Byron council?s parking blitz labelled ?draconian
By ZOE SATHERLEY
THE Byron Shire Council has been revealed as the most aggressive in regional NSW at handing out parking fines.
Freedom of Information (FOI) figures obtained by Sydney media show that Byron Shire Council increased its revenue from parking fines by 58 per cent for 2004/05 compared with 2002/03.
Byron Bay Chamber of Commerce secretary Tim Tetley said council's policing of parking in- fringements was 'draconian' and was having a 'disastrous effect' on business.
"Both visitors and locals struggle to find a parking spot when they come into town ? particularly an over two hours spot."
Mr Tetley said the council was putting up a new parking plan for public debate on October 25.
"But we haven't been allowed to see it or have any input into its development, so it's still a mystery to us," he said. "It will be up before the next council meeting."
The Northern Star was unsuc- cessful in reaching Byron mayor Cr Jan Barham for comment yesterday.
The FOI figures showed that Lismore City Council's revenue from parking fines had risen by 47 per cent over the same period and Ballina's by 34 per cent. Richmond Valley Council's revenue from parking fines dropped by 31 per cent.
Lismore Unlimited Opportunities president Anthony Parker said he had been booked only last week for overstaying the parking limit outside Harvey Norman, where he is manager.
"I would have been booked over a dozen times," he said.
"I accept responsibility for parking illegally."