Chris Daly, pictured, wants the Grafton Mall operators to overturn a decision to close the park to nearby workers. She is threa
Chris Daly, pictured, wants the Grafton Mall operators to overturn a decision to close the park to nearby workers. She is threa

Hopping mad over car park lock out

By JULIA ILES

A WOMAN believes Grafton Mall may lose $128,700 in revenue if they order nearby workers out of their car park.

This is according to Christine Daly, a frequent shopper at the complex and a Telstra call centre employee, who parks at the mall most days.

She based the figure on 99 people spending $250 per week, which she said was highly utilised by her fellow workers who number in excess of 100.

This comes after Grafton Mall centre management issued warning notices on Tuesday to owners of cars parked for long periods in the Queen Street car park.

The warnings stated that the car park had a two-hour limit and threatened that the offending cars would be towed at the owner's expense.

The notices were placed after Mark Austen from centre management studied and took down licence plates of cars that were regularly parked there.

Ms Daly said she had never seen the car park full and questioned why management would make that decision.

"We are really unhappy about this and if people exercise their rights in deciding where their dollars go, Grafton Mall will lose out and it could have a detrimental effect on the business operators in this complex," she said.

Ms Daly said many of her colleagues disagreed with the move and would go elsewhere for their shopping needs.

"It is not a city complex where parking is at a premium but a regional town where small businesses are crying out for customers," she said.

Karen, another Telstra worker, said she would boycott Grafton Mall, if she wasn't able to utilise the car park.

"If I have to park way down on Fitzroy Street at the end of the day I won't be driving to Coles for my shopping, I will be driving to Woolworths and I have two teenage boys who eat a lot," she said.

However, at this stage no fine is attached to the notice. For a parking inspector to apply a fine at Grafton Mall, centre management would need a written agreement with the Clarence Valley Council.

Grafton Mall centre manager Gary Morrison declined to speak with The Daily Examiner and said in a statement: "Grafton Mall suffers from periods of lack of parking facilities, particularly early in the week. Complaints have been received from both customers and retailers," he said.

"We ask that all customers be considerate towards others in the Grafton community by observing the request for two-hour limits to parking."

Mr Morrison said for those that exceed the limit, towing would only ever be considered as a last option.

"Instead, we are currently in the process of approaching local business outside of the centre to ask how they plan to meet the long-term parking needs of their staff," he said.



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