Don’t put the BRAKES on Baw Baw biz this Christmas
 Baw Baw Opinion   By // 21:40, Friday 8 December 2017

Warragul isn’t a big town, but it’s growing. And with growth comes some pain.

In response to increasingly limited car parking in the town’s CBD, Baw Baw Shire recently upped the frequency of parking patrols across the region. This means the likelihood of drivers actually being fined for spending all day in a one-hour space is much greater.


When we ran a story about this online we had some very strong reactions from our audience.

Many responses were positive, but the most popular comment on our Facebook post about the change was “Fountain Gate, Pakenham Plaza, Moe Kmart, here we come for Christmas shopping!”

Has parking in Baw Baw really become so bad as to warrant a 45-minute drive to a place you could end up parking on the fringe of anyway?

Has our interest in local traders really degraded to the point that enforcing parking restrictions is enough to drive us away? All day spaces are an easy 10 minute or less walk from the middle of our towns and usually have spaces available.


I get it, shopping centres have stores and amenities we don’t have on Baw Baw’s streets. I’m also not for a moment suggesting we make the Buy Local campaign some kind of cult. But we must remember we have some great, modern stores in our region which are very easily accessible.

And most importantly, our retailers need our help. Speaking to many bricks-and-mortar store owners recently actually made me concerned. For many smaller, independent, family businesses the downturn is worsening and they’re really doing it tough. Stories of transition also featured prominently at this week’s Baw Baw Business Networking Function.

Of course, retailers need to be proactive in this transitioning economy. Old school business management isn’t going to work, but old fashioned service will.

Demand for a new shopping experiences is clearly present in the community, and even little things like retailers not parking outside their own storefront all day could help keep money in the local economy.

Our local businesses are a great resource and keep the economy going. They put kids in jobs and support community groups. So if you plan to skip over them, maybe give them another look.

After all, they’re only down the street.

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2 responses to “Don’t put the BRAKES on Baw Baw biz this Christmas”

  1. Roger Marks says:

    One thing that needs immediate attention is parking for disabled people. In some streets, there is none at all. In others, there might be one or two. if you need a parking spot it is easier to go to the other towns with shopping centres as they have disabled parking spots right next to the entrance.

    I have spoken to the Council about this more than once but they don’t want to know.

  2. John Doe says:

    So, if a retailer parks their car outside their own storefront and complains that potential customers won’t come to shop in their town for fear of being fined, how is that the local shopper’s problem? Or is it that local retailers want to have their cake and eat it too?

    For some locals, it’s not necessarily a 45 minute drive away to the bigger shopping centres, as most of us probably already live at least a 10 to 15 minute drive from Baw Baw’s shopping districts. So, the extra half an hour drive isn’t much of a price to pay for the benefit of conveniences, such as undercover parking and all shops in one location.

    And yes, all day parking may be just a ten minute walk away in Baw Baw’s streets, but surely the elderly and parents with very young children can’t be expected to accept this requirement as part of the local shopping experience, especially when large shopping centres like Fountain Gate have the conveniences like what I mentioned further above. The BBSC really needs to get with the times.

    P.S. I’m not elderly, nor do I have young children, so I can and do park in the all day car parks in order to shop locally, but I totally understand that not everyone can do that.