Freedom! Just $3 An Hour!!! 0

Welcome to Byron Bay!
The once hippy, but now hipster infested coastal town marketed here and internationally as the embodiment of a place that embodies the ethos of personal freedom. And yes, it is free, sort of. Well it used to be. We still have freedom, but well, this is embarrassing. You can have our Byron freedom, if you can afford it. If you want to experience this amazing freedom it will cost you $3 an hour. But then you’ll have to move your car so other people can come and experience the same $3 hourly freedom. From the 23rd December residents and visitors to the Byron Shire now have to pay for the privilege of parking in a town that is already overpriced, under serviced and over utilised.

Poor beloved Byron looks like she needs a good wipe down with a chux cloth. The Goddess turned hooker, needs some nurture…fill her pot holes, tend to her parks, build a toilet that doesn’t feel like you’re pissing in a giant tardis shaped bedpan. Stop milking Byron’s diminishing resources for more cash.

Paid Parking is a joke. It doesn’t actually create ‘more’ parking. It just creates a new level of compliance and over-regulation. Which doesn’t make the experience of going to Byron very enjoyable. In fact, it makes me anxious and angry. Somehow I don’t think that aligns with the Byron freedom vibe. In the end it just creates another reason ‘NOT’ to go to Byron Bay.

A few days after Christmas I decided to take the kids to the movies. I was prepared for the worst – apocalyptic traffic scenes necessitating the need to top up Rescue Remedy stores in the glove box and a mindfulness CD on repeat. I had done my breathing. I had let go of expectations. I was ready. What I encountered was unexpected. It was like a ghost town. $3 hour parking spots littered the streets. I had a choice of around 30 spots right across from the cinema. The retailers I spoke to were in shock. Where were the people? These should have been their busiest days..could paid parking really send everyone packing? In a tantric town should we really expect people to achieve their business in just one hour?

And here was my conundrum. How do you watch a movie with one hour parking? Of course I could park in the Woolies carpark – that probably houses the allocated ‘free cinema parking’ but there wasn’t any because every other bastard who wasn’t going to the cinema had parked there. So I was forced to take an hourly spot and leave on the hour to move the car. I had to leave the cinema twice. In the course of a single screening, Star Wars turned into Car Wars.

Of course as a local I have the option to go online and pay my $50 annual fee. With three cars in our household thats $150. That seems like a hefty price to pay to see two films a year, and go to the fish shop. As a local most of my stops in Byron are under 10 minutes and involve picking up one of the kids, or something I have bought. The other day I paid $3 to find out the Fish shop was shut.

As a local resident I’ve already got the shits. When it comes to infrastructure, the Byron Shire has a bloody raw deal. The Jewel in the crown of Aussie Tourism, you’d think as local residents we’d be enjoying the booty – amazing roads, incredible walk and bike ways, a beach front water park…but no, we ain’t got shit. As ratepayers you start to wonder what the fuck you are actually paying for and why you seem to be continually paying for more and more of this over supply of absolutely crappy NOTHING.

I don’t want to pay $150 to park somewhere I think as a local resident you should be able to park for free. Resident parking should be free. We live here. We are not on holidays. We are not sleeping in our Wicked Vans. We are not spending 3 hours having lunch and cruising the shops. We are going to work. We are buying bread. We are going to the doctor. We are getting our chakras aligned. So now I do what everyone else does. I park at The Farm, and I hitch in.


9 thoughts on “Freedom! Just $3 An Hour!!!

  1. Hi Mandy, I could not agree more, it is a disgrace! And what of those who work in Byron, we are not given ‘free’ parking stickers for $50.00, or those of us who live out of The Byron Shire but regularly go to Byron to walk, swim have a coffee? Looks like other shires will get my business. An already overpriced Byron makes it a spot too expensive for a lot of local to shop, why do they not have a local card for discounts? Bloody Council, too right fix the rotten roads and infrastructure before greedy paid parking!

    • Council?? Where to start – I stood in line for ten minutes the other day behind a woman in a wheelchair trying to express a need to the customer “service” person behind the desk. The “service” person kept saying “I don’t understand what you want.” Finally I had to speak up – “I understood her!” I exclaimed and turned to the line of four or five people behind me – “Did you understand her?” I asked. They all spread wide their arms in the sign language of “duh” and nodded and agreed they had. So how would you expect a “Council” with staff like that to sort out such a complex issue as parking.

  2. PS – there are people with IQs over 100 out there looking for work – If ONE could get into the employment section of Council we might start getting somewhere. – Quick to issue fines and penalties, V e r y s l o w to respond to requests.

  3. How could our new aware, climate conscious people friendly major.. go on a junkett to Paris without it? Maybe he will need a helicopter next. Its disgraceful and if this is Simon Richardson’s idea of progress, he needs to go.

  4. The parking camera car can come around each hour so if you only need 10 or 20 or 45 minutes you can be in and out before the car comes around again to check the number plates.

  5. Get over it, Byron was stuffed many years ago. All the egotistical splinter groups plus council treated the town like a golden egg laying prostitute and now you have the result of it all. Ask any real long term local, not the blow ins who have lived here a short time. Instead of running around saying and take your pick where you fit in,
    “look at me”
    “I am so cool”
    “I’m a real local as I have been here 5 minutes”
    “stuff everyone else”
    “It’s all about me”
    and the list goes on.

    Get real people, most of you could not give a shit about Byron. Just make a few noises when the need arises and when you can jump on a band wagon. You all get what you deserve. So many unrealistic and plastic wannabes. Hahahaha is all I can say, live with it or get out and ruin somewhere else.

    The bottom line is all those whining are the blow ins who brought their crappy lifestyle and needs to the area from somewhere else, changed the lifestyle to your own and now have the hide to whine when it gets changed on you. Suck it up and move on.

  6. in my humble opinion, dont blame the council, blame the people that influence the council, who? i hear you asking, well, the Shop Owners to start with, the real estates, increased rental, it is not about the $3, it is about the one hour limit!! move on people! there is more people coming.. move on or move out, but wait!! why dont you the locals go shopping to the industrial estate of byron!! when was the last time you wonder over there, it used to be full of interesting alternative craftmen designer, most of them are gone now, only few left, soon it will become the trendo place, rents are so high only newbis can effort them, soon to leave warehouse for new newbis to fill the hole,only because the locals can be bother to go and discover that second alternative shop, the have(the locals) become to commplacient, where are the locals! when you need them, and then again, who is a local!!dont work me out!!

  7. I went there recently haaa serv you all right for letting thickies run your council, I wont be be back there is thousands of miles of coast , byron is just a pussy pimple haaaa

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