Another meeting, held by the town’s chamber of commerce last Thursday with Byron Bay business owners, has not produced any more fans of Byron Shire Council’s plans to introduce paid parking into the CBD.
Byron United president Michael O’Grady told The Echo, ‘There is widespread concern about what paid parking will do in Byron Bay, with many members not wanting paid parking at all. They think that it’s unfair and that it will leave Byron businesses vulnerable.’
Councillors were divided at last week’s meeting, which considered a staff report on the rollout.
And while mayor Simon Richardson made a concession to lower the resident coupon to $50 per year instead of $100, he used his casting vote to reject an amendment by Cr Cubis, which would have seen $4 per hour parking reduced to $3.
But Mr O’Grady confirmed with The Echo that Cr Richardson’s $4 per-hour plans may be overturned and reduced to $3 after a rescission motion was lodged after the meeting.
Council will meet again today (Thursday August 6).
Last Thursday’s motion also passed with the mayor’s casting vote, and confirms Council’s ‘intention to introduce a system of paid parking to the Byron town centre during the 2015/16 financial year.’ It’s a system based upon a ‘pay by number plate approach.’ Additionally, the motion states that the current market location, Butler Street Reserve, will ‘be made available as an all-day carpark, operating 6am to 6pm daily, with an hourly rate of $4, up to a maximum of $20 all-day, with the Shire resident or ratepayer exemption applying and a $40/month non-Shire worker/business operator fee.’
Crs Wanchap, Spooner, Cubis and Ibrahim voted against the motion, while Cr Richardson, Hunter, Cameron and Woods voted for.
Cr Dey was absent from the vote.