The Pilbeam Theatre car park pictured in 2014, before the introduction of paid parking at the site.
The Pilbeam Theatre car park pictured in 2014, before the introduction of paid parking at the site. Austin King ROK

POLL: Rockhampton CBD paid parking up for debate again

UPDATE THURSDAY 9AM: TWO years after it was introduced, paid parking is back in the spotlight at the Pilbeam Theatre.

Parking exemptions were discussed in Rockhampton Regional Council's full meeting on Tuesday, after a request to suspend patrols of the site during the Rockhampton Dance Festival.

Should Rocky Council keep paid parking in place at the Pilbeam Theatre?

This poll ended on 17 September 2016.

Current Results

Yes

36%

No

63%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

The pay and display system was a controversial move at the time, with council aiming to increase revenue and open up more parking spots for those visiting the theatre and Rockhampton Art Gallery.

Parking is free for theatre and gallery patrons, staff and volunteers, with payment enforced from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).

 

Pilbeam carpark 9:15am Wednesday.
Pilbeam carpark 9:15am Wednesday. Allan Reinikka ROK140916acarpark

In 2014, Mayor Margaret Strelow said roughly half the profits from paid parking at the theatre would go towards the gallery.

While discussing suspension of patrols during the dance festival, councillors questioned whether it was fair to make people pay if they were visiting the venue to practice or watching their children in other school productions.

But arts and heritage manager Peter Owens, who was speaking to councillors about the proposed suspension, said with more than 100 community performances annually, exempting a range of community organisations would defeat the purpose of raising money for the gallery.

 

Pilbeam carpark 12:45pm Wednesday.
Pilbeam carpark 12:45pm Wednesday. Allan Reinikka ROK140916acarpark

Councillor Ellen Smith said she understood the main aim of paid parking to be freeing up spaces once taken by workers parking at the site all day.

Mr Owens said it was impossible to police people's intentions in parking at the site, but suspending parking for both the dance festival and eisteddfod was a compromise supporting two broad community events.

Councillor Tony Williams said he wasn't supportive of introducing paid parking to the Pilbeam.

He asked for a report to be prepared on how much money the car park was making and whether it was a decision council should reconsider.

 

Pilbeam carpark 3:45pm Wednesday.
Pilbeam carpark 3:45pm Wednesday. Allan Reinikka ROK140916acarpark

Councillor Drew Wickerson said while he understood the intention behind its introduction, paid parking had produced another problem as theatre and gallery visitors parked in spaces set aside for surrounding businesses.

Council resolved to suspend parking patrols during the dance festival and have the parking review prepared.

UPDATE: Parking shouldn't be an issue at the Capricorn Food and Wine Festival this weekend, with Rockhampton Regional Council suspending parking patrols in the CBD.

Councillor Ellen Smith said the Pilbeam Theatre car park would also be free from tomorrow to Monday.

She said parking patrols would be suspended in the CBD north of Fitzroy St.

"Council is very much committed to encouraging more and more large scale events," Cr Smith said.

"It's exciting that we're becoming that vibrant, cultural and social region that the community wants us to be, so it's quite important that we support that in every manner possible including helping with parking where we can.

"On Tuesday, we also adopted a policy ceasing parking fees at the Pilbeam Theatre during the Rockhampton Eisteddfod and the Rockhampton Dance Festival, and we'll also be looking further into car parking at the Pilbeam for future community events."

INITIAL: With the Capricorn Food and Wine Festival on this weekend, motorists should be prepared to look for a different place to park.

Riverbank parking on Victoria Pde will be closed as preparations for the festival get underway this week.

Rockhampton Regional Council are yet to confirm whether parking at the Pilbeam Theatre will be free while the riverbank car park is closed.



Bouldy singer reckons he could hear grass growing after rain

premium_icon Bouldy singer reckons he could hear grass growing after rain

Bouldy fields a good dump of rain in the midst of the big dry.

Medical student class of 2019 farewell Central Queensland

premium_icon Medical student class of 2019 farewell Central Queensland

University of Queensland medical students move on after a year or two placment at...

Driver still not found after fatal hit and run

premium_icon Driver still not found after fatal hit and run

The vehicle was found dumped in a yard in Port Curtis the morning after the...