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10 July, 2020

Cairns Council works to free up parking spots

If you're going shopping in Cairns, the free parking amnesty is about to end.

By Phil Brandel

To help free up parking and make the city more accessible to shoppers and visitors, Council’s Regional Council (CRC) amnesty on parking fines will end on July 20.

The CRC hasn’t issued a parking fine for not purchasing a ticket or staying past the time limit since March 16. 

Mayor Bob Manning said as restrictions continue to ease and life returns to normal in the city centre and the busy hospital precinct, it was important Council got the balance right for businesses, shoppers and visitors.

“As workers return to the city, our cafes, restaurants and bars open to more people, elective surgery resumes and tourists come to visit, more and more people will be competing for a park,” Cr Manning said.

“At the height of coronavirus, the demand for parking just wasn’t there, hence the parking amnesty. 

“Parking fees and time limits are all about making spaces available to more people and helping the retail sector to trade.

“We want to encourage people to come into the CBD and support local retailers, cafes and restaurants.  

“It’s Council’s job to balance all these competing needs and the fairest way to do that is by generating vehicle turnover. Parking fees and time limits achieve that.”

From July 13 Council will issue warnings to drivers who don’t purchase a ticket or stay beyond the time limit, with fines resuming on July 20.

Residents and visitors are reminded that centre median parking in the CBD is always free, with time limits, and heavily discounted all-day parking is available at several of Council’s off-street car parks, including the Lake Street multistorey car park. 

Council has also resolved not to implement the 20c an hour increase on parking fees that was due to come into effect on January 2.  

There are approximately 3000 parking spaces in the Cairns CBD, of which about 830 are free, although they are time-limited.

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