Mt Lawley: Stirling Council scraps paid parking after two months

Parking machines of Beaufort Street. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.
Parking machines of Beaufort Street. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.

PAID parking is being scrapped in Mt Lawley, just two months after the City of Stirling introduced it.

Parking meters were installed on Field Street and Beaufort Street north of Walcott Street in July following a council decision in March, supported by all councillors except Elizabeth Re.

Councillor Joe Ferrante called for removal of the meters, which allowed for one hour free parking and $2 per hour afterwards, because he said it was hurting businesses in the area.

Eric Matusik, of Matusik Diamond Jewellers, and Irving and Keenan Real Estate principal Stuart Irving implored councillors at Tuesday’s meeting to remove paid parking because of its negative effects on their businesses.

Cr Suzanne Migdale said her issue was with the timing of the implementation.

“In these tough economic times we want to encourage our hub,” she said.

But Cr Karen Caddy noted the City had installed paid parking in Osborne Park, Glendalough, Innaloo, Stirling and other areas of Mt Lawley, and initial concerns did not last long.

She cited the City’s report, which found most people were parking for less than an hour, with 11 per cent staying one to two hours and 8.5 per cent parking for two to three hours.

“80 per cent of the motorists are parking for one hour or less so 80 per cent of the time it’s free, only a small minority are being charged,” she said.

“We’ve spent a lot of ratepayers’ money putting this paid parking in.”

According to Cr Bianca Sandri, some business owners were not allowing customers to park behind their shops as they were supposed to.

Planning director Ross Povey said the City had taken compliance action against some owners with mixed results but it could investigate currently locked carparks, subject to resourcing.

Several councillors supported a suspension of payments until February to avoid the busier summer months, but the majority voted in favour of immediately removing the parking meters.

The City is expected to spend up to $5000 to remove the six machines and replace signage, while it spent $400 on installation for each meter.

Revenue generated between July 2 and August 27 was nearly $10,000.