Richmond Valley Council is spending more than a million dollars to provide 118 car parks at three sites in the Casino central business district.
Twenty eight new spots have been created on Simpsons Parade and another 90 will be built in the new year on Barker and Walker streets, and behind the Tattersalls Hotel.
RVC chief executive John Walker said the council had spent $450,000 on land acquisitions and the three projects would cost just over $900,000.
Mr Walker said the car spaces would be unrestricted, giving business owners, employees and shoppers access to all-day parking, thus freeing up spaces in the immediate shopping zone.
Under the car parking plan, 42 car spaces are now available on Simpsons Parade, and 69 spaces are being constructed on Barker and Little Walker streets, behind the community centre.
Another 20 spaces are proposed for the rear of the Tattersalls Hotel, bringing the total there to 77 spaces.
Mr Walker said the council needed to take a prudent approach to the demand for more all-day parking to balance the needs of both shoppers and workers.
He said there was always pressure on the council to try and acquire more car parking.
‘Council took on board the concerns of business owners and shoppers about parking arrangements in the CBD and brought these three projects forward in the capital works budget,’ Mr Walker said.
‘Any effort to increase parking is a good move as it will hopefully encourage more people to shop locally.”
Oak Lane and Park, Woodburn and Cedar streets in Evans Head have also been identified for an additional 40 car spaces, with work likely to start in the next financial year.
The council’s gardeners will soon start planting semi-mature trees and water-efficient plants in the Simpsons Parade car park.