Mayor 'flummoxed' by change of heart on paid parking
A COST-BENEFIT analysis and delivery plan to consider the viability of paid parking in Brunswick Heads will be prepared.
But the matter won't go back before the council until 2022.
Byron Shire Council voted 5-4 to rescind a previous decision on the matter at its ordinary meeting today.
At the June meeting, councillors resolved to hold off on a decision until the end of this financial year.
A move to reverse this decision, brought by mayor Simon Richardson, deputy mayor Sarah Ndiaye and Cr Jeanette Martin, was successful.
But during the debate Cr Ndiaye withdrew her support for the mayor's subsequent motion, which was seeking to have a cost-benefit analysis and any steps forward considered at the council's October 2020 meeting.
In supporting the rescission itself, Cr Ndiaye said it would be "grossly irresponsible" for the issue to go before the first meeting of the new council after the 2021 election.
"I don't think any of us, when you give it full forethought, (believe) to land it in the first meeting of council … is the right thing to do," Cr Ndiaye said.
Cr Ndiaye put forward an amendment which called to push the matter to the council's March 2022 meeting.
She also asked that parking meters not be used until capacity reaches 90 per cent at busy times, compared to 80 per cent under the mayor's motion.
"I don't see the benefit outweighing the risk right now and I'm really sorry that's going to make people really frustrated," Cr Ndiaye said.
Cr Ndiaye stressed she did support the principal of paid parking in Brunswick Heads.
Brunswick Heads business owner and representative of the No Paid Parking for Brunswick Heads group Kim Rosen had urged councillors to oppose the rescission, saying parking meters were "not compatible" with the town.
But the council heard 12 of 15 Brunswick Heads Progress Association who were polled supported paid parking.
Cr Richardson said he was "flummoxed" by the shift in support for his motion.
Cr Ndiaye's motion passed in a 5-4 vote.