Paid parking on the table for Brunswick Heads

Paid parking could become a reality for Brunswick Heads.
Paid parking could become a reality for Brunswick Heads. Tracey Hordern

PAID parking looks like becoming a reality for Brunswick Heads, with council-commissioned parking studies finding time limits for parking in Brunswick Heads towns could improve the amount of parking spaces for locals and visitors.

Like everywhere else in the shire, locals are not happy at the prospect.

A Brunswick Heads Chamber of Commerce spokesperson said the group has had a firm position opposing paid parking for the last decade.

"We don't necessarily believe paid parking is the solution to Brunswick Heads' parking issues and in our last business survey, in 2015, 92.2% of respondents were against paid parking," the spokesperson said.

"We want to be part of the solution and will be meeting over the next two weeks to identify the issues and consider various options to resolve them. We are looking at presenting an alternative proposal to paid parking for council to consider."

Byron Shire Council general manager Ken Gainger said the number of visitors to Brunswick Heads and Mullumbimby was increasing and this was placing pressure on parking and traffic management in the towns.

"This is not an issue that is going to go away so council has developed draft parking management strategies for both towns," Mr Gainger said.

"In Mullumbimby and Brunswick Heads more than 60% of parking in the town centres is all-day parking, which doesn't leave that many parking options on a busy day.

"Brunswick Heads is a popular tourist destination, particularly on the weekends, and council also wants to get residents' and business owners' opinions on the possible introduction of paid parking in the town.

"We are not considering implementing paid parking in Mullum but council does think there could be significant long-term benefits for the Brunswick Heads community if the scheme was introduced.

"Paid parking is a way to generate income from visitors and our estimates show we could raise more than $900,000 a year."

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