Complimentary parking is creating a coffee culture.

FREE PARKING ON FRYERS STREET… Shoppers make the most of the free, timed parking in Shepparton’s CBD. Photo: Katelyn Morse.

A more relaxed shopping experience, that seems to be the prevailing consensus among shoppers and traders as we near the end of the complimentary parking period in the Shepparton CBD.

According to the Shepparton Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, John Anderson, “While the survey is still taking place, anecdotal indications are that it has changed the mood of shoppers, they are no longer under pressure to ensure the meter is fed with cash, they can linger over a cup of coffee and that also reflects in their shopping habits. ”

The chamber, in conjunction with the Greater Shepparton City Council are conducting a survey that concludes on January 19, to gauge the reaction of shoppers and traders to the two-month complimentary parking period. Following the analysis of the survey, council will consider what further steps, if any it should take.

The chamber is advocating a longer trial period.

“It is the rate payers who will have to bear the costs of not collecting the fees, however, once all the administrative costs of managing the fee collection are deducted, council will have to decide if it is necessary at all,” said John.

The complimentary period ends on January 31, 2020.

The survey is available on the council website at or fill out the survey form on page 12 of this edition.