TODAY’S special report on parking contains an important message that council should heed.
As much as they want to deny it the fact is we still have a dying CBD and the current parking strategy is doing nothing to save it.
The few motorists who venture into the CBD are getting stung on the street and at the Nicholas Street parking station.
Instead of offering incentives for motorists to drive into the CBD council is instead penalising them.
Why would anyone go to the hot-bed central district to shop at the few outlets, park their car in the sun, rush back to fill up a parking meter and hope they aren’t late and haven’t just copped a fine?
Instead, they know they can easily find an undercover carpark at Riverlink, Yamanto, Redbank Plains or Orion shopping centres and more importantly they can embrace many more shopping options.
Council says they are doing an overview of CBD parking and we are waiting patiently for the draft of that review to come out.
As they drag millions into their coffers each year from parking fees and fines I doubt there will be any major changes.
What needs to be looked at here is not the revenue, but the future of the CBD. Council just shouted out in the major retail magazine Shopping Centre News what a great option it was for businesses to take up CBD leases.
The headline proclaimed “Ipswich’s leading entertainment and cultural venue was welcoming big brands”.
The issue is they have spent hundreds of thousands trying unsuccessfully for years to lure big brands into the CBD and they have nothing to show for it other than a few small operators and none offer anything different from what Riverlink has across the river.
So, what are they doing to lure shoppers into the mall other than to have a parking blitz and put on expensive entertainment in Tulmur Place that retailers say they get no benefit from.
The D’Arcy Doyle grassed area at the top of the mall is the prime venue for entertainment, but it’s virtually ignored and the reason for that is council wants people to believe the deserted Tulmur Place was a great idea.
Council should be honest with ratepayer’s about the millions they are wasting playing retail developer.
The excuse that they were locked into it by a previous council has some weight, but how they have gone about it is the concerning issue for every ratepayer like myself.
Fixing parking would be a good place to start and it should be actioned now.