A call for Hobsons Bay City Council to declare a ‘parking meter free Christmas’ to give small businesses in Nelson Place a ‘much needed’ boost over the festive season, has been issued by local Liberals contesting the upcoming Victorian State Election in November.
Member for Western Metropolitan Region Bernie Finn and Williamstown Liberal candidate Pallavee Joshi both believe the issue has been a long time problem for local businesses who say they lose customers because there is no free parking available.
Mr Finn was ‘flabbergasted’ that one of the most visited streets in Williamstown was ‘not better looked after by Council’ and said after visiting and speaking with local businesses this week it’s clear that the presence of parking metres is a major drain on them.
“Why would you want to deter people from coming here? The views are magnificent and there’s a great variety of shops for people to enjoy. This is nothing more than a money grabbing exercise by Hobsons Bay City Council,” he said.
Bayside Body and Spa Therapy owner Rochelle Fisher believes Hobsons Bay City Council is ‘discriminating against small business on Nelson Place’ and said it is affecting her business and customers having treatment were constantly looking at the time to avoid a fine.
“Why should our customers have to pay for parking? It’s unfair and it’s about time Council did something about it. People come here to have a relaxing massage or facial, but they can’t totally relax because of the parking restraints,” she said.
Ms Joshi was also ‘stunned’ with Council’s ‘attitude’ and suggested a short-term compromise may appease all parties and, more importantly, provide some relief over the Christmas trading period.
“If the Council introduced a free ticketing period for the Christmas holiday season, it would make a world of difference to the traders. It could be trialled to see what difference it makes. Surely the Council can see the benefits of this small gesture,” she said.
While other main thoroughfares such as Douglas Parade and Ferguson Street enjoy free parking, Nelson Place visitors are currently forced to pay for the right to visit and shop on the popular strip.
Hobsons Bay City Council has been contacted for comment.
Editor’s note: The video content attached to this story is an original production of Point Cook TV and the video has been reedited and republished by Willy and Hobby with approval from the copyright holder.