A petition objecting to the removal of 18 carparks in Bairnsdale’s central business district was considered by East Gippsland Shire Council at its meeting, held in Mallacoota last Tuesday, was knocked on the head.
More than 900 residents signed the petition objecting to the carpark’s removal, which is part of council’s capital works project being undertaken to upgrade the section of Nicholson Street between the Mall and Service Street.
“It is worth noting that there has been a net increase in the number of carparks in that precinct generally,” acting director operations, Fiona Weigall, said at the meeting.
At the completion of the project it is anticipated there will be around 860 car park spaces within the CBD, between Kmart and Bailey Street. Two hundred and one car spaces within the Woolworths carpark, between Nicholson and Francis streets, are not council managed.
Considering parking facilities for disabled and elderly people, and the length of time for the various CBD parking facilities, councillors agreed unanimously to allow the carpark removal in Nicholson Street to proceed.
In considering the petition, councillors were advised by manager place and community strategy, Wayne Richards, there were several elements to consider,
- The removal of parking spaces is just one element of the Nicholson Street Upgrade project.
- The Nicholson Street Upgrade project is one of a number of projects within the Bairnsdale CBD that have been completed.
- This project is identified within both the Re-Imagining Bairnsdale Masterplan (2015), and Bairnsdale CBD Parking Strategy, significant community consultation was conducted during the development of both of these documents.
- A significant amount of consultation was conducted through the design process, which took place in 2016. While it is acknowledged that feedback was received that all parking should be retained, there was also feedback supporting the design and reduction in car parking.
- Communication was conducted in the lead up to the letting of the tender in mid-2018.