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Council concessions on paid parking not enough: Bangalow chamber

Concessions by Byron Shire Council that would see all residents in the 2479 postcode offered the right to buy an annual permit instead of paying to park in Bangalow doesn’t go far enough according to the town’s chamber of commerce.

A morning rally has been planned for Bangalow on Saturday, December 9. Photo supplied

A snap meeting of 90 members held last Tuesday on the issue overwhelmingly rejected the plan, according to president Jo Milllar, who has called for a public protest in the town on December 9.

Plans to have a contractor install parking meters in the hinterland village by January 1 are already well underway, and the council says it’s unable to reverse its decision even if it wanted to.

But, in an attempt to head off resistance, Byron Mayor Simon Richardson has announced a plan to extend the sale of paid parking exemption permits to nearby residents of Ballina and Lismore LGAs. (The permits would also allow holders to park in Byron Bay.)

‘Residents in villages close to Bangalow and the Shire’s hinterland edge will be offered the opportunity to buy an E permit when pay parking is introduced on 1 January 2018,’ Cr Richarson announced last week.

‘People living in Clunes, Newrybar, Rosebank, Nashua, Brooklet, Booyong and Repentance Creek will be able to apply for an E permit because many outside the shire have Byron and Bangalow as their ‘home’ towns or beaches or schools, or doctors,’ he said on Facebook.

But responding to his post, some of the mayor’s Facebook followers seemed underwhelmed at the offer.

Ali Rayner wrote, ‘How about just offer it to anyone who needs to park in the Byron shire regularly?

‘We were Byron residents until we were priced out. Now we live in Lismore, but regularly visit Byron because it is still such a big part of our lives. We feel left out for no good reason.’

And Genevieve La Plage wrote, ‘There is no public transport provided from town to town, so what option do people have [other] than driving? Also, have you thought about the disincentive for those not living in these areas, or who are renting and unable to receive a permit, of visiting these towns if they have to pay just to stop in them?’

But while the mayor said, ‘the sky won’t fall in’ for Bangalow businesses when paid parking is introduced, Ms Millar retorted, ‘We see it as an onerous imposition’.

Ms Millar said: ‘We are not the only ones who feel strongly about paid parking. Communities all around Australia, including in Coogee, Yarraville and Henley Beach have fought paid parking and won.

‘There is now a trend for councils to turn off meters or take them out because of the negative impacts they have on small business. A study in Yarraville, in Victoria, found a 5 – 40 per cent decline in income for small businesses after the introduction of paid parking,’ Ms Millar said.

‘Bangalow is the smallest of [Byron] Shire’s four villages, a well-known attraction for its heritage streetscape, beautiful shops, fabulous restaurants and picturesque rural setting.

‘Contrary to Council’s spin, paid parking does not engender a relaxed shopping experience: rather it is proven it inhibits spending,’ Ms Millar said.

But the council’s director of infrastructure services, Phil Holloway, said pay parking would ‘improve the turnover of parking spaces’, which he argued was, ‘good for local business.’

‘Bangalow is a popular stop for visitors to the Byron Shire and finding a parking spot is often difficult particularly on the weekends and holidays,’ Mr Holloway said.

He urged all residents of Bangalow who don’t currently have parking permits to ‘buy an E permit now to avoid the last minute Christmas holiday rush’.

‘E permits apply to pay parking across the whole of Byron Shire, so if you already have one for Byron Bay you do not need to purchase a permit for Bangalow.  People who have a Disability Parking Permit, or a blue Centrelink card are eligible for a free E permit,’ he said.

 

 


3 responses to “Council concessions on paid parking not enough: Bangalow chamber”

  1. Ean Jones says:

    You are joking Phil,

    What research do you base your ‘difficult to fond a parking space’ comment on? It is in no research document because it is plainly not true. The only day it is difficult to find a park in Bangalow is once a month on market Sundays; hardly worth implementing paid parking for one day is it?

    Council needs to come clean on the real reason they are trying to implement Paid Parking.
    It has nothing to do with traffic management and everything to do with debt management.

    The protest rally this Saturday will demonstrate how wrong you have got this.
    This is a tax on Bangalow’s residents not it’s visitors. We are a rural community not a tourist attraction.

  2. Lorna Virgo says:

    Shame! Shame! Shame! This paid Parking business. What on earth are you doing Councillors?I have strong ties to Bangalow. I was born in Bangalow Hospital. My parents had a farm down Bates Road at Newrbar in 1937.
    We owned a Farm at Bangalow in the 1970’s. 6 of my 7 daughters attended Bangalow Primary School.I worked at the Bangalow Hospital as Nursing Sister in 1960’s & 1974 when there was an operating hospital for all Communities needs.
    My Parents are both buried in the Cementry. Look for the white painted graves that my Grandsons last painted last year.
    I am 80 yrs old now still driving but don’t feel I will be eligible for a free parking.
    Going back further my great Aunty & husband built Jelben Leigh at the turn of the 20th century.
    What price is history?

  3. Paul Clarke says:

    Well thank you but no thank you, have just had my last visit to Bangalow, you have just spoilt the beautiful village of Bangalow , greedy people,…. tourism keeps that beautiful village alive

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