THE proposed installation of parking meters on the foreshore was a hot topic at the annual general meeting of electors held in Guilderton on Thursday, December 22.
Other topics raised during general business, included recycling issues in Lancelin, concerns about fuel loads and whether the Shire of Gingin had a stance on fracking.
After more residents spoke against the shire’s plan to introduce metered parking at the foreshore car park than spoke for the proposal President David Roe called for a show of hands.
A clear majority of residents approved of a motion calling for the shire to early next year reconsider having paid parking at the foreshore.
Cr Roe and other councillors and staff tried to appease the majority of residents by saying only day trippers would be charged but most remained convinced paid parking would be detrimental for businesses in the coastal town.
Visitors using the paid parking bays would have to pay $5 a day but someone parking for an hour would also be charged $5.
On Saturday, November 26 Yanchep News Online reported the Guilderton foreshore car park was to get parking meters, which the shire said would be installed and operational by December 23.
In a statement on Wednesday, December 21 the shire said in addition to free parking passes for residents with a 6041 postcode and ratepayers, free parking was also available at the top car park or residential streets for any overflow parking.
But at the electors meeting Cr Roe said if the community did not want paid parking to be installed the policy could be rescinded and the ticket machines re-sold.
One resident said the shire had done a great job with the foreshore and another said she had heard nothing but good feedback about the paid parking.
“It’s not too much to ask tourists to pay $5 a day to use our beautiful area,’’ she said.
But most residents criticised the paid parking proposal and foreshore upgrade with one saying the kerbing in the bottom car park needed about three layers of bitumen to stop damage to modern cars.
He also questioned why the smallest town in Australia needed paid parking and said the upgrade, which had stopped buses from visiting the area, could lead to a 30 per cent reduction in visitors.
When he said the upgrade had killed the Moore River foreshore his comment drew loud approval from many in the group of about 40 electors, who attended the meeting in the Guilderton Hall.
In accordance with Section 5.33 of the Local Government Act 1995, all decisions made at an annual general meeting of electors are to be considered at the next ordinary council meeting or, if that is not practicable – at the first ordinary council meeting after that meeting or at a special meeting called for that purpose.