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Byron Shire
May 24, 2024

Pay Parking push is back on for Bruns, Mullum 

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The perennial push by Council to deploy pay parking in Brunswick Heads and Mullumbimby was voted through at last week’s meeting – all with the support of every councillor except Alan Hunter.

At the end of debate, councillors agreed to allocate $140,000 ‘to fund an updated parking study including an expansion of the pay parking areas and an assessment of current supply and demand, time limits’. 

A further report was requested from staff by April 2023 ‘on the above, and also on comparative pay parking rates in other local government areas’. 

As for the unfolding pod development on Prince Street, Mullumbimby, staff have been instructed to ‘Consult with Transport for NSW in relation to parking/overflow associated with the temporary housing within the rail corridor and possible legacy outcomes from this initiative related to parking areas; and provide a further report on options to progress/fund a revised parking study’. 

A further report was requested ‘on options to progress/fund a revised parking study’ for Mullumbimby. 

During debate, Mayor Michael Lyon told the chamber that this was an election commitment with regards to revenue raising and the easing of traffic congestion.

He said, ‘I’ve noticed it’s now easier to park in Mullum over the last few months… I suspect more people aren’t living in the town because of the floods’.

Yet staff said later that pay parking, if adopted in Mullum and Bruns, would not be a revenue raiser and instead could cost Council to run the sheme.

‘It’s more for traffic management’, they said, because locals are mostly the users of the pay parking machines. 

Cr Peter Westheimer asked staff why $140,000 was the amount requested. 

A staff member replied it was ‘difficult to come up with a correct figure’, and was hoping it will be less than that amount. Most of the cost incurred was with traffic data collection, they said.

Cr Mark Swivel told the chamber he wanted to see pay parking introduced into Mullum, yet conceded there could be blow back from residents.

A packed gallery at a former Byron Shire Council meeting that saw vocal opposition to paid parking for Brunswick Heads. Photo Hans Lovejoy

Sell proposal

‘We need to sell this proposal effectively, despite the intensity of objection [it may receive]’.

‘I met with a new group in Sunrise [Byron Bay], and they have positive perceptions of Byron’s CBD pay parking’. 

Cr Hunter said meanwhile he was ‘still not convinced that business is out of the woods’, and that tourism confidence had returned. He said, ‘I’m nervous about doing anything that doesn’t help the business community’.

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  1. Parking Schmarking…stop living in the 70’s, the future is now!
    More importantly, when will the Mayor make parking free for locals as per his campaign promise?

  2. All paid parking will do is push shoppers away from the high streets of any town and into the free parking super stores on the fringe of town. The world’s towns are full of dead high streets and huge out of town shopping malls.

  3. So in the last 2 or 3 years Council has reduced parking bays by at least 12 with their pointless green corridor street scheme and other changes. Many of the wasted spaces have not been designated for motorcycles and so car parking spaces are taken by motorcycles and now they want to charge fees to manage the turnover of parking spaces. Add in the inevitable loss of the Ponciana carpark if that development proceeds for a gain of just 3 affordable units in the development of 30 units that are not affordable and only enforced by law as affordable for 10 years. The Council bought the site next to Woolies for $450,000 and sold it for the same a few years later when it could have been developed for much needed parking or housing and now another waste of money on the parking study. Add in the stupid yellow lumps and white poles when the pedestrian pavement is wide and quite adequate and the concrete posts in parking bays that for an unknown reason are deemed necessary in Burringbar St but not Stuart St, and all for what purpose when everything was just fine before. There is rarely a Council announcement these days that doesn’t irritate or seem a waste of money or seem like someone at Council is trying to justify their job existence.

    • ….then join or participate in council community groups or actions groups.

      the council is not some authoritarian body based in some far away city, its right in the middle of town, there are ample ways to get involved in local council.

      typical mullum resident, blaming the government for everything, how about you get involved, be the change you want otherwise stop complaining.

      There is absolutely nothing at all stopping you from getting involved.


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