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Byron Shire
April 17, 2021

Byron Bay paid parking prices reduced

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Hans Lovejoy

Byron Shire Council again spent all morning considering parking plans for the Byron Bay CBD after a rescission motion was brought at yesterday’s (Thursday August 13)  meeting.

Councillors thrashed about with amendment upon amendment, unexpected motions and plenty of discussion.

Of notable interest, this issue has split the usual voting right-wing block of Crs Hunter, Woods, Ibrahim, Cubis and Wanchap.

So what’s the latest?

A ratepayer exemption fee of $50 per annum for fee paying coupon recipients would now apply, down from the previous $100. A non Shire resident worker/volunteer exemption fee of $100 per annum will also apply, with a report requested on establishing costs, benefits and other criteria.

Recognition was also made of the markets and their desire to stay on at Butler Street. Current plans would see the Butler Street reserve being developed as an ‘all day car park, operating 6am to 6pm daily with an hourly rate of $3 per hour, up to a maximum of $20 all day.’ Shire resident or ratepayer and non shire resident worker/volunteer exemption would apply.

And lowering the hourly rate to $3 from $4 was also voted in, which was one of the main reasons for yesterday’s rescission motion.

To ‘provide incentive to park outside the town centre’, Clarkes Beach carpark, Jonson Street (south of Kingsley Street) and on-street, east of Middleton, would operate as all day carparks, with an hourly rate of $3 per hour, up to a maximum of $20 all day’. Shire resident or ratepayer and non shire worker/volunteer exemption would apply, and its operating hours would be 9am to 6pm.

Additionally 4P areas would have an hourly rate of $3 per hour, with a maximum of $10 and 1P and 2P areas have an hourly rate at $3.

Cr Ibrahim opposed the plans and told the chamber that there had not been enough community consultation and that the plans were ‘undeveloped’. He referred to the lack of consideration to Butler Street as a parking area and the expected works associated with the looming bypass.

All voted in favour except Crs Ibrahim and Cubis.

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  1. A reduction!
    Parking is not 50cents per annum is it? Byron Bay could be the next Gold Coast.
    Reduce vehicle interactions with people. Close off streets and make the place more amenable to visitors who walk, stroll and buy and spend money and with that income Council can build underground car parks. That is the way of Greening Byron. It has to be asked whether there are any Greens in Byron or are they just using the Green label while they assimilate the idea of bricks, mortar, bitumen and other pollutants such as vehicles. Where is Byron headed?

    • There have been so many concessions and price reductions one wonders whether the paid-parking scheme will be viable. The parking consultants (TTM) originally employed by Council suggested that a resident exemption would not be viable below $190/year so I don’t see how its going to raise enough revenue at $50/year. At that price residents are paying just 14 cents a day, and once you’ve paid your 50 bucks the marginal cost of parking is zero.

      I also fail to understand how charging $3/hour to park on the street in town and $3/hour to park at Butler St Reserve provides much incentive for daytrippers to park at Butler St. They may as well cross the railway line and drive around in circles looking for $3 parking in town. Its the same price and its closer to shops and beaches. Aren’t we supposed to be discouraging cars in town?

      Its crazy for Councillors to be trying to guess the right price for parking anyway. Should it be $3 or $4? Who knows! What Council should do is install smart meters that adjust pricing according to demand so that 10-15% of parking places are free. Why would you charge $3/hour on a cold rainy Tuesday and also charge $3/hour on a warm sunny Sunday? It means parking is overpriced on the Tuesday and underpriced on the Sunday.

      Lets just hope they have the sense to install smart, adaptable parking technology so that demand pricing can be introduced at a later date. One things for sure, there are going to be more tourists every year and the supply of parking is very limited. We have two options: Build more parking (multi-storey carparks) or ration parking by pricing it.


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