'We're being put last': employees angry at parking changes
HASTINGS St employee Hayley Ward said she is considering quitting her full-time job if the parking debacle isn't solved.
"If that's going to be a huge issue over Christmas, I'm going to find somewhere else to work," Ms Ward said.
Ms Ward is one of dozens of community members outraged to learn the Lions Park carpark will soon be restricted to four hours.
A picture of the new four-hour parking sign on the Noosa Community Notice Board on Facebook caused uproar this week, with other Hastings St employees accusing the Noosa Council of favouring tourists.
Ms Ward said the carpark was the last remaining one where workers could park all day and still be a safe walking distance from Hastings St.
"I'm a supervisor and I work 10- to 11-hour days. I don't have the option of leaving work to move my car," Ms Ward said.
"I live in Mt Coolum and already leave an hour early to get to work. It's an absolute nightmare.
"I don't have the option of buying a scooter and taking it in to Noosa. And I'm afraid to walk long distances when it's dark.
"We (Hastings St employees) don't have another option. It doesn't make sense."
Deputy Mayor Frank Wilkie said the timed parking was a joint decision between council and the Hastings Street Association, which will be enforced from December 26.
"Four-hour timed parking was introduced in mid-November following previous discussions," he said.
"HSA is pro-actively undertaking a behaviour change exercise with business owners and staff to allow more residents and visitors to access the precinct."
Cr Wilkie said the alternatives included car sharing, catching public transport, cycling to work, parking at the Noosa Woods, or using a scooter.
He said "there is no silver bullet" to combat the congestion during holiday season, and council would continue to utilise the same methods as previous years.
"Council will continue to provide the annual free public transport as well as an additional shuttle bus servicing from Boxing Day until January 5," Cr Wilkie said.
"The Transport Strategy has been adopted and council will be investigating a number of initiatives including paid parking, as well as shuttle bus networks, park and ride services, priority transport lanes, and a walk-and-ride to school program."
An online petition fighting the timed parking has almost 200 supporters.