Doubts raised over plans for paid parking at Bruns
BRUNSWICK Heads Chamber of Commerce says a statistician working on the chamber's behalf has cast doubts over Byron Shire Council's parking management survey methodology and results.
The Chamber will also be handing council a petition today signed by more than 3500 residents and businesses objecting to the introduction of paid parking in the town.
President of the Brunswick Heads Chamber of Commerce Zac Tooth claimed problems with the survey design were so substantial the results were likely to be invalid.
"Considering that $15,000 is being spent on consultation on the introduction of paid parking in Brunswick Heads, the quality of the phone and online surveys is very disappointing,” he said.
"The phone and online surveys, which were designed by both an external company and council staff, appear to be written in a way that elicits a positively leaning response to questions.
"In order to clarify our concerns, we sought some expert advice.”
The chamber commissioned a report by Benjamin R. Dexter, who holds a Master of Science specialising in Statistics and Mathematics, who said there was evidence of biased wording, poor question construction and insertion of leading opinions between questions in the online survey.
The Chamber report critiquing the survey concluded that: "The issues with how the data is being gathered (the quality of the survey) are sufficiently concerning that the validity of data collected would be highly questionable.”
"We implore our elected representatives to look beyond the lure of the potential dollar windfall, and carefully consider the possible negative ramifications of paid parking on our small village community of residents, businesses and employees before making such a life-impacting decision.”
Meanwhile Council staff are preparing to go through the submissions received when the exhibition period closes tomorrow.