’s hope, like Tony Abbott, this Mayor is a one term blimp. What a failure this show pony has turned out to be. The Greens sure were scraping the bottom of the barrel with this pathetic lot.

  3. Councils have no statutory authority. Councils are not recognised in the Constitution. We have Commonwealth, Federal, and State jurisidiction. Councils are not mentioned. This has been voted upon in TWO referendums. This leaves Councils being merely Corporations, and it is illegal for Corporations to charge tax or issue fines to raise revenues. This leaves all Council rates, taxes, and fines being an act of fraud and completely illegal. This actually makes it illegal to pay them! Don’t be fooled – this is actually fraudently, illegal activity. It will be great when Councils stop being Robber-Barons and actually selflessly serve the community they are employed to serve and protect – instead of inventing ways to steal from them. Going into town to do your shopping is a right, resident parking coupon or not. This illegal tax will ruin local retailing as people simply find somewhere else to shop. It’s not like local shops aren’t already paying heaps in rent. Why should they keep having to justify their existence in the name of a greedy council? WTF?!

  4. Sounds like you work for Council, Simon.You seem very eager to jump in to justify this tax. I appreciate it’s very scary to realise ones pirate bluff is a criminal activity. Readers might want to read the Constitution and see that councils are not included! This issue is currently being heard in the Supreme Court and as such, until ruling, all council rates and fines are ultra vires – (that means “beyond powers”). I might add, tens of thousands of people across this country have successfully overturned their parking fines (and other illegally issued council fines) by stating that local councils have no statutory jurisidiction and are merely corporations. It’s a big topic for a newspaper comments column but Aussie Speeding Fines and Know Your Rights are two groups successfully educating people why their money should be spent on feeding their children and paying school fees – and not used for correcting foolish blunders in the public servants ledger .”Public servant” – sorry, my attempt at humour.

  5. There are many issues relating to the concept of Local Government that affects our everyday lives – parking fines, rates and a whole range of fines that are issued by local councils who believe that they are authorised under various local government acts to operate as a third tier of government.

    Unfortunately for them, the Commonwealth Constitution, which is the highest law in the land dictates that there can only be two levels of government and they are Federal and State. Federal government is also known as Commonwealth government and State government is also known as local government. Local councils, however, seem to think that they have been magically empowered by the States to operate as a third tier of government contrary to the Commonwealth Constitution.


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