As we emerge from a four month lockdown, it is important we do everything we can to support local businesses.
That's why I am concerned by Georges River Council's decision to close the Palm Court Car park in Hurstville.
We need more parking to support local shop and business owners, but Georges River Council is closing and selling car parks. Council have already sold off crucial parking spaces in Peakhurst, Riverwood, Kogarah and South Hurstville.
I have spoken to many Hurstville businesses that object to Council's decision to close the car park. St George Businesses Chamber President, Allan Zreik stated that the Palm Court Carpark is an "essential piece of infrastructure that should be left as it is." Chris Thomas, CEO of the Thomas Hotel Group who own a hotel opposite the carpark believes that the decision "would affect all businesses in this pocket of Hurstville who need the car park day and night."
To make matters worse, Georges River Council will not be replacing the lost spaces with only eight additional parking slots planned for nearby Treacy Street - way less than the 31 spaces at the Palm Court Car park.
I'm consistently amazed at the resilience of our small businesses, particularly during the pandemic and lockdown. These businesses need car park spaces so customers don't drive off after trying and failing to get a parking space nearby.
Closing the Palm Court car park is a short-sighted decision that hurts businesses in Hurstville. The last thing we should be doing right now is making it harder for our local businesses to operate.