Cr: give shoppers free CBD parking 

SHOPPERS in central Warrnambool will have free parking in off-street CBD parking areas for the summer peak season if a notice of motion before tonight’s city council meeting is approved.

Cr Brian Kelson, who operates a Liebig Street retail store, proposes to put forward four suggestions to ease the burden on motorists’ wallets.

“We need to bring life back into the CBD of Warrnambool."

His proposal is: 

- that the council waive all car parking fees in Parkers, Ozone Square and Cramond and Dickson car parks; 

- that the Coles/Youngers car park be subject to the agreement of the landowners to waive the fees; 

- that free parking start on December 10 and operate until January 31; and

- that this will not preclude parking infringements for those who overstay time-limited parking areas.

Cr Kelson said every effort should be made to entice shoppers to the CBD.

“We need to bring life back into the CBD of Warrnambool,” he said.

“Businesses are struggling and if parking fees are waived for the busy summer months I think it could be a winner.”

Cr Kelson had earlier expressed frustration in being restricted from debate on CBD issues because he was a retailer and it could be seen as a conflict of interest.

“I find it very hard to carry out the job of being a councillor under restraints placed by local government guidelines,” he said.

In August the council reduced parking fees in its main off-street areas to entice more motorists to use designated bays rather than clogging up residential median strips.

The cost of all-day parking was reduced in Parkers, the art gallery and the Koroit Street car parks.

At Parkers all-day use is $4.20, down from $7.20, while at the art gallery and Koroit Street areas the all-day rate dropped from $4.20 to $2.

According to the council’s website there are about 3500 on- and off-street car parking spaces in the CBD, of which 1040 are all-day parks.

An extra 123 spaces will be created by June 2015 by sealing and marking the gravel car parks off Grace Avenue and Fairy Street plus putting an extra 15 bays on Spence Street.

Negotiations are also continuing with VicTrack to use the railway yards which could provide almost 300 bays south of Merri Street.

The council meeting, which starts at 5.45pm, also includes a  petition on parking at the Archie Graham centre, a review of the Fun4Kids Festival, the Brierly community hub feasibility study, the housing strategy final report, and north Dennington housing affordability program report.

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