Limits to parking

By Mitch Gaynor

TWO-hour parking limits will be rolled out across Beerwah within weeks in a move which has angered businesses that argue the changes do not address a concerning lack of parking in the face of a booming population.
Notices went up last week (July 28) announcing two-hour parking limits would be established along parts of Simpson, Peachester and Turner streets.
A six-hour RV parking zone would also be set on Simpson Street.
The timed limits – first mooted by the council in 2017 – were initiated following a decision by Beerwah Marketplace to enforce three-hour parking limits.
It argued that staff and rail commuters were absorbing car parks intended for customers.
While the move freed up parking in the centre, staff and commuters were subsequently forced out of the marketplace and on to nearby streets. The consequence was street front retail customers were confronted with no available car parks, sometimes for entire days.

Glasshouse Country Chamber of Commerce agreed that changes were needed to ensure drivers did not congest parking in front of businesses.

But it questioned the justification behind the decision, which was based on a 2017 study that used outdated population forecasts.

“In 2017 Beerwah’s population was forecast to reach 8,602 by 2026 but we’ve already hit 9,255,” the Chamber said.

“The planning done back in 2017 does not reflect the rapid population increase and the consequent increase on many business pressures including a notable lack of parking.” The Chamber estimated there were 187 Marketplace staff and just 71 allocated spaces.

“The shortfall of 116 is not total staff, which is much higher, but just at average times,” the chamber said.

“We are asking that the council work with the chamber and centre management to try to identify a solution to this major parking issue as identified by yourselves and our survey.

The chamber’s recent shop front survey found over 70 per cent of respondents were concerned about the lack of parking in Beerwah’s town centre.

“Once work starts on the medical centre on Turner street this will remove more local parking and only add to the pressures on local parking,” the chamber told GC&M News.

“It’s clear the 2017 Beerwah parking plans are obsolete and we are proposing  the establishment of a 2023 five-year Growth Plan.”

In announcing the new zoning rules, Sunshine Coast Council said: “It is intended that this change to the on-street parking service will assist with parking turnover in the area.”