Sydney’s nightlife has been handed another major win, with main street parking meters to be turned off after 7pm in Leichhardt, Rozelle and Balmain.
Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said the decision was voted on during Tuesday’s Inner West Council meeting and would “breathe life into the area's dining and cultural precincts”.
“At the election, I promised to make parking fairer. As Mayor, I am now delivering on that promise,” he said.
“Following detailed costing and planning, the meters will now be turned off in two to three weeks.”
The vast majority of the Inner West Council's parking meters are located in the former Leichhardt Municipality.
"This change to parking meters will send a clear message to visitors and residents that our area is open for business," Mayor Byrne added.
“We must bring back the hustle and bustle in the area and help re-establish the vibrant main streets the inner west has always been famous for,” said Mayor Byrne.
Mayor Byrne said the lost revenue will be funded through efficiency savings in 2017/18 Budget and not increases in parking or permit fees.
Local businesses including Bar Italia owner Con Darnouras have praised the move, saying will it will have positive impacts on the inner west's local night-time economy.
"Our customers regularly complain about the parking situation and our red wine and gelato can only go so far in relieving their frustrations,” Darnouras said.
"Cost of living is so high in Sydney - people simply can't afford to fork out additional money on parking, so we are finding people are going elsewhere, like Concord, where there are no parking meters at all.
"This policy will be a massive relief for businesses in the area - customers will no longer have to rush and can soak up the entire experience.”
The council is now set to lead community consultation on whether to extend 30 minutes free parking to side streets, turn side-street meters off at night, and ways to improve main street parking across the whole inner west.