Call to delay paid parking to 2021 could be reversed
A PUSH to bring forward a decision on paid parking in Brunswick Heads will arise again before Byron Shire Council this week.
The voted in June to delay further consideration of the issue until the end of the 2020-21 financial year.
Mayor Simon Richardson and Cr Jeanette Martin - who were absent from that vote - and deputy mayor Sarah Ndiaye have lodged a rescission motion which will go before the ordinary meeting on Thursday.
They're seeking to have a decision on the matter this October instead.
Should Brunswick Heads have paid parking?
This poll ended on 27 August 2020.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
The motion also seeks for the council to keep monitoring parking demands in the town, asks that the council "not introduce pay parking to the CBD and beach precincts … until parking occupancy rates return to 80 per cent" and seeks for a "cost/benefit analysis" to be included in the report.
Cr Martin said she expected there to be a "very lively debate" on Thursday.
She said she was "not 100 per cent committed" to the October timeline, pending the discussion.
But she believes delaying the proposed change until next year would leave the town with traffic chaos over the Christmas period, if tourism picks up.
"I understand it's a tricky time but I don't think paid parking is going to stop people coming to Brunswick Heads," Cr Martin said.
A review of parking conducted for the council between September 2019 and February this year found the town's parking areas were "operating at or near capacity on most days of the week and particularly on Sundays".
The report found there was "little doubt" metered parking would reduce some of the strain.
But there has been pushback from the business community and last month, a representative of the No Paid Parking for Brunswick Heads group said 110 jobs had been lost in Brunswick Heads since the pandemic began.
Cr Alan Hunter said introducing paid parking was "likely to have a profound impact on Brunswick's business environment".
He said delaying a decision on the issue until next year would leave the council "much better informed" about the pandemic's long term impacts.