Local NSW Greens MP Tamara Smith has questioned Greens mayor Simon Richardson and his supportive councillors’ decision for paid parking in Bangalow.
At a rally held Saturday morning, the Chamber of Commerce said ignored studies and flawed surveys led to councillors’ decision to roll out paid parking.
Ms Smith told the rally via a letter, ‘I am sorry that you have had to take to the streets in order to have your voice heard… Well done for coming out to have your say and I am sorry that I can’t be there with you.
‘I am urging Byron Shire Council to do a parking study for Bangalow, per the RMS requirements, which have nothing to do with revenue raising. In fact, revenue raising is not recognised by the NSW government as a valid reason for introducing paid parking.
‘There are too many unknowns at this stage, the true impact of introducing paid parking in Bangalow is not clear, and the case to introduce it in the terms set down by RMS has not been made.
‘The precautionary principle seems very appropriate at this time – if we are not sure of the impact, then let’s not impact.’
Exertion of will
Meanwhile, the town’s chamber president Jo Millar told the gathering, ‘This whole process is a classic example of the exertion of political will over the proper processes that we have a right to expect from our Council staff and our elected representatives.’
In reply, Infrastructure Services director Phil Holloway told The Echo, ‘Council’s rationale for pay parking has always been, first and foremost, that it serves to improve parking turnover and access to local businesses.’
‘Pay Parking schemes are a combination of time limits and the application of a charge to park and are aimed at improving access to available parking.
‘Pay parking is a means of imposing a level of self-enforcement by changing driver behaviour to increase the availability of spaces to meet parking demands in the area.’