Paid parking wrangle continues in Byron
PAID Parking campaigner Paul McCarthy has accused Byron Shire Council of letting locals down following last Thursday's vote to lock in just 50 per cent of funds raised by paid parking in Byron Bay to the town itself.
But Mayor Simon Richardson says the picture is not so simple and Byron Bay will wind up with closer to 65 per cent of paid parking fees and that it was important to have funds from Byron's parking scheme flow equitably across the whole shire.
"When you consider that Byron will collect 100% of the revenue from the meters on Crown Reserve land at Main Beach and Captain Cooks together with 50 per cent of all the other metres as well as a a proportion of the fines and parking permits money Byron will be receiving nearer to 60-65 per cent of the revenue," Cr Richardson said.
Council's resolution noted that so far at least 50 per cent of revenue collected had been used in town and "affirmed that 50 per cent of all non-Crown paid parking revenue from Byron Bay continue to be used to fund projects in Byron Bay."
Council also resolved: "The distribution of all paid parking revenue be reviewed should additional paid parking schemes be implemented".
In other words should paid parking schemes be introduced in Bangalow or Brunswick Heads, the Byron Bay scheme will be reviewed.
Mr McCarthy had been backing the motion put up by Councillor Paul Spooner at Thursday's meeting of council that would have guaranteed to have 100 per cent the money raised allocated in town.
"This is a slap in the face for locals who get swamped by more than two million visitors per year," Mr McCarthy said. "Council have got to stop treating the people of Byron Bay as a cash cow for the rest of the shire."
Mr McCarthy said the fight was not over saying: "We will now be organising a petition so the people of Byron Bay can stand up and have their say".
Cr Spooner believes that under the current arrangement put in place by last Thursday's meeting there is "no way in hell" paid parking could be introduced anywhere else in the shire.
"With yesterday's vote there is a danger we have set up a real us and them dynamic across the shire," he said.
"If we want this to work we need a unified system across the shire."