FREE PARKING: The Pilbeam Theatre car park is no longer paid parking as Rockhampton Regional Council was making a loss from the parking charges.
FREE PARKING: The Pilbeam Theatre car park is no longer paid parking as Rockhampton Regional Council was making a loss from the parking charges. Austin King ROK

Paid parking is cut in two Rocky CBD car park

PAID parking in two main Rockhampton car parks has been scrapped after Rockhampton Regional Council confirmed it was running at a loss.

Parking meters on the corner of Alma and Derby St, behind City Hall/Rockhampton Regional Council Chambers, and Pilbeam Theatre car parks have now been decommissioned.

Discussions to terminate the paid parking began in November last year.

It has now been confirmed by the council that it was making a loss from the parking.

The metres were officially decommissioned on May 30 after discussions with contractors.

The issue was brought up again at yesterday's Planning and Regulatory meeting.

Mayor Margaret Strelow left the meeting due to a conflict of interest.

She said her husband owned an adjacent business to the Pilbeam Theatre car park, Strelow Insurance and Financial Services.

It was put forward that council would trial free parking at the Alma and Derby St car park over coming months.

Local laws officers would monitor traffic patterns to see if users were parking all day or for short periods.

It was also discussed that the Pilbeam Theatre car park could become a mixture of free and restricted parking.

Again, it would be trialled as free with parking hours monitored.

Planning and Regulatory Chair, Councillor Ellen Smith, said if the Pilbeam Theatre was to go to restricted parking, she would like to see a three-hour free parking minimum.

"Two hours is too short," she said.

"People with children, babies, by the time you get everything out two hours just goes."

Paid parking in the Pilbeam Theatre car park and the corner of Derby and Alma Streets car park was introduced on September 29, 2014.

This caused quite a lot of controversy from local residents at the time.

At the time of the introduction, parking rates were 70 cents per hour or $5 per day.

Weekly passes were also available for $20 per week.

The Morning Bulletin can confirm the parking charges for both car parks did not increase or decrease in the three-and-a-half years it was operating.

Over the years there has been some confusion regarding paid parking in the Pilbeam Theatre car park with paid parking exempt throughout various events including the Rockhampton Eisteddfod and Rocky River Festival.



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