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Byron Shire
May 20, 2022

Bring on paid parking in Brunswick Heads

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Rod Murray, Ocean Shores. 

It is completely misleading for the Brunswick Chamber of Commerce to claim that businesses will suffer as a result of paid parking.

It didn’t happen in Byron Bay despite the same initial concerns and, as the state government predicts significant population increases in the Northern Rivers and southern Queensland, it won’t happen in Brunswick Heads either.

Tourist numbers will continue to grow and infrastructure will continue to see increased pressure. And as for 95 per cent of residents supporting no paid parking, there is no evidence, just a fraud and wishful thinking.

I don’t recall the chamber coming out against the rate increases ‘we had to have’, while many struggle to pay mortgages (without Airbnb to cover it) and I’m still waiting for an answer to  previous questions, such as ‘what has the chamber done to pressure the government for the council to be able to introduce a bed tax?’

Or ‘why should ratepayers continue to subsidise the tourist industry and pay for infrastructure without a contribution from tourists?’

Or ‘what significant, alternative, long-term financial solutions do they suggest?’

I trust the council will not back down on this as it would smell very much like saving their necks for the next election.

I would also like to request an update from the council in regard to the alleged ‘coalition of councils’ and the bed tax issue.

Bring on paid parking in Brunswick Heads and Bangalow.

 


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8 COMMENTS

  1. Yes I agree Rod. Residents are getting very tired of paying huge rates to provide/maintain infrastructure for hordes of tourists, some of whom have little respect for our environment or community.

    Common sense says paid parking for Brunswick will be approved next year.

    Given the number of expensive European cars and large 4 wheel drives clogging up Brunswick these people can afford to pay for parking as we do when we visit tourist areas on the Sunshine Coast for example.

    It;s been a success in Byron and locals can now find a park in town. At the same time business is booming.

  2. Louise and the original author of the post demonstrate a clear lack of brain cells. It is safe to assume that Rod Murray is not a business owner in any form, because it is evident he has absolutely no understanding of the economics and reality of paid parking. Never had his financial bottom line resting upon his business, in the case of a place such as Brunswick largely reliant on the oh so evil day trippers. You know who paid parking repels? day trippers. It is simply not feasible for many businesses in the area to handle the loss of customers that will ensue from paid parking, and as such they will shut down. With that loss of jobs comes the loss of income for these business owners and employees. I don’t know why it is so hard for the leftie council and people like Rod Murray to open their ears for a moment and realise that the chamber of commerce is made up of businesses stating it is simply not economically possible for them to continue to operate under paid parking. Believe it or not Louise, those people in the expensive European cars and large 4 wheel drives actually make up part of the economy of the town, buying items from local shops and eating and drinking at local restaurants. Do you ever go into Brunswick? Where is the parking problem? A parking problem in Brunswick is council’s mirage in a desert of wasteful spending and no money. To the original author, what are you on about? I know for a fact that the chamber of commerce was present at the time of decision on the rate rise at council and I also know that your man Simon ‘We’ll build a bypass, we’ll fix the potholes, we’ll clean the toilets’ Richardson can vouch for that. Where were you in amidst all of your shock and horror at the rate rise? You need to realise that paid parking is the rate rise all over again, more money for the council to waste on absolutely nothing. You also claim that the signatures on the petition are fraudulent. On what grounds? What evidence do you have to say that the petition is fraudulent? Man oh man are you desperate for something. It is interesting that you are not even a resident of Brunswick Heads, is it not? Get real.

    • As a resident of Brunswick Heads I fully support paid parking in Brunswick as I support the 2 main objectives of paid parking.

      Firstly I think it is imperative that the roughly 2 million tourists visiting our Shire contribute to councils large maintenance, operating and infrastructure bills. Our Shire has a small population of rate payers who can no longer afford to keep subsidising the large amounts of tourists flooding to the Shires coastal towns. Paid parking is one of the few ways we can currently get tourists to contribute so it needs to be implemented ASAP.

      Secondly I believe paid parking is very important in ensuring the survival of certain “essential” businesses in Brunswick Heads. It is well understood that if local people can’t get to businesses like the doctor, chemist, Post Office, Newsagent, printers etc. then these businesses will be forced to close. These are not the businesses that tourists use but they are essential to local residents who use them on a regular basis and depend on them. This is particularly so for the towns elderly residents who need a close park near these businesses.

      Paid parking has shown that more parking becomes available in the town centres so locals can get easier access to their “essential” businesses. As tourism has increased, Brunswick has lost a number of businesses that townsfolk now need to drive to other town to access. The butcher and pathology service are two that come to mind but there are many more. Recently I have spoken to 4 “residents” businesses (ones not reliant on tourists) about the effect of paid parking on their businesses. Two believed paid parking would not affect their business at all and the other two believed paid parking would increase their takings as locals (their main customers) would be able to more easily park nearby.

      I’m sure most locals do not want to live in a town that has 30 cafes, 10 dress shops and bugger all else.

      As a trial, the 80 or so parking spots around the “inner” main CBD block should be allocated to paid parking. If people are not prepared to pay they still have a very short walk from a free park to the shops. If each of these spots averages only $15 a day (4 payers) then that alone will reap around $250,000 for the town.

      The hysteria built up by the local Chamber of Commerce about businesses going broke is complete rubbish. Businesses in Brunswick pay only 1.5 times domestic rates yet landlords are reaping 4 x what residential landlords make. If businesses are going to stop revenue to the community then Council should seriously consider upping the commercial rates to a more realistic and equitable level as they are the ones who benefit from all the tourists, not the vast majority of residents,

    • It would be nice if people could make their points without being rude.

      Support for business and residents cannot know whether people are involved in business or not. Those of us who visit Byron know it’s much easier to park and business is booming.

      As previous commentators have said, it’s not paid parking that impacts on business, but huge rents and overheads.

      Some of us go out of our way to support local business, but will do otherwise if denigrated by rude people.

      • I’ll respond to these separately. To clarify, however, I am not affiliated with the chamber of commerce in any way, just someone with an opinion.

        Re yes to paid parking:
        Before I respond to anything else, I have a simple question. ARE YOU A BUSINESS OWNER? Does your bottom line rest on the survival of your business? If not, how can you claim to have a technical knowledge of the issues facing businesses and how that connects to paid parking? I am also a resident of Brunswick Heads, “yes to paid parking”, and know for a fact that most BUSINESS OWNERS in the town DO NOT WANT paid parking, as it is not feasible for them.
        Residents CAN access the doctor, chemist, post office, newsagents and so on. None of those businesses are at risk currently, and if parking were an issue for their existence they would be long gone by now.
        Hmm, yes, perhaps there are more parking spots upon implementation of paid parking. Are you aware that that means tourists have simply decided to not get out and buy an icecream or have breakfast at a local business?
        Right, so, you spoke to “4 resident businesses” and took note that these were not reliant on tourists. Isn’t it interesting that people who’s business isn’t reliant on tourists aren’t affected by the driving away of tourists?
        “I’m sure most locals do not want to live in a town that has 30 cafes, 10 dress shops and bugger all else.” This is fairly self explanatory about you. I’m guessing you don’t have your finances resting upon one of those “30 cafes, 10 dress shops”.

        Re Louise:
        I visit Byron regularly, Louise. Several businesses had to shut down upon the implementation of paid parking, but if “yes to paid parking” is anyone to go by, that doesn’t matter, because who wants to live in a town with “30 cafes, 10 dress shops and bugger all else”, right? Without paid parking, the businesses in byron who had to pack up could be thriving in conjunction with the ones with CBD exposure doing even better than they are now.
        I will repeat the same question to you I posed to the previous commenter, are you a business owner? Do you have any specified knowledge of running a business and the financials surrounding that?
        If you are more concerned about rude people than the survival of businesses in the shire then you need a serious sorting out of your priorities.

        • Yes I have knowledge and experience of running businesses and know the huge overheads people have to pay before making wages, let alone a profit.

          Byron was ruined decades ago when businesses jumped on the tourism marketing bandwagon. The days when local people could afford to rent a little shop and start a business to provide employment for them selves and family, work hard during summer and enjoy some quiet time during winter to enjoy paradise, all went out the window. Too many people got too greedy and we’re all paying a huge price.

          It all went west long before paid parking was thought.of.

  3. It would be nice if people had the courage to sign their name if they are going to claim to be representing businesses and residents. You certainly don’t represent me.
    All reasonable questions and claims opposing paid parking are conveniently overlooked by you . Brunswick Hds. has 3 Van parks, countless mega festivals or similar, and residents are not obligated to endlessly SUBSIDISE burgeoning tourism and an endless stream of tourists from the Gold Coast.
    Brunswick Hds. was much more enjoyable before the tourist promotions and alleged “simple pleasures”
    Paid parking will provide much needed infrastructure finance without the council having to go cap in hand forever to rate payers.
    Chill out dude….that’s a simple pleasure.

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