Smart Parking: Big Brother Is Watching You!

Business Port Stephens President Leah Anderson in the now individually sensor timed parking bays. Photo: Marian Sampson.


SMART Parking in the Bay means that Big Brother is watching you or at least your car!

The introduction of Smart Parking has caused plenty of headaches for locals and visitors already raising the ire of business owners who are concerned about the negative impact they will have on visitors shopping time in the Bay.

But there is at least one bit of good news.

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A Council spokesperson told News Of The Area, “Permits do not need to be renewed for this financial year however, renewals will be required by 30 June 2022.”

Originally permits needed to be renewed in June 2021.

“Council will send a communication to permit holders closer to the renewal date.”

Sensors have been installed into the parking spots in Nelson Bay over the past few days.

The vehicle sensor is positioned in the centre of the parking bay, and detects the car as it enters the parking space.

The sensor constantly monitors the vehicle’s presence in the bay until the driver re-enters the vehicle and the vehicle departs.

“Information about the arrival and departure of a vehicle is sent back to our (Councils) network, where it is recorded and managed according to the time of day, the bay location, any applicable parking restrictions, and any additional event or clearway information that may affect the status of the parking bay and the vehicle parked within it.”

While locals can park free with a permit, time limits still apply.

“This means you can still be fined if you overstay the signposted time limits.

“The sensors tell us how long vehicles have been parking for however they don’t know if you have a Disability Parking Pass.

“Our compliance team checks for the display of Disability Passes prior to any fines being issued.”

“Council is currently working through our approach and timing for consultation for Birubi and Shoal Bay — this may not happen until after September 2021.

“This consultation will include the development of a list of priority projects to be funded from the additional revenue raised through the smart parking at these locations.”

The use of technology is designed to improve Council efficiency.

Business Port Stephens President Leah Anderson told News Of The Area, “There are still many business owners in the Nelson Bay CBD who still find that the Smart “paid” Parking in Nelson Bay is affecting their business.

“In particular the 7am to 7pm paid parking hours, and also the actual cost of the parking.

“In addition to this, we are still waiting for the Council to advertise the first 15 minutes parking is free.

“Also, the actual “Smart Parking” system is still yet to be turned on, with the electronic signs directing traffic to available parking spaces.

“Local business owners were recently involved in completing a survey to assess the impact of paid parking, and we are looking forward to seeing the results of the survey,” said Anderson.



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