The way parking works in Brunswick Heads could be dramatically changed, depending on recommendations yet to go before the council and whether they’re supported.
The way parking works in Brunswick Heads could be dramatically changed, depending on recommendations yet to go before the council and whether they’re supported.

Proposed parking changes to be prepared for council consideration

MORE than $100,000 worth of parking fines were dished out to motorists in Brunswick Heads over the 2018/19 financial year, according to a council report.

Of the 766 fines that totalled $109,993, 386 involved people overstaying time limits.

A report which investigated the possibility of establishing periodic paid parking in Brunswick Heads went before the council’s February ordinary meeting.

At its May, 2019 meeting, the council resolved to postpone a decision on the Brunswick Heads Parking Scheme Performance Review for one month.

The delay was to allow staff to consult with community groups and better analyse data on infringements.

Traffic and Parking Systems (TPS) engaged to conduct the survey and recommended 16 of the existing two-hour parking spots be converted to 1P.

The Brunswick Heads Chamber of Commerce objected to this, saying they’d like to see about a dozen spots already converted in 2018 turned back to two-hour spots.

TPS found most of the 14 parking zones in the town were “operating at or near capacity” for most of the year”.

While three zones had “regular parking opportunities” and the current parking in the town was therefore “adequate”, TPS said demand across all zones was tipped to approach capacity in the next five year.

Along with increasing 1P spaces, TPS recommended increasing enforcement of parking infringements and additional surveys over a wider area.

At the meeting, councillors Alan Hunter and Jan Hackett called for further investigations to be undertaken but this was not supported by their colleagues.

“I don’t think the last few months have been typical of the parking habits so I’d like to see it extended,” Cr Hunter said.

Cr Hunter said he’d be “more supportive of paid parking” if the council wasn’t “wasting the money”.

“There’s been so many examples of irresponsible spending,” he said.

“I can’t support paid parking in Brunswick until we have a better approach to the way in which we spend money.

“If we didn’t spend it, we wouldn’t need it.”

Mayor Simon Richardson disagreed, saying the staff report said they were doing more than they needed to.

“How long is this going to be kicked down the road … and when do we actually say yes or no to something?” he said.

“This is a delaying tactic to simply try and not make this happen.”

Cr Basil Cameron said it was important to ensure the data “stands up to scrutiny”.

Formal recommendations from staff are expected to go before the council in May.