David Pugh, owner and head chef at Restaurant Two. Photo: Glenn Hunt
High profile city chefs will today protest changes to on-street parking introduced by council last week on the grounds restaurants will close as a result.
Restaurant Two owner and head chef David Pugh will lead the charge against a move he said would cripple a fragile restaurant industry and was an “unfair extra cost for city customers”.
“At the end of the day it's an unfair extra cost for city customers at a time we should be encouraging people to spend money and stimulate the local economy,” he said.
Brisbane motorists face changes to CBD parking.
“Council needs to take responsibility for their decisions and understand that they have significant impacts for local businesses. This decision will close down some restaurants in the CBD, there is no two ways about that.”
The new parking restrictions will ditch the $10 capped rate for all-day parking in the city, limit parking times to one hour or three hours and extend metered hours across weeknights and weekends.
Today's action seeks to repeal the plan which is slated to be delivered by Easter and expected to generate an extra $860,000 in annual Brisbane City Council revenue.
Moda owner and head chef Javier Codina will join Mr Pugh and a host of other hospitality figures, including Ecco's Philip Johnson and Esquire's Ryan Squires, to protest the time restrictions that will apply until 10pm.
“The average sitting time at most city venues is well over two hours, these restrictions will prevent our customers from using off street parking at all,” Mr Codina said.
“Many of my diners make dinner reservations for 7pm so they don't have to pay for parking. It's not hard to see that this will result in diners staying home rather than coming out.”
But Deputy Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner defended the scheme on the grounds it would make it easier to find a park in Brisbane CBD, South Bank and Fortitude Valley.
Under the scheme, people would pay between $1 and $2 an hour during the non-peak parking period depending on which zone they park in, Cr Schrinner said.
“Encouraging turn-over will mean more people will have access to on-street parking spaces – it's very difficult to find a space in the evening and on weekends,” he said.
The additional revenue raised by the scheme would be allocated equally to each ward across the city for footpath and park upgrades via the ward footpath and parks trust fund that each councillor receives.