FOUR-HOUR parking restrictions at the Whitsunday Sailing Club has sparked outrage among residents who utilise the Airlie Beach precinct.
The same parking limitations are due to be introduced on Shingley Drive near Abel Point Marina next month and commuters to the islands have already expressed their anger.
Whitsunday Regional Council’s community and environment director Gavin Crawford said parking restrictions were introduced in an attempt to maintain high turnover and availability of parking close to the CBD.
"Parking is limited in both of these areas (Shingley Drive and the Sailing Club) and the idea of the four-hour limit is to keep parking spaces available all day for people using the surrounding shops and restaurants," he said. "There has been issues with illegal campers and people parking for long periods of time resulting in no parking for people who might want to visit the Sailing Club, adjacent shops and restaurants and the foreshore."
But concerns remain with locals who say the amount of unrestricted parking areas is limited and doesn’t help workers or sailors who need to park for long periods of time.
Long time resident and boat skipper George Canfield said the parking restrictions would mean he could no longer park and go sailing for the day.
He said many workers tried to park near the sailing club to avoid congesting the CBD and allow tourists to park there instead.
"Even people who do training courses here at the (sailing) club, what do they do now?" he said.
"How dare council take away our one last freebie, somewhere to park a car?"
Mr Canfield said tourists who visited Airlie Beach would also suffer.
"We are trying to encourage tourism for a lifetime, not for four hours," he said.
Council will start enforcement of the parking restrictions at the Whitsunday Sailing Club car park in the coming weeks.
Members of the Whitsunday Sailing Club are holding a meeting tonight to discuss how this will affect them.
They have been made aware that there may be some exemptions available as some people may be eligible for a permit.
Those who don’t abide by the new regulations will be fined $60 with 28 days before payment is due.
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