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Businesses fight back against paid parking

METERD RESPONSE: Bangalow Chamber of Commerce president Jo Millar is worried about council's proposed paid parking for the small town.
METERD RESPONSE: Bangalow Chamber of Commerce president Jo Millar is worried about council's proposed paid parking for the small town. Marc Stapelberg

RESIDENTS and businesses of Bangalow are taking their paid parking fight a step further step with a rally planned for Saturday.

President of the Bangalow Chamber of Commerce, Jo Millar, said the upcoming rally was designed to send Byron Shire Council a clear message.

"Perhaps council needs to see people at a rally before they get the message,” Ms Millar said.

She said in the lead up to the implementation of paid parking, council had not done its due diligence when gathering data to support its proposal.

"We don't have any of the information that would support the council's claim that paid parking in Bangalow is a way for tourists to contribute to the shire's infrastructure,” Ms Millar said.

She said the council had completed two studies concerning traffic and parking in the town centre and neither supported the paid parking proposal.

"They say there isn't a parking issue in Bangalow. Car parking spaces turn over regularly, they're saying every 54 minutes,” Ms Millar said.

The chamber claimed those studies, combined with an "invalid” survey, demonstrated there was no need for the council to go ahead with paid parking.

"I'm really infuriated and frustrated because the mayor is saying things to us like 'the sky won't fall in',” Ms Millar said.

Concerned shop owner Peter Mortimore said he just wanted a fair go from council with more than one day of study completed.

"The whole study has been based on one day (of) data collection,” Mr Mortimore said.

"We are being told all the time 65 per cent of people are in favour of it but that survey is a total fabrication of the real attitude and view that Bangalow has.”

The chamber is collecting signatures and hosting a rally at 9am on Saturday to show council it won't back down.

Topics:  bangalow chamber of commerce byron shire council northern rivers businesses northern rivers council paid parking bangalow



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