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Byron Shire
August 3, 2021

Byron Council considers more parking meters, electronic surveillance and more timed parking

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Paul Bibby

Parking meters, electronic parking sensors and a significant expansion of time-limited parking areas are among a range of measures being considered by Byron Council for Brunswick Heads, Mullumbimby and Bangalow.

The measures are contained in three separate reports prepared by Council staff, which will be voted on at this week’s council meeting.

Brunswick Heads residents took to the streets last time Byron Council proposed introducing parking meters there. Photo Jeff Dawson

The reports are based on parking surveys conducted in each of the three towns by Council staff, the data from which was then analysed by private contractor Traffic and Parking Systems (TPS).

TPS found that parking in Bangalow, Brunswick Heads and Mullumbimby was currently ‘adequate,’ but that the majority of the timed zones in each of the towns were ‘at or near capacity,’ most of the time.

In response to this finding, Council staff and TPS have recommended increasing the areas covered by timed parking in Brunswick Heads and Mullumbimby (see break-outs). They have also recommended reducing the amount of time that locals are allowed to park within certain time restricted areas, including changing all three-hour parking areas in Brunswick Heads to two hours.

Staff further recommended increasing the amount of parking surveillance and monitoring in each of the three towns to ensure that locals stuck to the rules.

There were two sets of options put forward by TPS to achieve this.

The first option, to increase the number of parking officer patrols, was seen to be difficult to sustain given, ‘the need to consistently patrol all towns and the competing demand to patrol additional compliance issues, such as illegal camping and animal compliance’.

The second, coming under the delightfully optimistic title ‘technology opportunities’, included the introduction of parking sensors and parking meters.

Parking sensors are electronic devices located beneath the road which detect when a car has overstayed the limit and relays this information to Council officers. The advantage of this option is the relatively low cost of installation and the efficiency gains in terms of staffing. Staff said the advantage of parking meters was that they ‘typically reduce infringements to approximately five per cent, even without increasing patrol frequencies’.

Near capacity

In justifying the need for the increase in enforcement measures, staff pointed to the fact that parking schemes in each of the towns were either approaching capacity or expected to exceed capacity in the near future.


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8 COMMENTS

  1. What we have in Byron is a Gold Coast Liberal Party Council.
    Is the Council considering, more grass and trees and less concrete, more parks and gardens and less parking areas, less the number of cars and more rail and trains? No

    Joni Mitchell was once was appalled when she looked out of her hotel window and she wrote a song:

    They paved paradise
    And put up a parking lot
    With a pink hotel, a boutique
    And a swinging hot spot
    Don’t it always seem to go
    That you don’t know what you’ve got til its gone
    They paved paradise
    And put up a parking lot
    They took all the trees
    And put ’em in a tree museum
    And they charged the people
    A dollar and a half to seem ’em
    No no no
    Don’t it always seem to go,
    That you don’t know what you’ve got
    Til its gone
    They paved paradise
    And put up a parking lot
    Hey farmer farmer
    Put away the DDT
    I don’t care about spots on my apples
    Leave me the birds and the bees
    Please!
    Don’t it always seem to go
    That you don’t know what you’ve got
    Til its gone
    They paved paradise
    And put up a parking lot
    Hey, now they paved paradise
    To put up a parking lot
    Why not?

  2. Council get real. The problem in Brunswick and Mullumbimby is the queensland and victorian invasion .. they take up the existing spaces, clog the car parks, beach parks and locals pay the price. there’s zero consideration for ratepayers and the cost which we all carry in our rates having to fund this nightmare. Why not charge the tourism money makers, put on a bed tax, make the tourists pay something towards the damage and inconvenience.

    Every time anyone mentions this is a green council, I have to find a nearby bucket.

  3. What happened with the money already raised from the parking meters
    I thought it was to fix up the potholes make Byron more beautiful instead of a third to go to the people who installed the meters and the rest went into consolidated revenue
    Typical of today they think we’re sheep just blindly follow and won’t notice what is really going on

  4. I live in Tweed shire and have stopped going to Byron due to the militant parking restrictions.
    It would be a shame to have to stop going to Mullum, Bruns and Bangalow for the same reasons.

    Sorry local businesses, it looks like I won’t be spending my money with you in future.

  5. Good.Do it. the least worst option to raise money off visitors, which has to be done somehow. so if you dont support parking fees then what is your better alternative?

  6. If Byron Council is going to emulate Tate’s Gold Coast City and tackle traffic congestion with restrictions and parking meters abounding, can we also have Meter Maids ?

  7. Take a look around Byron and see how many small businesses owned by locals (ours was one of them) that have closed because of paid parking. Byron has become a classic case of Council ruining it’s own town. Day trippers and near-locals have been pushed out and replaced by Hipsters and wealthy Air b&b ers who don’t support local and buy from generic chain stores. It’s a shame!?

  8. Buy your self a van throw a mattress in it and park where ever you want as long as you are a backpacker nobody i mean rangers or the police care what they do

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