AS the harsh impact of the coronavirus pandemic on south-west businesses continues, two Warrnambool City councillors want to see the introduction of free short-term parking.
Crs Mike Neoh and Kylie Gaston, both former mayors, are urging the council to allow people to park for free for 15 minutes at the southern end of Liebig Street and around other hospitality businesses.
Cr Neoh said he had spoken to a number of Liebig Street south food premises who were making adjustments to business structures and models.
"The key to many is the focus on takeaway, pick-up and home delivery services given the social distancing requirements," Cr Neoh said.
"There is great comradery in the hospitality sector. While future restrictions are unknown all the sector can do at the moment is innovate and minimise the impact.
"After consulting with a number of owners, the request is for 15 minutes free parking in the Liebig Street south restaurant precinct and outside of other food premises in other streets to meet the demand for takeaway, pick-up and delivery services."
He said the free parking proposal was just one practical intervention the council could take.
"Interventions need to be targeted and this measure, while small, is supported by restaurants, cafes and takeaway operators," he said.
Crs Gaston and Neoh also foreshadowed that due to the economic downturn a 'plan b' needed to be developed in relation to rate levels and strategies, particularly for those in financial difficulty.
All councillors will come together for a committee of the whole meeting on Monday and Crs Gaston and Neoh said they would put forward their parking request as urgent business.
Cr Gaston thanked the people working at the coalface of the health crisis.
"We want to express our gratitude to everyone in our community working on the front lines," she said.
Council's chief executive officer Peter Schneider said its business continuity plan had been enacted to provide guidance on how important services could be maintained.
"COVID-19 is challenging the way in which all of us conduct our lives, businesses and operations but if we heed the expert medical advice, be understanding and co-operative, we can help to contain the virus and mitigate its impacts on our community," he said.