CAR parks along the Esplanade and CBDs will remain free, Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell said.
"The debate about paid parking is not about making people pay for on-street parking, especially in the CBDs and tourist precincts," Cr O'Connell said.
"The debate is about the need to build more off-street car parks and how to fund them."
Studies into parking demand identified that by 2034 Hervey Bay would be about 6000 car park spaces short, Community Health, Education and Training Portfolio Cr Robert Garland said.
With each car space costing about $9000, the council has already invested $27 million in public car parking and identified that a further $14.3 million will need to be spent to meet future needs.
The Fraser Coast Parking Strategy 2031, which was adopted in March, made recommendations including the implementation of paid off-street car parks, and reviewing regulated parking for existing on- and off-street parking.
The council is considering recommendations by the Parking Review Strategy Committee to change to on-street and off-street timed-regulated parking areas; implement paid off-street parking at 50c per hour with a maximum fee of $4 per day; and offer an annual parking permit of $500 or $2 per day for all-day parking at designated off-street car parks for workers.
"Council, at its Ordinary Meeting in July, has requested options to implement timed-regulated off-street parking with a transition to paid parking over time," Cr Garland said.
"Council is continuing to take feedback from all sections of the community."
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