Claremont council reverses lenient parking ticket policy

Stock image.
Stock image.

CLAREMONT shoppers will no longer be given first-time warnings instead of parking tickets, after councillors decided to reverse the leniency rules last night.

Cr Bruce Haynes said the council was losing about $400,000 a year from the policy of issuing warnings to those who committed their first parking offence each year.

“Instead of the amount being paid by those who infringe, and which we need to spend on the Town, it’s instead coming from the ratepayers,” hes said.

Claremont’s parking fines start at $80 for not showing a ticket, failing to pay, or parking over the allotted time – and up to $150 for offences such as blocking a driveway or leaving a vehicle in a public place.

The policy of leniency for first-time offenders was introduced a year ago under the discretion of former chief executive Stephen Goode to help Claremont shop owners battling high rents and internet retail sales.

The policy was also designed to attract first-time shoppers who may be attracted to Subiaco or Cottesloe shops.

Cr Haynes said the policy had not been passed by councillors, and that the lost revenue could instead be used to do “useful” projects such as partially renovating MacKenzie Pavilion at Creswell Oval.

He also said the policy did not prevent people from parking incorrectly.

Cr Jill Goetze successfully argued the reversal should not apply in the peak Christmas shopping months of November and December.

“It’s to encourage shoppers to shop in Claremont, and spread goodwill at Christmas time, because it’s amazing how the word gets out otherwise,” Cr Goetze said

She said stricter regimes in Claremont, such as those enforced by the City of Subiaco, caused a public perception they shoppers were not welcome.

Claremont staff said dropping the first-time warning provision would revert the council to its previous regime of allowing parking inspectors discretion writing out a fine.

Those fined would have appeal rights, and the chief executive would have the final say on individual cases.

Mayor Jock Barker, who had a close working relationship with Mr Goode, said an alternative method of funding the shortfall caused by first-time warnings was being developed.

Mr Barker said Cr Haynes’ push was a “blunt instrument” which should have been reconsidered on the return from holidays of chief executive Liz Ledger.

However, he eventually supported the change after the leniency rules were retained for the Christmas shopping months.

The change will take effect immediately.

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