Pay park­ing caus­ing con­cern in Air­lie Beach

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

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.

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