City of Perth to call on State Govt to freeze Perth parking levy

City of Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi.
City of Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi.

PERTH council will call on the State Government to freeze the Perth parking levy at its current level in the 2017-18 financial year.

Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi moved the matter as an urgent motion at last night’s council meeting and said many Perth residents expressed great concern about parking levy.

Ms Scaffidi said the Department of Transport accumulated a $28 million surplus from the levy over the past two years.

Councillor Jemma Green argued the motion should not be heard as urgent without notice because it could be discussed at the next council meeting without causing financial harm to the City.

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Cr Green suggested the motion was a response to Premier Mark McGowan asking the Lord Mayor to stand down last Friday.

Cr Lily Chen spoke in favour of the motion because of the current financial climate in the City.

Cr Reece Harley said he would support the motion because “the substance and logic of the proposal is sound”.

“The Department of Transport has a surplus… I wish we knew what they do with it but it’s not very transparent,” he said.

Cr Harley said while he supported the motion, it was a “classic bait and switch” to distract from other issues.

“This is an issue every year, it’s not a surprise, so the timing is interesting,” he said.

Deputy Lord Mayor James Limnios said he supported the substance of the motion, and had raised the matter previously with City chief executive Martin Mileham, but was concerned by the process.

In closing the debate, the Lord Mayor said that without the sale of utilities – referring to the Barnett Government’s proposal to sell Western Power – the State Government was likely to use the parking levy to boost revenue.

Crs Chen, Keith Yong, Harley, Judy McEvoy and Ms Scaffidi voted in favour of the motion, which passed 5-2.

Guardian Express has asked the State Government for comment.