SUNDAY morning started out well with Trent Kemp and his family heading to Nelson Bay foreshore to spend time together.
However Mr Kemp was shocked to realise that he had to pay for parking and the few hours together would cost more than $5.50 for a mere hour and a half.
“Surely Sundays should be free for locals,” Trent Kemp told Bay News Of The Area.
“People want to enjoy our beautiful town on a Sunday with their families and not have to pay by the hour for parking,” Mr Kemp said.
Currently in the Byron Bay Shire, which has similarities to Nelson Bay, locals and ratepayers can purchase an annual parking E-permit exemption for $50.
Businesses and workers within the pay parking area can also purchase an E-permit exemption.
There is no cost for residents with a Centrelink card or with a mobility permit.
Here in Nelson Bay, the parking meter revenue is currently divided into three categories being Crown land parking, Council land parking and Marina car parking.
Each revenue raised goes to each owner of the category.
In the case of Crown land parking, Port Stephens Council can apply to the Crown to receive the revenue back and it is then used to maintain or redevelop crown land.
Originally the decision to put in the meters was made to fund future car parking projects in the CBD.
“The whole idea of paid parking needs to be reexamined, and is the right thing to do for the whole of Nelson Bay,” Ryan Palmer, President of The Tomaree Business Chamber, told Bay News Of The Area.
“I believe that the removal of fees for 12 months is something that should be trialed, in order to bring locals back to the CBD,” Mr Palmer said.
By Jewell DRURY