Editorial: Two sides to parking problems at Weinam Creek ferry terminal

With the bus and ferry terminal at Weinam Creek in Redland Bay under redevelopment, the frustrations caused by insufficient parking for residents and visitors to the Southern Moreton Bay Islands regularly appear in the Redland City Bulletin.

Motorists have complained of finding the terminal car park and surrounding streets packed and being fined for parking on nature strips, where there is no signage or indication of a parking ban nearby.

They have described the lack of car parks as ridiculous, saying that on weekends legitimate car parks are full by 5pm on a Friday and there is no choice but to park illegally after that.

Russell Island resident Gregory Hayes even went to court over traffic infringements related to parking at Weinam Creek. He had been issued with three notices for parking longer than 18 hours and one for parking in a boat and trailer park without a trailer.

A magistrate found him guilty on five infringements, ordering him to pay the fines and costs, on the basis that there was no defence for having acted unlawfully and no one was above the law.

The parking frustrations have led to Redland city Cr Mark Edwards complaining about heavy-handed fines being levied for illegal parking near the ferry terminal.

He wrote to then chief executive Bill Lyon calling on parking officers to take a more compassionate approach to illegal parking.

This week, the Bulletin shows the other side of the story – a cafe owner whose customers are frustrated at being unable to park nearby. Bays in front of his store have a two-hour limit, but it seems to him that council officers are turning a blind eye to cars parked in the bays.

Among the regular offenders are cars with disabled parking permits. It begs the question whether officers are taking a compassionate approach to illegal parking and if some take advantage of this.

The businessman, who lives on the premises, understands that drivers want parking places that are safe, have plenty of lighting and are not too far to walk from the terminal. The people who support his business also want to have easy access to his shop.

The blatant ignoring of the two-hour zone was most obvious on a recent weekend when a road-making machine took up three bays for more than 48 hours.

The business owner’s plight shows the other side of the enduring parking problems at Weinam Creek.