Coun­cil con­sid­ers park­ing

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - jjen­vey@ne­me­ BY JUSTIN JENVEY

INDIGO Shire coun­cil­lors have re­jected a pro­posal to pur­chase a newly avail­able block of land in Beech­worth for car park­ing.

At Tues­day night’s monthly meet­ing, coun­cil­lors had the op­tion to agree in prin­ci­ple to buy land at 63 High Street and to dis­cuss the po­ten­tial pur­chase fur­ther.

How­ever, af­ter Cr Larry Goldswor­thy moved the mo­tion the rec­om­men­da­tion lapsed with no sec­on­der.

Indigo Shire mayor Cr Jenny O’Con­nor said on Wed­nes­day morn­ing that coun­cil­lors would rather see a car park­ing plan for Beech­worth com­pleted be­fore com­mit­ting to what would be a large fi­nan­cial in­vest­ment by coun­cil.

Cr O’Con­nor said an ac­tion to de­velop a park­ing strat­egy for Beech­worth and Yackan­dan­dah was added to the four-year Coun­cil Plan in June.

“The gen­eral feel­ing (by coun­cil­lors) was that they wanted to see that work done be­fore we try to find a so­lu­tion,” Cr O’Con­nor said.

“Ba­si­cally get the plan done and then look at some op­tions rather than just buy­ing land as­sum­ing that we are go­ing to need it.

“There is a cau­tion around just spend­ing money with­out ev­i­dence be­hind it to say this is any im­por­tant thing to do.”

An anal­y­sis of car park­ing in Beech­worth iden­ti­fied that a num­ber of ar­eas ex­pe­ri­enced sig­nif­i­cant de­mand that ex­ceeded 90 per cent us­age for sev­eral hours dur­ing the mid­dle of the day.

Camp Street be­tween High and Ford streets was iden­ti­fied as an area with sig­nif­i­cant de­mand.

Shorter park­ing lim­its to fa­cil­i­tate greater turnover of ve­hi­cles has been sug­gested al­though it wasn’t viewed ideal for busi­nesses in the vicin­ity.

A coun­cil re­port said the par­cel of land at 63 High Street which was be­ing ad­ver­tised for $240,000 would al­low for about 25 car parks to be con­structed.

It was es­ti­mated that a fur­ther $20,000 would have to be spent to con­vert the block into an un­sealed car park.

It is ex­pected that the de­mand for park­ing in Beech­worth will con­tinue to grow as coun­cil com­pletes projects such as the Beech­worth/Yackan­dan­dah rail trail, Tourism Strat­egy and His­toric Precinct Master Plan.

Cr O’Con­nor said dis­cus­sions with In­dio Shire chief ex­ec­u­tive Trevor Ierino in­di­cated that coun­cil would soon look to de­velop the car park­ing plans for Beech­worth and Yackan­dan­dah.

“It’s been on our long-term strate­gic plan since this cur­rent coun­cil came in but we just haven’t got around to it yet,” she said.

“In a way it (Tues­day’s de­ci­sion) has put up a bit of a flag to say let’s get on with it be­cause in fact we are po­ten­tially miss­ing out on op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

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