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Byron Shire
September 23, 2021

Bangalow paid parking will go ahead: mayor

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Bangalow Chamber of Commerce president Jo Millar. Photo Jeff Dawson
Bangalow Chamber of Commerce president Jo Millar. Photo Jeff Dawson

Byron Mayor Simon Richardson says paid parking in Bangalow will go ahead on January 1 despite opposition from the town’s chamber of commerce and claims the council has failed to abide by its own processes.

With paid-parking consultants now investigating site locations in Bangalow, the chamber of commerce is still holding firm its opposition, reminding councillors that the paid parking resolution for the town stipulates guidance group involvement in the process before the rollout.

Chamber of Commerce president Jo Millar believes that with no meetings planned before paid parking is introduced on January 1, 2018, the council cannot proceed.

She said the Bangalow community have been ‘strongly opposed to these plans since 2011’.

But mayor Simon Richardson, who led the paid parking push in the town – maintains that it will roll out, regardless of public sentiment.

The Echo asked the mayor, ‘It appears Council are not representing the wishes of the Bangalow community. Is it your intention to continue on this path?’

He replied, ‘We are scheduled to begin paid parking in Bangalow in January. I have requested a meeting with the guidance group to consider initial priorities for allocating revenues raised.’ 

He added that ‘Council is soon to complete its engagement strategy that has been created alongside community group representatives.’ 

Cr Michael Lyon also told The Echo that once a Council project has commenced, councillors cannot rescind the motion, so the project must continue.

Meanwhile Cr Paul Spooner told The Echo that he doesn’t believe that paid parking will destroy the town, yet said that paid parking in Brunswick Heads is unlikely to go ahead owing to the collective effort of that town.

‘The parking meters are paid off in the first year or so. If it doesn’t work, then Council can look at it again,’ he said.

Ignored report

But Ms Millar maintains – like in the Brunswick Heads case – the studies that underpin traffic management did not recommend paid parking and the surveys were flawed.

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  1. ‘The parking meters are paid off in the first year or so. If it doesn’t work, then Council can look at it again,’ he said. Yep. And raise the hourly parking rate even as small shops go out of business as per Byron Bay,

    ‘Mayor Simon Richardson, who led the paid parking push in the town – maintains that it will roll out, regardless of public sentiment’. That it is the definition of a tin pot dictator.

  2. Cr Paul Spooner told The Echo ‘The parking meters are paid off in the first year or so. If it doesn’t work, then Council can look at it again,’ Yep. After a year you will raise the parking fees whilst small businesses go under as per Byron Bay.

    ‘Mayor Simon Richardson, who led the paid parking push in the town – maintains that it will roll out, regardless of public sentiment.’ This is the definition of a tin pot dictator.

    Who needs Rose when we have Simon

    • The aim of the greens, in politics, is to divide the community. This is happening and dictator Richardson is a fine example of this. It is “my way or the highway” is his logic.
      The greens are heavily influenced by communist dogma. They have a senator who is communist trained, Rhianon!
      It is unbelievable that people are so infatuated by the greens. People who have lived under oppressive communist regimes will tell the greens are fine examples of the regimes.

  3. Simon Richardson is a public servant, has he forgotten that? If what he thnks is best for the community, why are so many people opposed…….
    Paid parking is like putting up a sign in the main street saying “Go and shop somehwere else we dont wont you here”
    Simon obviously failed economic developement at Uni…..

  4. Really the fuss made about paid parking is unbelievable. How long do people thi k that we can grow and not pay for parking. It does several things one of which is to allow more people to have a chance to visit areas.
    There are a lot less vans parked in Byron washing their dishes in parking spaces whilst locals drive around and around looking for parks.
    Council provides a annual pass which is $50.00 for locals. People pay that daily in some parts of Sydney in tolls and parking. We are very lucky to love here but sometimes it is give and take. Our reserves and nature is being abused not only by visitors but by hedonistic locals perhaps and a payment might allow us to protect them more.
    There are more important issues than paying to park.

  5. What a shame! Paid parking at Bangalow! As some one who was born there in 1937. Lived there in the 70’s & 80’s & have always visited when family come home for holidays, that too will be like our now infrequent visits to Cape Byron, Watego’s Beach& Byron Bay its self.
    What is wrong with elected Councillors? Money isn’t everything. Let the people enjoy the beauty of the Byron Shire without having to put theirs hands in their pockets all the time?
    Or be like me. Get in the car, drive up the M1 to Coolangatta & enjoy nature at its best – with no paid parking.

  6. Bit of a worry that Simon, he simply does not seem to have his listening ears on.

    I now also shop in Ballina preferring to steer clear of Byron Bay since paid parking was instigated.

    Recently I took the time to phone Ballina Council and let them know how pleased I was there was no paid parking in Ballina. I suggested they take note of the Byron Bay parking strategy so to not make the same mistake.

    It is just so easy to pop down the freeway to Ballina and have shopping et cetera needs met without having to deal with Byron traffic jams plus forking out dollars to park.

    Yes, I also shop locally, just not in Byron Bay anymore.

  7. ‘Mayor Simon Richardson, who led the paid parking push in the town – maintains that it (paid parking) will roll out, regardless of public sentiment.

    Although its very difficult to mobilize hedonists, if enough local people protest paid parking will grind to a halt. Just like in Brunswick Heads. But protest will need to be quick.

  8. This is a complete failure of democracy Simon,
    You were elected to represent your community and you have not.
    You manufactured a problem with Bangalow parking so you can fix a problem with Council finances.
    You can not impose this horrid money grab on locals without significant retribution come election day.

    • Democracy is the will of ‘the people’. We’ve heard the views of the business ‘people’, and the unhappy ‘people’. How many other ‘people’ look forward to see parking better controlled, and providing revenue for an under-funded local council? Has any effort been made to find out? Is a Dollar a week (quarter of a cup of coffee) too much to pay for easy parking? Could fewer tourists be an improvement in the village? Don’t be shocked. Think about it.

  9. In terms of paid parking, Byron Bay was the first domino to tumble. After Bangalow comes Brunswick Heads and then Mullumbimby.

    Residents of Brunswick and Mullumbimby should consider joining protests in Bangalow to stop the dominos tumbling.

    Perhaps the organizers of the recent successful Saturday night protest in Brunswick Heads could assist with organizing music and a sausage sizzle for a similar protest in Bangalow

  10. I dont get it, if you are a resident then paid parking is not a problem for you. $50 a year is all it costs? In exchange you have more chance of finding a park in the towns where you live / pay rates on. Money is then raised that can be spent on the area.

    The state government refuses to fund local councils properly, so moves like this make a lot of sense and people should look at the positives. By the way if you are for endless population growth you are for things like paid parking, gentrification, and increasing pressure on the environment. When the Gold Coast has a couple million residents will Bruns still have unformed carspaces and no paid parking? Umm no it wont and it cant. This is not Byron councils fault it is the national addiction to growth and everything that comes with that.

    At the end of the day will tourists abandon Bangalow and Byron because of $4 paid parking and go to Ballina instead? No way!


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