COUNCIL will be asked tonight to use its more than $6 million held in cash reserves to help fund a multi-storey car park.
Parking campaigner and founder of the Independent Nowra CBD Parking Development Committee Lance Sewell announced that the committee would put a motion to tonight’s CBD Action Committee regarding the funds.
Mr Sewell said the money the group was targeting was from council’s Work Cover security deposits.
He said rather than being kept in reserve, the money should be spent on improving the CBD, specifically through parking.
The call comes on the back of a recent coupon the parking committee ran in the South Coast Register and Shoalhaven and Nowra News.
Mr Sewell said about 300 people filled out the coupons expressing frustration at limited parking in the Nowra CBD.
“There were three main patterns of discontent with the coupons that were returned,” he said.
“The first and most concerning was the number of people who said they had been traumatised by parking problems in Nowra and for that reason had decided to do their shopping at Shellharbour.
“Escape spending seems to be
an even bigger problem than anyone envisaged.
“When I say escape spending I am not talking about people who go to Shellharbour, Wollongong or Sydney to buy things they can’t buy here. That is not escape spending.
“I am talking about roughly one fifth of the people who filled out
the coupons, who specifically said they shopped elsewhere due to the lack of parking locally, not because the shopping was better elsewhere,” he said.
Mr Sewell said repetitive complaints also came from doctors, dentists, lawyers, hairdressers and people wanting to visit the cinema.
“These people and their clients find it difficult to find a space to park for the length of time they need to be there.
“They are often being fined for the privilege of coming to Nowra.
“The third gripe people had, and this was the biggest response, came from people who work in Nowra and had no hope of legally parking if they arrived in town after 8.15am on any week day.
“Most started work at 9am.
“Our committee thanks the hundreds of people who responded to the coupons.
“It gives us the opportunity to consider and offer a constructive process to support these criticisms about the lack of parking in Nowra.
“We will continue to approach council, knowing that we have tremendous public support.
“Council cannot afford to
continue to ignore this chaotic parking issue.”