RALLYING POINT: Bangalow Chamber of Commerce President Jo Millar.
RALLYING POINT: Bangalow Chamber of Commerce President Jo Millar. Christian Morrow

Paid parking resistance

BANGALOW residents and businesses are taking their opposition to paid parking to the next level with a rally planned for 9am on Saturday outside the Bangalow Hotel.

President of the Chamber of Commerce Jo Millar said, "Perhaps council need to see people at a rally before they get the message.”

"But I am hopeful the mayor, who stood on a platform of consultation with the community, will regain sight of that and do the right thing.”

The rally comes after last week's meeting of around ninety Bangalow residents and business owners expressed their opposition to the scheme.

Ms Millar addressed the meeting saying: "We are not the only ones who feel strongly about paid parking. Communities all around Australia, including in Coogee, Yarraville and Henley Beach have fought paid parking and won.

"There is now a trend for councils to turn off meters or take them out because of the negative impacts.

"A study in Yarraville, a rural town in Victoria, found a 5-40% decline in income for small businesses after the introduction of paid parking.”

Opposition to the scheme continues despite Byron Council making E-permits available to people living in Clunes, Newrybar, Rosebank, Nashua, Brooklet, Booyong and Repentance Creek. Council has also promised funds raised from paid parking in Bangalow will go straight back into the town by way of projects and infrastructure.

"I have been told by council that there are 107 parking spaces here in Bangalow compared to 1,659 in Byron Bay,” Ms Millar said.

"If there are as many locals with E-permits parking for no charge then the number of visitors paying to park is likely to be small, making it unlikely there will be as much yield as expected after the expense of installation.

For more information go to Bangalow 2479 Facebook page.