Pay parking causing concern in Airlie Beach
WHITSUNDAY Mayor Jennifer Whitney is reminding residents to purchase a parking ticket in a metered zone to avoid receiving a $113 parking infringement notice.
“Most of the metered Council parking in Airlie Beach, including the two lagoon car parks, Port of Airlie and Abell Point Marina car parks are only $2 for the first two hours. It’s much simpler and cheaper to purchase a cheap parking ticket rather than attract an expensive parking infringement notice,” she said.
Jubilee Pocket resident Chantal Apruzzese is just one of the many locals concerned about the parking situation and the fact that “apparently parking fines have gone from $68 to $113”. “This doesn’t seem to be a CPI increase this just feels like a blatant rip off,” Ms Apruzzese said.
Cr Whitney confirmed that the Queensland Government determined the dollar amount for one penalty unit, which was set at $113.
She said Whitsunday Regional Council’s Local Laws set parking infringement notices at one penalty unit and two penalty units for stopping in a loading zone.
Ms Apruzzese said the only option for workers in the Airlie main street was to park at the lagoon car parks at a cost of $6 per day or $1560 a year, for a person working a five-day week.
“I’m happy to pay an annual fee to the Council for parking so that I can use the lagoon carpark, but I’m not given that option,” Ms Apruzzese said.
Cr Whitney said the parking plan for Airlie Beach was aimed less at servicing the employees of main street businesses and more at encouraging shoppers and trade, but she agreed “it’s something that Council’s got to continually look at”.
She also promised that next year, Council would look at ticket options “where you can park in any of the Council carparks”.
Meanwhile, the Whitsunday Ratepayers Association (WRA) has written to State Member Jason Costigan outlining their concerns, particularly about the parking fees at the Airlie Beach marinas.
WRA secretary Tony Moscato said the association believed this “may actually end up killing the goose”.
“We feel like if parking becomes so difficult and expensive it’s not going to forward the destination place we are becoming,” he said.