Car parking plan to provide future direction
DESPITE Cr Mike Brunker's belief that the parking situation in Airlie Beach had been "studied to death” Whitsunday Regional Council voted to receive a new study and act on the recommendations made by it today.
In April this year council commissioned PSA Consulting Australia to investigate the supply and demand of parking in Airlie Beach until 2031.
Their report is designed to ensure adequate car parking for residents and visitors to Airlie Beach, which can sustain future population growth and the growing tourism market.
Cr Brunker said the report did throw up some surprises and recommended that the Airlie Creek lagoon car park should not close.
"PSA found the Airlie Beach Precinct 1 will run out of car parks by 2024 should the car park be removed,” the report read.
However, the report did recommend a change in the configuration "so that unused areas may be used as community open space”.
Michelle Lynes, who stood for Division 1 in the council election this year, was in the public gallery today and read a letter to members of council in which she outlined her issues with the motion to "action” the report's recommendations.
"I am concerned,” she said, adding that members of the public had not been informed.
"(But) I think the recommendation (on the Airlie Creek car park) is good because it is going to open it up to more green space.”
Ms Lynes said the recommendation that eight, one-hour parks at the Airlie Creek (central lagoon) be reduced to 15 minutes was also a positive move.
However the stance taken by the report that the car parking situation in Airlie Beach required no immediate action did not sit well with her.
"It does, it always has,” she said.
"You have only got to go in on Saturday morning when the markets are on (to know) it's really hard to find a park.”
Cr Brunker said every town in Australia experienced problems with parking shortages.
"There are bits and pieces that go from the top of the town to the bottom that we have to address,” he said.
"It gives us a guideline. A guideline only to work at in the future.”