As we go to press, the Greater Shepparton City Council will sit to deliberate on the issue of free (timed) parking in the Shepparton CBD.
In the agenda filed on the Council website, for Tuesday, April 21, Item 10.8 provides a comprehensive summary of the options the council officers considered in arriving at their final recommendation. A vote in the affirmative would be a feather in the cap of the Greater Shepparton City Council and the Shepparton Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
For several months, the Chamber has lobbied with the Council to adopt free parking as a matter of course.
While the final recommendation by the Council officers is to adopt free (timed) car parking, they have considered that the net $250,000 loss in council revenue, would be greatly offset by the increased demand and activity within the precinct.
A survey undertaken during the complimentary parking in December and January was overwhelmingly in favour of free parking. Eighty-five percent of respondents indicated that they were shopping in the CBD due to the free parking.
This issue has been debated over several years by Council without reaching a consensus. It remains to be seen if this latest meeting will comply with the will of the people.
We shall report on the Councillor voting patterns in the next edition of The Adviser.