I strongly object to the expansion of paid parking in Byron Bay. My reasons:
1. Visitors and ratepayers already pay enough tax through rates and GST (on petrol, vehicle registration insurance and repairs, food and drinks etc) and land tax on investment/commercial property.
2. Residents already pay high rates (compared to other councils).
3. The roads and beaches belong to the people and there should be free parking irrespective of country or state of origin or capacity to pay.
4. Paid parking is divisive and elitist. The landed gentry want the beach to themselves. Struggling families and individuals deserve free access to the beaches as much as anybody else.
5. The penal system of parking infringement taxes the poor proportionately more than the rich.
My suggestion: Council should lobby to get a fairer share of the GST collected in the region.
This town runs on alcohol and food! Holiday accommodation is subject to GST but small operators are exempt.
Philip Macrae, Suffolk Park