Paid parking on the rise in City of Perth

Paid parking on the rise in City of Perth

PARKING in Perth is set to rise again after Perth Council voted to increase costs and, for the first time, to pass on merchant fees for credit card use to drivers.

Councillors James Limnios, Reece Harley, Lily Chen and Jemma Green raised concerns about the proposals, each arguing the council should be doing all it could to encourage people to come into the city and support local businesses.

Cr Limnios was particularly opposed to passing merchant fees on to drivers, and said the fee increases were a step towards the city becoming a “ghost town”.

“I’m not comfortable with passing on the merchant fees to drivers,” he said.

“We should find a better way to handle this.”

Cr Harley said local business people had told him they were struggling and that the $2 minimum for parking should be axed.

“East Perth residents are going into Vic Park to shop, and West Perth residents are going to Subiaco and Leederville,” he said.

He and Cr Green made the case for more 15-minute bays and 5-minute bays, which made it easy for locals to drop in for a quick shop and had the added bonus of not attracting the State Government’s parking bay levy.

Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi said she understood it was difficult for people to get into the city for a “big shop”, but also observed that the drop in parking occupancy was more to do with the fall in office occupancy than people choosing to stay away from the city.

She added that the merchant fees component currently absorbed by the City was $400,000, which would constitute a small proportion of the total parking revenue.

The Lord Mayor also cited the onerous State Government parking levy as a factor behind rising costs.

Cr Keith Young noted that City of Perth parking was still significantly cheaper than the private parking providers in the city.

The majority of the council voted to increase parking fees by 1.67 per cent in 2016-17, and to begin passing on merchant fees to motorists.