WAGGA’S new “entertainement precinct” in Fitzmaurice Street has attracted two new eateries, aggravating the street’s crippling parking shortage.
Nanjing Night Net

Business owners and managers have been losing tradebecause their customers have not been able to secure parks, which is set to worsen with the imminent establishmentof yet more cafes and restaurants.

Griffith restaurateur and bar owner Joe Barbarowill open anew 300-seat Italian restaurant in Kincaid Street, at the old Thirsty Crow site.

Mr Barbaro saidhe would be forced to rely on private off-street parking at the back of the premises to attract diners.

A Wagga barista is preparing toopen a new cafe on Fitzmaurice Street within months, taking the place of the formerThree Chefs bar, cafe and restaurant.

Business owners and managers of Carpet Court, The Duke of Kent Hotel, Nemo’s Fish and Chips, Smiley’s Hairdresser and Uneke Lounge have all toldThe Daily Advertiser the chronicshortage of parking spaces and restrictive time limits have hit their bottom lines and in some cases was “running us broke”.

Thirsty Crow head brewerCraig Wealands welcomed the increased Fitzmaurice Street trade, buturged council toalleviate the growing painswith better public transport.

“A decent public transport system would take the heat off the main street,” Mr Wealands said.

“People would feel more comfortable to drink, which would be good for business and thefollowing morning there wouldn’t be cars parked on the street fromthe night before.

“People travelling to licensed venues on a Saturday could leave their cars at home, instead ofleaving theircar at the pub, which requires them tomove it by 8am to avoid a fine.

“The lack ofpublic transport is our biggestdrama.”

Despite the handbrake on trade,Mr Wealands said parking paralysis was a sign Wagga was becoming a thriving metropolis.

“It’s incouncil’s best interests to work out a solution for growth,” he said.

Council will issue itsIntegrated Transport Studyin June, which mayor Rod Kendall promised would result in “decisions to give comfort to those businesses”.

Previous council parking studies in 2003 and 2008 both concluded Wagga needed a multi-storey carpark, whichWagga Business Chamber has consistently maintained is the preferred solution.

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