Consultation Closed - Warragul Parking Study

Please note: Public consultation is now closed. 

Baw Baw Shire Council is undertaken a thorough review of car parking in Warragul. The requirement for additional parking has not been questioned. Rather, Council is exploring how parking can be improved in ways that are practical, financially viable and in line with community preferences.

Council will work closely with the community across all stages of the consultation to understand sentiments and desired outcomes.

Consultation Opportunities and Timeline

Council will work closely with the community across all stages of the consultation to understand sentiments and desired outcomes. Click the drop-down consultation timetable below for full details and to get involved.

Step 1 - Community survey and online workshops - COMPLETE.

Stage-1.png

STAGE COMPLETE - February 27 to 10 June 2020 - Community members were invited to provide their feedback via an online and hard copy survey.

The online survey is now closed.

Online Community Workshops

There were three online community workshops scheduled to take place over June to discuss options for the future of carparking in the Warragul CBD.

These online forums were open to all members of the community and provided a platform to openly discuss the key options up for consideration regarding parking in the Warragul CBD. There were plenty of time for questions and a chance to provide feedback too.

The workshop dates have all been completed.

  • 1 June 2020 - 6.30pm to 8.00pm - Completed.
  • 2 June 2020 - 3.30pm to 5.00pm - Completed
  • 8 June 2020 - 6.30pm to 8.00pm - Completed

Step 2 - Collate and review community feedback - COMPLETE.

STAGE COMPLETE - June 2020 - Council officers have consolidated all feedback collected during the consultation period. 

Results

More than 550 Baw Baw Shire community members responded to the Warragul Parking Study Survey. Click below to see what people had to say.

Step 3 - Community panel appointment - COMPLETE.

PANEL RECRUITMENT COMPLETE

To ensure fair and adequate representation of various community views and input, Council sought to recruit a Community Panel consisting of approximately 40 members providing a representative cross section of the community – including local residents, business owners, local workers and visitors.

Those selected to take part in the Community Panel will receive $250 as a thank you for their time. To be eligible for payment, all sessions must be attended.

The Community Panel will play an important role in researching, deliberating and reaching a consensus on a preferred solution to parking in the Warragul CBD.

The Community Panel will meet and discuss options about Warragul CBD parking, and provide valuable feedback and recommendations to Council.

Ultimately, the Community Panel will help Council determine how we can make the most of our current parking resources and plan for future parking needs.

Joining the Community Panel

Applications to join the community panel closed Sunday 28 June.  Panel recruitment was conducted entirely independently of Council by Sortition Foundation. 

What's involved with the Community Panel?

Panel members will be required to attend three online sessions to deliberate and discuss options and recommendations to present to Council. Panel members will also be required to review several key parking study documents to assist in reaching an informed consensus.

Community Panel sessions will be held online over one evening and two Saturdays:

  • 6.00pm – 9.00pm on Tuesday 21 July
  • 9.00am – 4.00pm on Saturday July 25
  • 9.00am - 4.00pm on Saturday 1 August

Following the online sessions, panel members will be required to form a position and present their recommendation to Council for discussion. The panel’s recommendation will be used to inform Council’s decision on the future of parking in the Warragul CBD.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Want to know more about the Community Panel, how it works and how you can get involved? Click here to download a detailed set of answers to frequently asked questions(PDF, 162KB).

Step 4 - Panel deliberation/recommendations - COMPLETE.

STAGE UNDERWAY July to September 2020 - Council officers will work with the panel to deliberate recommendations for parking in Warragul, including a potential funding model. Recommendations will be reviewed and presented to Council for feedback at a briefing.

Step 5 - Council decision - RECOMMENDATIONS ENDORSED.

September 2020 - At the Ordinary Council meeting on 9 September 2020, Council moved a motion to endorse the recommendations of the Community Panel. Specifically Council:

  • Acknowledged the Warragul Parking Community Panel participants for their participation, and investment of time to take part in the community panel deliberative process
  • Endorsed the delivery of the wayfinding signage, parking restriction changes (including the removal of trader parking spaces and permits) and the walking and cycling improvements on Mason and Gladstone Street, as per the 2018 Warragul Parking Study in the 2020/21 financial year
  • Refered the Warragul Parking Community Panel's recommendation of support for, increased parking enforcement, community bus service, cash in lieu scheme and expansion of the parking overlay for a feasibility assessment and investigation and subsequent future budget consideration
  • Endorsed the Warragul Parking Community Panel's recommendation of not supporting the construction of a multi-deck carpark and implementation of paid parking. 

For more information, see the Ordinary Council Meeting Minutes from 9 September 2020.


Background Information and FAQ

To learn more about about the project, the background information informing this study and for answers to frequently asked questions, click the drop-down menu below.

Previous Parking Study Recommendations (2018)

Below are the recommendations from the 2018 Warragul Parking Study(PDF, 10MB) and an estimated cost to implement each recommendation.

1. Revision of existing car parking restrictions

Cost: $10,000

Involves the revision of parking restrictions along Smith Street, Queen Street, Mason Street and Albert Street by changing most of the 2 hour parking spaces to 1 hour and a few from 1 hour to 2 hour to improve parking turnover and availability. It also involves the extension of all parking restrictions on these streets to operate until 5:30pm on a Saturday from the current time of 12:00pm.

This recommendation also involves the removal of all permit parking within the CBD.

2. Implementation of a "cash in lieu" scheme for developments in the CBD

Cost: $30,000

This recommendation relates to a planning initiative which will require all developments in the CBD to make a cash contribution to Council for every car space required by the development that cannot be provided on the development site.

3. Expand the current parking overlay

Cost: $50,000

There is an existing overlay applied to developments in the CBD. This overlay requires businesses to provide a minimum number of parking spaces as part of their planning permits for developments in the CBD. This recommendation proposes the expansion of this overlay to cover a broader area of the Warragul CBD.

4. Implementation of a community bus service

 Cost: Up to $120,00 p.a.

This involves the implementation of a community  bus to transport workers and other CBD users from satellite carpark locations such as the train station or other locations into the CBD in attempts to free up parking spaces within the CBD.

5. Improvement of walking and cycling networks; Gladstone Street and Mason Street

Cost: $50,000

This includes the construction of linking paths within sections of the CBD to improve pedestrian and cycling access within the CBD. Some of these links will involve the development of private land in consultation with the property owners.

6. Implementation of paid parking

Cost: $100,000

This recommendation includes the installation of parking meters in the Warragul CBD area allowing Council to charge for parking in the CBD.

7. Improvement of wayfinding signage

Cost: $15,000

This involves the implementation of carparking signage at strategic locations to improve the awareness of the public about the location of carparking areas in the CBD.

8. Construction of additional parking

Cost: $25 million

This comprises the construction of additional carpark. Preliminary investigation shows that the most suitable location for this is No. 4 Barkley Street. It is expected that 409 additional carparks as well as commercial floor space for shops could be developed at this site.

9. Implementation of parking enforcement

Cost: $100,000

This recommendation involves the active enforcement of parking infringements within the Warragul CBD.

Further details on the report recommendation can be found in the Warragul Parking Study Report (2018)(PDF, 10MB).

Key Points

The requirement for additional parking is not being questioned but rather how it might be funded and what funding model would be preferred by the community given the cost involved.

Council understands that additional parking is required for the future to service the demands of parking in the CBD area. Estimations of the cost involved in providing additional parking by way of a multideck exceed Council’s current financial capabilities. As such the community needs to be involved in determining a suitable financial model that is both affordable and sustainable.

We are committed to involving the community in determining a solution that is practical and financially viable.

Council would like to know the community’s opinion about the recommendations it has been provided by external consultants. Council would also  consider recommendations from the community on how to address this issue.

We will work with the community to understand what is considered an acceptable standard for parking availability for Warragul.

Council would like to further understand what the community considers a reasonable level of service for parking availability so that the implemented recommendations are practical and satisfy community expectations (e.g. What is considered an acceptable walking time or distance from a carpark to a point of interest).

Frequently Asked Questions

When can we expect additional parking?

The findings of the 2018 Parking Study(PDF, 10MB) suggests that Council needs to consider provision for additional parking in the Warragul CBD within the next six years (i.e. 2026). Initial investigations suggest that a multideck carpark incorporating retail space could cost around $25 million. Council expects that upon completion of this community engagement there will be a clear solution (that is accepted by the community) on how this additional parking will be funded. This will allow Council to program the construction of the additional parking as soon as practicable.

Where will the parking be situated? How many spaces will that provide?

The initial investigations suggest that the most suitable place for additional parking is No. 4 Barkley Street. It is within 5 minutes’ walk to the main CBD area and can provide 409 additional car spaces as well as floor space for shops. Other locations have also been considered as part of the DARMs Multideck Feasibility Study but No. 4 Barkley Street was their recommended site.

What about the Old Bonlac Site?

We understand the strategic importance of this site, however this site is privately owned. In order for the site to be developed, a planning application would need to be submitted by the landowner for assessment by Council. There is currently no planning application lodged with Council for the development of this site or a current planning permit.

Why is there permit parking in the CBD?

Permit parking has been in Warragul for many years and was reviewed as part of the parking study. The 2018 Parking Study recommended that Council remove the permit parking in the CBD area to increase parking space utilisation and allow more parking spaces for shoppers. Changes to permit parking arrangements will be considered as part of the community engagement process.

What about parking time restrictions in the main CBD? Can they be reduced/extended?

To improve turnover and availability of parking spaces in the main CBD area, the study suggests a reduction to the time limits of some of the parking spaces along Smith Street, Queen Street and Albert Street.

Where can I access the parking study report and associated documents?

How do I provide feedback on the reports?

You can provide feedback now by completing the online survey.

Alternatively, hard copy surveys can be obtained at Council Customer Service Centres. You may also download a printable version of the survey by clicking this link.

Hard copy feedback forms should be handed back at a Council Customer Service Centre or posted to Baw Baw Shire Council, PO Box 304, Warragul VIC 3820.

All collated feedback information shall be submitted to a recruited panel to review feedback and provide recommendations to Council for consideration.

How do I become part of the recruited panel that will be undertaking the deliberation on the community feedback provided?

There will be a random selection process to recruit the members of the deliberation panel. This will help ensure a transparent process and result in a true representation of the broader community. It is expected that twenty to thirty people will be recruited overall.

How long is the engagement process going to take?

The full community engagement process is expected to run until August. It will involve:

  • Key Stakeholder engagement;
  • Community Workshops;
  • Panel recruitment and deliberations; and
  • Council briefings and meeting updates.

When will we know about the final decision?

Council will review the recommendation from the Panel and make a final decision at a Council meeting in September. This decision will be immediately communicated back to the community.

Why are there one-way streets in the CBD now?

The one-way arrangement in Palmerston Street is designed to act as a giant roundabout, creating more efficient traffic flow through CBD intersections. Traffic from Palmerston Street flows into Smith Street, so that traffic can exit the CBD area through a safe and controlled intersection.

Sending traffic in the other direction would decrease the efficiency of vehicle movement through the intersection of Smith Street and Victoria Street.  Vehicles travelling north on Victoria Street would have to wait for all west bound traffic on Palmerston Street to clear, causing traffic to bank up down Victoria Street and through the Queen Street roundabout. Also, Victoria Street is the main North-South arterial road and therefore was prioritised as such.

Background

Historically, car parking availability in Warragul’s CBD has been considered an issue by traders, people working in the CBD and the broader community. A car parking study was undertaken in 2015(PDF, 11MB) which identified a number of recommendations to assist in the short, medium and long term. This included investigating the feasibility of a multideck carpark.

DARMS Property (a property consultant firm) were then commissioned to provide a detailed assessment on the feasibility of a multideck carpark(PDF, 40MB). The recommended 409 space multideck option was estimated to cost in the order of $25 million and included retail and commercial space to assist in offsetting the cost.

Since the 2015 study and multideck feasibility report, a number of carparking changes have occurred in the Warragul CBD including the construction of a new carpark at the railway station providing 196 new carpark spaces which predominantly are all day/long term car parking spaces.

As a result of these changes, a review of the 2015 parking study was undertaken in 2018 by One Mile Grid (Traffic Consultants) and a number of recommendations were provided. These recommendations are of a similar nature to those included in the original 2015 parking study.

The 2018 study(PDF, 10MB) found that there are currently 2669 car park spaces in the Warragul CBD area with an average occupancy rate of 70% during the week and higher rates of 90% during peak times.

Both studies identified the need to provide additional parking capacity for the long term.

Further enquiries

For further enquiries, please contact the project team via email or by phone on 5624 2411.