Parking solution needed
By PETER CATON
Kingscliff jammed, but meters 'not the answer'
URGENT action needs to be taken to overcome the worsening shortage of car parking in Kingscliff - a problem set to be in the spotlight this weekend with the Art, Food and All That Jazz Festival.
That's the view of Kingscliff and District Chamber of Commerce president Des Ireland, who says it is impossible some days to find a parking spot in the centre of the coastal township.
Tweed Shire Council officers agree a problem exists. But, probably to the relief of thousands, they have virtually ruled out one option - parking meters.
A coastal council in Sydney, Randwick, was yesterday forced to abandon plans to meter 7700 parking spaces after a campaign by celebrities, footballers and surfers.
But Mr Ireland yesterday accused Tweed Shire Council of failing to act on Kingscliff's parking problems which create a traffic deadlock in peak periods such as Christmas.
He said hopes of using developer contributions to the council to purchase new car-parking areas had been dashed because Kingscliff land prices had been rising faster than the contributions.
"If we rely on that we will be waiting forever," he said.
Mr Ireland said nothing had been done even though the different proposals had been "tossed around for three to four years".
A plan personally favoured by himself was for a two-level car park off Marine Parade taking a small area of the current caravan park, with the top deck level with, or just slightly below, the street.
Mr Ireland said it would be similar to the Murwillumbah Hospital two-storey car park.
"It would provide about 180 car parks and it would solve the problem for the next four to five years," he added.
The other obvious option, he said, was for the council to buy land off either Turnock or Pearl streets and build a multi-storey car park, but that would cost much more.
Council chief engineer Mike Rayner said $60,000 had been provided in this year's budget for about a dozen extra spaces to be created near the boat ramp, south of the CBD on Cudgen Creek, and the previous, elected council, had resolved to include car parking and pedestrian activity in a development plan for the township.
But he believed meters "are not an option".
DO you have an opinion on Kingscliff's parking woes? Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or write to PO Box 6336, Tweed Heads South 2486.