Pay or cop a fine
ONLY ten people have been fined for parking without paying at Abel Point marina since pay parking was introduced two weeks ago.
Whitsunday Regional Council has confirmed that 10 fines have been issued – at $60 each.
Council installed three pay and display parking meters in its car park at Abel Point marina two weeks ago – and there are mixed feelings about its success so far.
Michael Pedulla from Fishdive Charters says he is puzzled about why the rate for parking is different at Abel Point to the council car park in Airlie Beach near the lagoon.
"Why are they attacking people using a public boat ramp and the lagoon that is used mainly by backpackers is cheaper?" he said.
Mr Pedulla is also concerned about the lack of parking space available for the public.
As a fishing charter operator, Mr Pedulla uses the parking facilities on a regular basis and he is fed up with the minimal parking space.
He argues that he is trying to run a business and now that there is only one boat ramp in town, due to the VMR pontoon being damaged, he doesn’t have a lot of choice but to park on the grass or outside the white lines – which is illegal.
He said the solution was to fix the VMR pontoon.
Council’s Director of Community and Environment, Gavin Crawford, said the car parks in town were generally for short stays with people going for a swim or a meal.
He said the Abel Point marina area was more often used by people going away overnight and that the parking rates were more comparable to those at Shute Harbour.
He said the revenue raised from pay parking at Abel Point would be used towards fixing the boat ramp at the VMR and then would be used to improve parking facilities on Shingley Drive.
Director of Cruise Whitsundays, Chris Jacobs, said this week that the parking problems had eased since the introduction of pay parking.
Cruise Whitsundays is based at Abel Point marina.
"More people seem to be parking near Shingley Beach and walking to the marina," he said.
He said this had eased the problem for visitors wanting to go on day trips.
Buses will also service the marina area from next week.
"The bus service will also help, particularly for workers on the islands," he said.
Two hour parking $2.00
Four hours $4.00 (Longer than four hours remains at $4.00)
ABEL POINT MARINA
0-2 hours $2.00
2-4 hours $4.00
4-12 hours $6.00
12-24 hours $8.00 (and each day thereafter)