A vote on the latest Brunswick Heads Parking Review recommendations is expected today’s Council meeting (Thursday June 27).
Kim Rosen from the Brunswick Heads Chamber of Commerce is calling on councillors, led by Greens mayor Simon Richardson, to support the latest parking recommendations, ‘which repeat a couple of the May 23 recommendations, [and] are fair and sensible’.
Rosen says, ‘TPS, the consultants engaged by Council to conduct the review, concluded that Brunswick has up to five years before its parking capacity is reached. The consultant also said that paid parking is premature for Brunswick Heads’.
‘There was a clear majority against paid parking in Council’s own 2017 survey (even with the sweetener of returning money to the town); 91.2 per cent opposition from local businesses, and 6,240 petition signatures against paid parking’, she said.
‘Despite all this, at the [previous] May 23 meeting the mayor tried to force paid parking on Bruns in a late surprise on-the-run amendment. Fortunately, the majority of councillors agreed to defer the discussion for a month while crucial missing data were collected,’ said Ms Rosen.
Need better understanding
‘At the May 23 meeting, all councillors, including the mayor, agreed that the survey area should be extended beyond the CBD so that more data should be collected to better understand the town’s parking supply and demands, and that an economic assessment be undertaken,’ she said.
‘So what is different this time around?
‘Staff now recommend that this data come back to Council for discussion in May 2020 and that no changes should made to the current times and layout until then.
‘It seems that new information on the parking situation over at the beach has just come to light,’ explains Rosen.
‘With the classification of Crown Land under review, the current number of parking spaces (about 360) could be almost halved, and this would have a significant flow-on impact on the CBD,’ says Ms Rosen. ‘So it makes perfect sense to wait until more is known.
‘We also agree with TPS and staff that we need to know a lot more about the parking supply and demand in the ring beyond the CBD before any significant decisions are made about parking’, she said.
‘Not only will paid parking in the CBD hurt our businesses and result in job losses, but residents outside the CBD would bear the brunt of all the cars avoiding the meters’, she said.
‘Our community values our small businesses, jobs, village atmosphere, and sense of place.’
On the outcome at next Thursday’s meeting Mrs Rosen says, ‘It’s hard to understand why councillors wouldn’t respect the latest recommendations from their own consultants and the community that they represent.’
‘Unfortunately, recent comments to the media by the mayor suggest there could be another attempt to force paid parking on our village on Thursday.’