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Byron Shire
April 19, 2021

Paid parking pushed in Bruns again

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The Brunswick Heads chamber of commerce, represented by Kim Rosen, has again highlighted a lack of consultation by Council over parking arrangements for the town and rejected Greens mayor Simon Richardson’s plans to again introduce paid parking.

While she addressed Thursday’s Council meeting in the morning outlining staff report inadequacies, the mayor brought an unexpected lengthy amendment later in the day calling for paid parking for the town and expanding parking schemes.

It was voted down – Crs Lyon, Coorey, Cameron, Hackett, Spooner, Hunter voted against.

Instead, councillors voted for Cr Hunter’s motion to defer any decisions for a month.

Cr Hunter told the gallery it is ‘not in my nature to defer [decisions]… We haven’t talked to [businesses]…We should show good governance.’

Rosen later told The Echo, ‘Brunswick businesses want to know why the latest report by Traffic & Parking Consultants (TPS), who were engaged by Council with ratepayer money, was once again ignored’.

Ms Rosen said, ‘Recommendations in the staff report did not match those from TPS, critical data for councillors to be able to make informed decisions was missing, and there was no consultation with affected stakeholders, as was expected in the Parking Review.’

The contentious staff recommendations included turning all the all-day parking into 4-hour parking from Park Street west to Tweed Street and east of the Terrace to the surf club.

‘Where does Council think the workers will park? she asked.

According to Ms Rosen, the new arrangements are mostly working well, although businesses and customers have suggestions for slight tweaking of the parking management plan as part of the Parking Review, but were not asked.

‘TPS agrees with us, with data confirming that there are no significant issues with infringement levels.

‘TPS reported that there was adequate parking supply in the town centre to satisfy demands at all times of the year’.

She added TPS advised that while Mullum has reached capacity, both Bangalow and Brunswick Heads will approach or reach capacity within five years, she said.

‘The TPS Report did not recommend paid parking for Brunswick Heads. In fact, the TPS consultant present at the meeting stated categorically that paid parking was premature for our village.’

The TPS report says Bruns will reach parking capacity in five years, yet also states that the ‘majority of zones are operating at, or near capacity for a large part of the year.’

Mayor replies

Mayor Simon Richardson told The Echo, ‘Paid parking is an effective parking management tool that has the added value of raising revenue from daytrippers, something most of us think is fair and reasonable.

‘As discussed in the report, paid parking is by far the most effective and successful way to ensure people park within the timelines set.

‘The other, less effective measure is to have more compliance staff issuing more fines.

‘The most equitable and effective way is through paid parking, and as we have seen from the program in Byron Bay, it makes life easier for locals with little imposition on locals.

He added, ‘Brunswick Heads is at or near capacity currently, with capacity set to be exceeded within a few years; so we can either wait until the problem gets worse, or put the program in place now – with an added bonus of raising many hundreds of thousands of dollars from daytrippers to put back into Brunswick Heads to go towards better footpaths, roads, parks, more trees and playgrounds and the like. 

Bruns unfairly targeted

Business owner Michelle Begg attended Thursday’s meeting and said, ‘I was shocked when our mayor, Cr Richardson, suddenly moved a motion to introduce paid parking to Brunswick Heads before Christmas’.

‘We feel that Brunswick Heads is being unfairly targeted,’ she said.

‘We are wondering what is behind this push to impose paid parking on our village, when 6,240 petition signatories were against it in 2017, and the experts confirmed once again in 2019 that paid parking is not warranted?

‘This looks like a money-grabbing exercise, with no consideration for the impact this will have on local customers and businesses, especially during our many low-trade months.’

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7 COMMENTS

  1. I understand that revenue raising must not be the consideration when introducing paid parking. So why is the mayor pushing that message. Given that only 8% of the Byron Shire tourist visit Brunswick it won’t be the cash cow that Byron Bay currently is.

  2. If you think the money is going to go back into Brunswickheads your only fooling yourself
    It hasn’t help Byron Bay town centre at all or if it has I haven’t seen it
    The Mayor thinks we’re sheep ? and just follow suit
    He will keep on with this till all of the Shire has paid parking

  3. I often go to Bruns for lunch during the week with a few mates.
    If paid parking is introduced my money will be spent elsewhere

  4. Paid parking will just create a problem in to the surrounding residential streets, which are only a block away.

  5. Kim Rosen is no longer a resident of Brunswick Heads or even Byron Shire and has no right to try and dictate to the local community what we should and shouldn’t do.

    Kim now lives in Sydney and last time I visited her town I paid over $150 in one week in parking and tolls to contribute to her towns infrastructure costs. Strangely enough Kim thinks it is totally unreasonable that the hundreds of thousands of tourists now flocking to Brunswick Heads should contribute one cent to support our local infrastructure.

    Council has made it abundantly clear that local rate payers can no longer subsidise the huge costs associated with the millions of tourist visiting our shire. 70% of all our rates goes to road maintenance so what better way for road using tourists to contribute to fixing our third world roads than through paid parking?

    If the local chamber of commerce continues to block the hundreds of thousands of dollars that Brunswick residents would reap from tourists paying a few dollars each for paid parking then council would be very justified in lifting the local commercial rates. This is another way of indirectly getting tourists to contribute but one that I’m sure local businesses would not favour.

  6. Realy bruns people
    paid parking has made the bay easy to get a park for locals. I am a suffolk/ bay boy
    i go to bruns often on the weekend and i have to drive around and around and out of the cbd to get a park..
    locals out side of bruns spend dollars there and love it but it not as easy to park as the bay is m
    respectfully i say to the bruns sisters and brothers get paid parking use the dollars to improve ammenit.
    if you get your residency certification it so easy.
    the people who live outside the shire need to contribute to our community to maintain and save what is here
    Donald

  7. I think that the complete lack of consultation and making decisions regardless of what the community feels is just what this so called GREEN run council does.
    We did not vote for this attitude and why do they think that they know best and any one disagrees is just not fully informed.They are never wrong. The examples of this continue to mount in the shire.
    The condition of the roads is a complete embarrassment to everyone who lives here.

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