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Byron Shire
April 11, 2021

Byron council to decide on pay parking

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Byron Shire councillors will vote this week on whether to introduce paid parking for Byron Bay’s town centre.

The proposed rate is $2 per hour on the street and $4 per hour in council car parks.

Staff have put the plan forward for Thursday’s meeting following recommendations of a recent parking study and community consultation on the move.

Council’s infrastructure services director Phil Holloway said the report to be considered includes a plan for exemption for locals in one option for 30 minutes free per day and another for a 40 per cent discount or free parking for locals in council off-street car parks.

Mr Holloway said this could mean discontinuing the resident coupon parking permit.

The Byron Bay Parking Study looked at improved ways to manage parking within the busy town centre, including increasing the number of short-term parking spaces and the introduction of paid parking that would encourage the turnover of car spaces.

‘A key priority is to ensure that we end up with a system that is easy for everyone to understand but still meets the needs of our community,’ Mr Holloway said.

‘While ideally most locals would prefer not to have to pay for parking, this is one of the only ways we can earn a few more dollars from the visitors who arrive every day.

‘Feedback from residents and the traffic study has told us that most locals are coming into town for about 30 minutes and there are not enough short-term parking spaces.

‘A new pay parking scheme will aim to accommodate this need and help ensure that highly sought after spaces in the centre of town, turn over.

‘The report to council aims to keep the discussion going and arrive at a scheme that is fair to the majority of locals,’ Mr Holloway said.

The report estimated that the pay parking scheme could return up to $2 million net each year from the third year onwards.

‘That’s a significant amount of money that could go towards town improvements and road upgrades and maintenance,’ he said.

‘Plus, would clearly support our shire’s financial sustainability and work in with the state governments Fit for the Future reforms and help fund outcomes from the Byron Bay Town Centre Masterplan.

‘Working forward, we will need to look at a section of Butler Street Reserve being developed as a safe car area for day parking which would help address the need for parking for workers. Crown Land support would be required for this to occur,’ he said.

Mr Holloway said it is also proposed to review the existing $25 a year resident coupon system and if retained, could see the yearly fee be increased to somewhere between $125 to $190.

‘Further discussion with councillors will be held in February to consider additional issues such as the existing parking coupon scheme, vehicle exemptions, changes to parking time limits and a resident permit parking scheme for people who live on the edge of the pay parking areas,’ he said.

Mr Holloway said if the scheme was to go ahead, the outcomes of the February workshop will be reported to council and the community, and if the recommendations are adopted, council would develop an expression of interest to source costs and technological capabilities of pay parking machines from suppliers.

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  1. Why don’t you leave the locals alone. We are paying enough in high rent with the most expensive supermarkets in most of Australia. Leave the locals alone and make the blow ins pay.

  2. Gee thanks for the discrimination against the poor, the elderly, pensioners, single parents and those who do volunteer work in Byron Bay. These people often have to struggle to get enough petrol money to get to town and now they won’t be able to afford to park. How can any one on Newstart afford $125 a year, for a parking voucher???? on top of registration and insurance so they can park in town. Oh that’s right “poor people don’t drive cars”. I see once again the rich are the only ones a allowed to enjoy Byron Bay… I guess they will all love the new bowling alley in the big shiny Gold Coast style mall. This will put the final nail in the coffin for any type of community in the town of Byron Bay. Say goodbye to the lovers, the shakers and the creative makers…and hullo to rich cashed up tourists who will be wondering why they ever came to the bay when all they see is the same as what they have at home. I guess its one way to get rid of all the hippies….price them out….
    This is a very uninspired initiative. Now It really will be BORING BAY..

  3. Why should locals have to forfeit or pay more for their Resident Parking scheme. Put the rate up to $6 an hour for all the bloody tourists keep the scheme the way it is

  4. Why should Byron residents have to pay to park in their own little town? Where’s the consideration of the impact on our lifestyle? Everything seems to be about making money at the expense of quality of Life. Residents should be 100% exempt as it’s the tourists who block our town up. I’ll just avoid town like the plague if this comes in. I’m sure this will adversely impact on businesses too as locals will probably turn to Ballina for their commercial needs. Ratepayers pay enough already for sub-standard results. And the assertion that ‘most’ residents only go into town for 30 minutes is laughable. Who did THAT survey and where is it published. Bloody bureaucrats ! Justifying their own jobs at our expense. If Byron has to cop this then so should every town in the region. Try that in Mullum and see how far you get? Not Fair.

  5. I am an elder within the community and i would like council to not make a blanket,one size fits all decision on this. As an older citizen,when I drive to Byron Bay from hinterland to attend an activity,show or event at Community Centre,it is important that I have free(time) or 4 hr parking without walking from the other side of town….also…4 hr park allows me to meet a friend for lunch,go to P.O.visit shops or go to library(not always a park available there).If I am just in Byron Bay for a couple of reasons, the 2 hr park is great. It can take up to 20 mins in PO alone.If I am going to pay for parking I probably will have to forego lunch with a friend or miss out on Community Centre activities(albeit not always expensive). PLEASE COUNCIL…consider us ALL when making your decisions.Visitor paid parking will raise you some decent revenue but a car displaying a resident sticker should be exempted without question,and as far as raising the resident sticker fee…a lot of folk in the area only get by on part time wages and also pay council rates,these people deserve to be considered also. It seems straightforward to me….and simple…Raise your parking revenue from visitors ,NOT locals already paying rates and consider those of us who like to enjoy Byron Bay as much as the visitors and are not just running in and running out……and remember…a large proportion of us are elders and can’t run let alone walk across town to visit the Community Centre,cafes,health shops,doctors,pathology,xray etc. Keep some 4 hr parking in place and plenty of 2 hr parking(people will vacate spot and free them up if on a shorter visit anyway).In saying most people are only in need of half hour parking it shows you are only listening to people who do fast runs for business purposes only and they are not the majority of us.Please open your minds and consider us ALL,dont just hear what you want to hear because the $ signs are foremost in your psyche. In saying this, I do recognize the needs and concerns of council in relation to revenue raising and that the job is hard but……look after your locals and that includes us elders.

  6. This is one of the most poorly conceived “ideas” from Council in at least a week. Everyone knows its virtually impossible to have coffee, let alone lunch or shop in one to two hours. Everyone pays. What happened to that so called “unfavourable, bed/visitor” payment included everywhere in Europe & other countries. That is what will aid infrastructure improvements & amenity for all. Such a pity we can’t shake some inertia or faction fighting from council to do something, anything?


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