Bega Valley residents will need to be extra mindful of how long they leave their vehicles in timed carparks, as a parking officer will soon be permanently patrolling the region.
At Bega Valley Shire Council's meeting on Wednesday, councillors unanimously voted to establish a permanent parking officer position.
The move was recommended by council staff and follows what staff described, in the meeting's agenda, as the "successful completion" of a recent parking compliance trial.
During the discussion on the matter councillors said a major reason they supported the move was because of the positive feedback they had received from businesses in the shire saying the trial had been beneficial to their customer turnover.
For example, Cr Russell Fitzpatrick said he had been told by one shop owner that having a half-hour car park monitored outside his shop had resulted in his business increasing "300 per cent".
"I think it's a good move," he said.
"But all we're asking is do the right thing that's on a sign and you won't get a fine."
He proposed adding to the motion that council upgrade the signage for long-term parking across the shire.
Deputy Mayor Sharon Tapscott said she knew those who worked in the retail sector in the shire were "very happy" with the parking compliance trial.
But she said the two-hour parking limit in places in Merimbula was not long enough so asked if a three-hour limit could be considered, a question to which director of community, environment and planning Dr Alice Howe replied she would refer to the transport committee.
Cr Cathy Griff asked if during the low season the parking officer could be moved to another position within council, but Dr Howe said the intention of the position was to focus on parking and not overlap with council's other rangers.
Cr Jo Dodds said she had been monitoring the talk on social media about the issue, where people seemed to have "strange arguments".
For instance, she said some people stated they did not want a parking officer as it was too expensive, but also said there was nowhere to park.
She asked if council could provide the public with more information on the purpose of a parking officer and how it would free up parking space, with Dr Howe saying that would occur if the motion passed.
During the parking compliance trial, between May and September one dedicated full-time parking officer was focused entirely on timed parking areas within Bega, Bermagui, Merimbula, Pambula and Eden.
Over the course of this trial 496 penalty infringement notices were issued, which resulted in $13,589 being returned to council's budget ($53,489 in revenue minus $39,900 in expenditure).
Based on those figures over four months, council staff believe the establishment of a permanent position would be "budget positive" to the tune of $44,000 a year.