Did you know that parking charges are the fee that consumers hate most? This was the result of a UK survey that came back with an overwhelming majority of people surveyed saying parking should be free.
Yep, no-one likes paying for parking. I reckon you could say this would be a universal result. No-one wants to pay for parking. Charging for empty space is like taxing for air. And to be honest, we’re sick of being slugged. Everywhere you turn there are hidden and not-so-hidden taxes. Fees on ATM cash withdrawals, fees on overdue bills, rates, water, petrol, income tax, GST, car rego, road tolls, bridge tolls, tunnel tolls, debit and credit card surcharges, charges for using your mobile overseas, for updating insurance policies, taxes on your food, on your clothes… charges for being alive. We’re sick and tired of being taxed for just existing. By the time some poor bastard puts his pants on each morning he’s probably been taxed 10 times. When he eventually parks his car out the front of a shop and he’s got to scramble for a few gold coins then he’s done. He pays for parking and then realises he doesn’t have enough for a coffee.
So he drives home deflated. Why go out? What’s out there for us in the big wide world other than more tax? Asking for money before you’ve even got out of the car doesn’t make a person feel very welcome. We’re not Sydney. The reason people come here is to get away from the prickish way they have to live every day. Imagine how those people are going to feel when they find out the simple life is gone. People come here to holiday and to live because they craved a laidback lifestyle. A life that was more uncomplicated, less materialistic. It’s enough. We’ve got fine fatigue. Can the Man please stop taxing us? Can you stop bleeding every last bloody cent out of us? It’s depressing. The public are starting to feel like a lemon having every last drop juiced out. And guess what? There ain’t no juice left in our lemons.
If the council wants to make lemonade maybe they need to grow a few lemon trees. Parking fees are punitive. Pay or be punished. Oh, and by the way, enjoy your holiday. Oh yes, it’s just $4 here and $4 there. But it adds up. Parking fees just add one more tax onto our shoulders. It’s a tax.
You can call it a fee if you like, but it’s a tax. Brunswick Heads and Bangalow don’t want paid parking. I’d say the community is pretty vocal about it. But it seems Council has suddenly become hearing impaired. Brunswick Heads and Bangalow are very different villages from Byron Bay. They want to be able to manage their own parking challenges in accordance with what suits their particular needs. Nobody likes a one-size-fits-all prescriptive approach. And let’s face it, penalising people for parking in your town doesn’t create more parking by adding extra ‘space’. It just means fewer people come to your town to park and therefore shop. Oh yes, you can get a park in Byron now. That’s because that person who would have stopped has gone elsewhere. Probably to Bangalow or Brunswick Heads. Paid parking isn’t a solution. It’s a business.
It’s rampant opportunism. And it’s ugly. Those parking meters look like angry money-sucking daleks. Beautiful Bangalow has kept herself in pretty good shape. She’s a heritage town. Everything is so gorgeous there you wouldn’t think of slipping down town in your tracky dacks. If you want to get bread and milk you’d better whack on some funky threads. Bangalow is all about understated style. So why would you put those ugly monstrosities into a beautiful streetscape? It’s a crime against architecture! I mean are there even shabby chic versions of the meters? And Brunswick Heads? Well it’s about being laidback. Uncomplicated. Chilled. There’s nothing chilled about paid parking. Bruns still has the charm of a fishing village. So protect it. No more paid parking.
There’s nothing more shitty then being told what to do by a machine. I mean we could at least be using humans. Imagine the drop in unemployment when the council introduce an elaborate valet system where some dude with tatts and dreadlocks takes $5 to park your car on the Gold Coast. Want to show your opposition?
Rally at the Hotel Brunswick on Saturday 11 November from 6–7.30pm.