Jarrah Schmah of Nimbin finding more treasures at Brunswick Head’s Old and Gold Festival. 
Photo: Nolan Verheij-Full / Northern Star
Jarrah Schmah of Nimbin finding more treasures at Brunswick Head’s Old and Gold Festival. Photo: Nolan Verheij-Full / Northern Star Nolan Verheij-Full

Council reveals unlucky number of Old & Gold parking fines

THIRTEEN motorists were issued parking fines of $330 each while visiting Brunswick Heads for the annual Old & Gold festival last weekend.

Locals were furious after seeing a high presence of Byron Shire Council parking inspectors at one of the biggest events of the year.

Director of Sustainable Environment & Economy Shannon Burt said a total of 13 infringements were issued in Brunswick Heads on the day.

"Council's Enforcement Team had a steady and consistent presence which resulted in good compliance throughout the day," Ms Burt said.

"These infringements were issued for vehicles stopped within 10 metres of an intersection, possibly the single most dangerous practice by motorists."

Dozens of 'move on' directives were also issued as council staff moved along those drivers about the make a mistake with their parking.

"Council installed variable message signs on the northern and southern approaches into town to warn motorists not to stop in intersections, or risk a fine."

Old & Gold coordinator Cherie Heale said she didn't believe council was heavy handed on the day.

"The whole time they wanted to take a soft approach for locals and visitors," Ms Heale said.

"People may have been misled because there were notices being put on cars."

"But from what I have heard from council there were only fines being issued for intersection blockage."

In her three years as coordinator, Ms Heale has been working closely with the council to establish a good relationship.

"The last few years we have developed a good relationships with council staff, they even came to our meetings to make sure we were all on the same page, but it was always a soft approach," she said.

Ms Burt said the two designated parking areas at Memorial Park and the local primary school "assisted generally with greater compliance".

"For many years now, Council has worked alongside the organising committee of the Old & Gold Festival in Brunswick heads to provide the best use of our enforcement personnel and their processes," Ms Burt said.

"The focus at Old & Gold is on community and event safety and we work closely with organisers, business owners, police, Council's Events Officer and the general public to achieve this.

"The low infringement numbers, presence and corrective actions by officers and the absence of any support calls from the committee all suggest a very successful event."