16.1 C
Byron Shire
May 12, 2021

Bruns Chamber ramps up opposition to paid parking

Latest News

Re Netflix

David Gilet, Byron Bay You would have to say that the Byron district has more than its fair share of wankers,...

Other News

Respect for Country

Léandra Martiniello, Whian Whian It is the night of the full moon, I have just watched it rise. On the...

Co-op meeting

Annette Snow, Myocum As a Mullumbimby Rural Co-op shareholder of 42 years and a past employee of over 13 years,...

OCA a ‘diamond in the rough’

Around four years ago a group of like-minded friends started a Syntropic Farm project. Since that time, they have...

Water strategy

Alan Dickens, Brunswick Heads The people of Mullumbimby would be aware that Byron Shire Council (BSC) intends to hand over...

How full is that glass?

Cr Alan Hunter, Byron Shire Council Council Staff recommend opposing the proposed changes in the Exempt Development provisions to be considered...

Mayor’s parting gift 

Michele Grant, Ocean Shores The Mayor’s parting gift to the Bruns/Bayside Community was ushering through approval for the controversial Corso...

Russian men’s choir Dustyesky lifted spirits at a previous rally against paid parking in Brunswick Heads. Photo Jeff Dawson

With Council’s push for paid parking on Brunswick Heads, the town’s business chamber are ramping up their opposition. They claim it is ‘neither needed or wanted’, and ‘not compatible with our Simple Pleasures village ethos’.

Chamber president, Juliana Harmsen, said, ‘Council agreed at its meeting on June 27 last year to undertake an economic assessment of the town and its small businesses, as required by the RMS guidelines, and requested by the Brunswick Heads Chamber of Commerce.

‘The Council also resolved to undertake more extensive data collection and bring reports back to Council in May.

Adversely impacted

‘We have always strongly believed that our small businesses will be adversely impacted by paid parking, and the employment sector will be hit hard, so we welcomed the economic assessment.

‘The Yarraville Village experience showed there were five to 40 per cent losses in trade when they introduced paid parking, and it is likely the same will happen in Bruns’, said Ms Harmsen.

‘With all the data collected from our business surveys (undertaken every three years), and frequent personal contact with our business community, the chamber understands the Bruns economy’, she said.

Ms Harmsen says the chamber wrote to Council in April, requesting that the Bruns parking management issue be taken off the table until late next year, because of the significant impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses and the cancellation of Bluesfest and Splendour.

Kim Rosen, chair of the Chamber’s No Paid Parking Committee, said, ‘We can’t understand how Council could even think of trying to force paid parking on us again this year!

‘The possible implementation of paid parking, even periodic paid parking, is the last thing our devastated small businesses need to worry about at this time’, said Mrs Rosen.

‘Everyone’s focus is on survival and recovery, and that could take well over a year.

‘Unfortunately, the Chamber’s request was denied, and the item is coming to a Council meeting soon.

‘The staff will make a recommendation to Council, based on the economic assessment by EthosUrban, an Intercept Study, and a report on turnover and infringement levels’.

However, the No Paid Parking Committee say they are unhappy with the quality of the EthosUrban Report.

They say that many of its findings and conclusions are based on opinions and generalisations, and that some of the data does not stand up to scrutiny.

Mrs Rosen claims there was little ground-truthing that took place in the EthosUrban Report.

‘The consultant was advised by Council of “traffic congestion or traffic issues,” despite this not being true (except on Twilight Market night and Old & Gold).

‘It was repeated no less than 13 times throughout the Report, as if it were a fact!’ she said.

‘The consultant was only in town for a couple of days, and only spoke to a few businesses. Only two other stakeholders, both of whom have no knowledge of the town’s economy or the number of visitors versus locals, were spoken to, and that was by phone,’ Mrs Rosen said.

Mrs Rosen said that Yarraville Village in Victoria, which had parking meters installed and then removed because of the outcry, was discounted by EthosUrban as a useful comparison because there were five differences between Yarraville and Brunswick Heads.

‘Funnily enough, there were also ten similarities between Yarraville and Bruns, according to the comprehensive 2016 Au and Young Study undertaken’, she said.

Chamber president, Juliana Harmsen added that the ‘need for revenue’ was a strong theme in the initial briefing document.

Mayor Simon Richardson (Greens) was asked if he agreed that paid parking in the town should be delayed owing to COVID-19, but there was no reply by deadline.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

4 COMMENTS

  1. I can’t believe they’re still pushing for this. Terrible for the community and local businesses. The bloody rates they charge us are high enough, now they’re trying to leech more out of us during a recession. People vote in the Greens so they’ll look after the community and not be penny-pinching wreckers.

  2. Many, many years ago I owned a record shop in Ipswich. For some reason [I can’t remember why] the council removed all car parking charges for one week.. Our sales doubled in that week, yes doubled. Paid parking kills retail, and also favours people with the money who can afford it.

  3. Unbelievable that the Council wants to wreck more businesses with exhorbitant parking fees. Definitely do not want parking meters in Byron Shire.

  4. If it wasn’t for paid parking in Byron Bay, locals would never get a park in town. We still struggle to get parks at the beaches despite having NP passes.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Cartoon of the week – 12 May, 2021

Letters to the editor We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters is at the discretion of...

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning May 12

Check out what's on going the Byron Shire and surrounding area this week

Father and son win first sailing race

Sixteen boats competed in the Tweed Valley Sailing Club’s race day earlier this month in a 10-12 knot breeze that suited the newcomers to...

Oceans 15 triumphant return


The Ocean Shores Aquatics team have returned home with some great results after a month-long stint at various State School Swimming competitions. ‘They have all...