FORGET just the first day, Campaspe Shire has gone the whole hog and is giving shoppers the gift that keeps on giving; 12 days of free parking at two carparks in town.
From December 12-24 parking at the off-street carparks on Nish St and High St will be free, with time limits still applying.
The trial has the potential to become a yearly event — depending on this year’s success — with a clear message from the Echuca Moama Business and Trades Association: Businesses shouldn’t fill up their shoppers parks.
Campaspe Shire mayor Adrian Weston said this is one way council and the association can encourage people to support their local economy in the lead up to Christmas.
“We anticipate that by offering shoppers free parking in the Nish and High Street off-street carparks, it will boost the Christmas trade in Echuca,” Cr Weston said.
“Town parking is an ongoing debate among residents and we feel this to be a good trial for future planning.’’
The Nish St carpark will be free from December 12 until December 24. Time limits still apply.
Association member and Echuca Furniture Store owner Anka Smith said it is a great opportunity for local business to work in partnership with council to encourage local shopping.
“This is a fantastic initiative which I believe will drive additional sales due to the convenience of free parking the two carparks,” Ms Smith said.
On-street parking will continue to incur a fee, meters will remain active during this time and time limits still apply to enable shopper turnover. Infringement notices will be issued if shoppers don’t comply.
Signage will be in place to remind customers that there is no need to pay for parking at the Nish and High St carparks during the complimentary parking period.
“This is another way council is supporting traders and we believe the economic outcome to business will far outweigh the loss of revenue of around $6000 from paid parking,” Cr Weston said.