Locals benefit in Byron parking plan
By WILL JACKSON
KEITH ANDERSON was 'stoked' to hear that locals won't be charged for parking in the Cape Byron Headland Reserve.
However, the Surfing Far North Coast regional administrator and Byron Bay resident said he still had doubts about the plan to install parking meters in carparks at The Pass, Cosy Corner and Captain Cook Lookout.
The Cape Byron Trust announced on Friday that Byron Shire residents would be exempt from the parking fees, after vocal protests from local surfers and anglers.
The plans to charge locals outraged the Byron Bay Boardriders Club, the Surfrider Foundation and more than 100 Byron Shire residents who attended a protest last month.
"It's good that the trust has looked at the proposal again and seen it our way," said Keith.
But he added that with the cost of employing people to enforce the restrictions and run the machines he didn't think the plan was practical.
He also said that due to the remoteness of the carparks, the meters would almost certainly be vandalised or destroyed.
Angler Rob Kennedy, a Mcleans Ridges resident, said he didn't think the plan was fair to people who lived in the area but outside the shire.
"I fish and surf here regularly," he said.
"Just because of where I live, I have to pay?"
Trust chairperson Yvonne Stewart said the arrangement would be reviewed in six months 'to determine if the implementation of paid parking meets the needs for maintaining the reserve'.
Reserve manager Sue Walker said the parking meters would be placed at Cosy Corner and The Pass in the next couple of weeks. The existing honesty system would remain at the Captain Cook lookout carpark until it was upgraded.
From December 12, local residents who show their By- ron Shire-based vehicle registrations papers at the Trust's Visitor Centre will receive a free parking permit.
No fines will be issued during the first month, to give residents time to obtain the permits.
Regular visitors can purchase annual passes for all carparks for $20 until June 30, 2006.