WESTFIELD Carousel’s paid parking scheme will hit tenants and staff the hardest, one worker has claimed.
A man who works at the shopping centre but did not want to be named said a meeting between Scentre Group, which runs the Westfield centres, and the centre’s staff and tenants was held two weeks ago.
The charges for customers remain unconfirmed but other media outlets have reported the first three hours would be free before tariffs would apply and an extra hour allowed for those with movie tickets.
The worker claimed they would be charged $3 a day to park at the centre.
They also said sales and foot traffic had already dropped during the expansion works and tenants were struggling.
“Westfield is situated in the middle to lower income group. If this problem continues lots of the local community are going to lose their jobs. People are not going to visit Carousel if they are going to pay,” the concerned worker said.
He said the staff were using toilets in need of upgrades while millions was being spent to improve the customer experience.
Nicholas Yan, who has shopped at Carousel for 11 years, contacted the Canning Times yesterday when he saw boom gates and ticket machines being installed.
“I even asked some retailers and they are aware paid parking is starting,” Mr Yan said.
He said he knew of Westfield centres over east that had paid parking.
“My point of view is that this could be the end of shopping at Westfield Carousel to me now.”
Canning Times first highlighted paid parking could be in the cards on May 4 – due to sightings by patrons of the installation of power supplies and sensors at carpark entrances.
At the time, a spokeswoman for Scentre Group said the group was not in a position to confirm details but expected to make an announcement soon.
Scentre Group yesterday confirmed a Smarter Parking system would be introduced as part of its $350 million redevelopment,
“This means no paper tickets, no queuing at pay stations and no lengthy wait periods when finding a park,” the spokeswoman said.
“We recognise this benefit also applies to staff and so are implementing a designated staff parking area that includes secure parking with CCTV and increased availability.
“This will be provided at a reduced flat rate for all centre and retail staff.
“In addition to parking and an extensive new dining, entertainment and retail offering, the redevelopment will also see a large number of upgrades to existing facilities and amenities that will be accessible to staff.”