You may have missed it- Signs vandalised as shoppers vent over three-hour free parking limit

By Mitch Gaynor

This story was published last year on April 12.

NEW three-hour parking signs across Beerwah Marketplace and Beerwah Village have been vandalised with shoppers and retailers frustrated at a decision by the landlord to introduce timed parking rules.

The rules were implemented because genuine shoppers were regularly disadvantaged by commuters taking up space all day and employees parking on site for their entire shift.

Drivers can now park free for three hours or they face a ‘parking fee’ of $77.

In response to questions from GC&M News a statement from car park manager Pripak said: “The implementation of Car Park Management/ Enforcement at Beerwah Village and Marketplace is not a revenue raising exercise as the owners nor the management of the centres receive any revenue or incentives in any way.”

“For some time, we have been aware that the car park areas are being misused by a combination of Beerwah Village and Marketplace staff parking in the prime car parks close to their workplaces, Rail Commuters, and the vehicles from neighbouring businesses which has impacted heavily on the availability of convenient customer parking due to the reduced amount of car bays available.

“This is a busy shopping centre and at certain times of the day this car park can be near capacity, and we believe it is unfair for elderly customers and parents with children and prams to have to park numerous car park corridors away from the entrances of the shop fronts they wish to frequent simply because noncustomer vehicles have parked in all the prime car parks close to the shop front entrances and under the shade sail areas.”

But the issue has angered some who have resorted to tearing down some of the signs.

Commenters on a Facebook page also railed against the decision, saying it was unclear why it was called a ‘fee’ and not a fine, and that it was easy to spend over three hours at the Marketplace.

“That’s ridiculous!!” Tara O’Brien wrote.

“People keep saying how do you spend 3 hrs there, I can with a 4 year old with me. The whole food shopping process takes me 2hrs and sometimes we go look at the shops beforehand so that would take us wayyyy over 3hrs.” Others were angered over the ambiguity of the use of the word ‘fee’ when it appeared more a fine for overstaying three hours.

But another was supportive of the move, saying their daughter had to pay $15.00 per day for staff parking at her centre.