BACCHUS Marsh residents could soon be paying to park in the town centre, an idea favoured by local businesses.
Main Street trader Malcolm Trask welcomed a Moorabool Council investigation into paid parking.
"It's a great idea," the former Central Business Bacchus Marsh president said.
"It's inevitable residents will have to start paying for parking.
"We have 19,000 people living in the area, with infrastructure for just 5000. If it's about $2 an hour, that's fine."
The council last week decided to investigate the possibility of turning a vacant lot in Graham Street into a ticketed parking bay.
The lot is already used for parking by local customers and workers.
Woodlands ward's Cr Pat Toohey said the council owed $850,000 on the land, which failed to attract a buyer when offered for sale.
Community activist John Spain said the council should "suck it up and move forward", and not turn the land into a revenue raiser.
"This would be a significant change to car parking in Bacchus Marsh," Mr Spain said.
"I understand it's directed at employees of surrounding businesses, but I wouldn't support it unless it's linked to an overall parking strategy."
Mr Spain said residents should have a bigger say on public infrastructure as part of the annual budget process.