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Byron Shire
May 9, 2021

Calls for a rethink on Byron paid parking revenue

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A long-time opponent of paid parking claims that Byron Shire Council’s latest decision to allocate at least 50 per cent of paid parking revenue from Byron Bay to projects in the town doesn’t go far enough.

Paul McCarthy says the issue is ‘driving a wedge’ into the shire.

‘I don’t want Byron Bay to be the cash cow for the entire area,’ he said.

‘We are the coalface to around two million annual visitors. It’s not too late to turn this around and allocate all funds to Byron Bay.’

Mr McCarthy points to the council’s 2017–18 YTD Ordinary Rate Levies per locality, which indicates that 38.8 per cent of the Shire’s rates come from Byron Bay, while 10.2 per cent comes from Suffolk Park. The total figures include residential, business and farmland.

By comparison, Bangalow landowners contribute 5.4 per cent, Brunswick Heads 5.2 per cent, Mullumbimby 7.1 per cent and Ocean Shores 8.7 per cent.

While accepting that Byron’s masterplan will significantly improve the town, McCarthy maintains that everyone should be treated equally.

‘Byron Bay should have had the same offer made to them as Brunswick Heads and Bangalow – that promise was to allocate 100 per cent of the revenue for those towns.’

Bangalow offer

Bangalow chamber of commerce president Jo Millar confirmed with The Echo that an offer was made by the council for all Bangalow revenue to be spent in the town, as was the case for Brunswick Heads.

She said, ‘I have concerns that paid parking could be used to set the towns against each other,’ adding that there is ‘great respect and recognition between us all.’

‘I also support Byron Bay receiving all the revenue from their parking meters,’ she said, adding that there’s ‘no question that most visitors come to Byron Bay,’ and as a result Byron’s infrastructure is affected.

According to a recent Byron News report, mayor Simon Richardson was not in favour of giving Byron Bay all of its paid parking revenue, as it would lead to ‘parochialism’.


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  1. It is wrong to alllocate 100% of parking revenue to the town where it is raised. Otherwise I would argue, that all my rates should be spent in Byron Bay, where I reside. It parochialism gone mad. Where is the bigger picture?

    Jens Krause

  2. Any segregation of funds further degrades the already disgraceful lack of prioritisation that council has had for so long in meeting the needs of our community. All funds need to go into consolidated revenue for use by a committee (the council) that should have a strict checklist for allocation on urgency and merit meeting the safety, before all else of our community. This is how all truly efficient responsible and democratic governments work.
    How can any ratepayer agree for segregation of any ratepayer revenue for use outside the long held traditions of fairness & efficiency ?

  3. Byron should get the same deal as Bruns and Bangalow. Crazy if you think otherwise. This has nothing to do with rates. Rates are paid no matter how popular your town is. But because Byron is popular paid parking was introduced here first and so the whole shire is just using it as a cash cow. Screw that. Ive been in town for 9 years and trust me there are plenty of things that need improving and 100% of the funds should go to this. If other areas need extra $ then hurry up and introduce paid parking. Simon Richardson as always you are out of touch and i hope you get voted out! On another note why hasn’t Byron shire introduces paid parking apps like you see in Melbourne. Like this everyone can top up their parking from their phones. They should at least give people half a chance to not get a ticket. Instead people park their cars far from the beach. They then go to enjoy their time with friends and family only to come back to a ticket.They will probably find they will raise more revenue as people will top up as its easy and they wont want to get a fine. Can you imagine how many cars there are at any one time sitting there past their limit. The app counts down and notifies you. You save your car details and card details and can top up in few steps. INTRODUCE PAID PARKING APP! KEEP IT FAIR. NO BRAINER !! CONTACT MELBOURNE COUNCIL. I BELIEVE THEY WERE USING A CANADIAN BASED APP !! LOOK IT UP !!


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