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Timing of parking fees hike 'sneaky'

Date

Noel Towell Chief Assembly Reporter

Sneaky ... The Liberals say the ACT government cynically kept higher parking charges from voters until after the election.

Sneaky ... The Liberals say the ACT government cynically kept higher parking charges from voters until after the election.

The ACT government stands accused of "sneakily" postponing unpopular parking fee increases until after October's ACT election.

The government announced on Friday afternoon that Canberra motorists would pay more than 12 per cent more in parking fees in some areas of the city from early next year.

But motorists in Civic - where prices will rise to $13.5 per day - were notified earlier in the year that the increases were scheduled to begin in early September.

The Justice and Community Safety Minister, Simon Corbell has refused to say why the price increases were delayed by four months.

The Canberra Liberals' transport spokesman, Alistair Coe, said the government cynically kept the higher charges from voters until after the election, fearing they would be used by the Liberals in their cost-of-living campaign.

However, Mr Corbell said the timing of the increases was at the minister's discretion.

All-day parking in government-owned car parks in Civic will increase from $12 to $13.50 a day, while short-stay, four-hour spots will cost $12.50 for four hours.

In the town centres, an all-day commuter park will cost $9 and a two-hour spot will be $3.

Making the announcement on Friday, the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate's executive director of city planning, Erin Brady, encouraged commuters to use park-and-ride facilities in the suburbs or catch the bus to work instead of driving.

Mr Coe said: "The government's delay of releasing more bad news for Canberra households until after the election when it was aware that it was planning this price hike, which is just more gouging of Canberrans.

"I think it does show why the government kept the cost of car parking out of the cost-of-living statement in the budget because they know that it has become significant and they know it's a fair chunk out of the average Canberran's weekly budget.

"Parking now costs well over $100 a fortnight and it shouldn't cost that much in Canberra.

"The government will say that it's cheaper to park here than in other capital cities but in 2008, it was $7.50 to park all day in Canberra and now, it's nearly double that."

Mr Coe rejected the notion that higher parking prices would encourage commuters on to public transport.

"Absolutely not," Mr Coe said.

"What's going to attract more people on to ACTION buses is by improving the service.

"In Melbourne's CBD, you can get all-day parking for less than $20.

"They don't need to price parking in the CBD to something like $40 to force people on to public transport in Melbourne because they have a good system.

"For the government to try to hide behind public transport is quite disingenuous when the fact is, this is just another cash grab."

Mr Corbell issued a statement through a spokesman.

"The timing of parking price determinations are at the discretion of the minister," the staffer said.

37 comments

  • All this extra money, when are you going to update the infrastructure so that people can pay via notes or credit card?

    Commenter
    midpack
    Date and time
    December 19, 2012, 6:39AM
    • Agree.

      And if we're going to be the most expensive city in Australia to live in (and I'm betting we're already there) could we at least have the first class services to go with the first class price tag, please? How about reliable, regular buses? How about road works that don't take years? Enough beds for hospital services to be efficient? Funding for proper maintenance and improvement of our schools?

      Provide those things (for starters) and the rise in fees will be worth it.

      Commenter
      chilli
      Date and time
      December 19, 2012, 10:38AM
  • I actually agree with Coe's quoted comments for a change. Corbell has again misread the community and this reinforces the perception that he is unwilling to engage with his electorate.

    BTW, here is another predication. People will continue to drive to work, either pay park or do the free park ballet and ACTION buses will continue to not meet commuter needs.

    (Oh and Light Rail won't happen, cycle paths will be painted everywhere, and we will never see a drag strip).

    Hmm, might change my name to Nostradamus of Palmerston now.

    Commenter
    Outraged of Palmerston
    Date and time
    December 19, 2012, 6:50AM
    • Correct on all predictions Outraged of Palmerston.
      This is purely additional taxes by stealth on ACT's increasing 2nd class citizens by the Green Labor ACT government.
      Hell, were did we all go wrong at the elections.

      Commenter
      Nitro Gangster
      Location
      ACT
      Date and time
      December 19, 2012, 7:46AM
    • This from a man that did not even get a quotation of votes, and the final insult was yesterday when Swann said Barr was doing a great job in hobbling and destroying the spirit of the tax payers of Canberra with the introduction of the Triple your Rates.

      Commenter
      Martin Says
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      December 19, 2012, 8:39AM
    • Where we went wrong at the elections? now that is worthy of a PhD in behavioural psychology.

      My take is, no one understands how the preference system works in Hare Clark, we voted for single "celebrities" and no one educated the voting public on "if you don't want person X then don't vote for them" because Hare Clark allows you to put a minimum of preferences down.

      Commenter
      Outraged of Palmerston
      Date and time
      December 19, 2012, 8:43AM
    • We didn't all go wrong Nitro Gangster, just the idiots that voted Labor and now we all pay.

      Commenter
      westy
      Location
      canberra
      Date and time
      December 19, 2012, 12:02PM
  • Higher parking fees, high vehicle registration costs, high petrol prices and a less than satisfactory public transport service, that's what Canberra workers have to look forward to in 2013.

    Street vehicle parking in Canberra is a nightmare.

    I cannot see a Light Rail System coming to Canberra.

    Commenter
    Tc
    Date and time
    December 19, 2012, 7:34AM
    • I don't know why people are complaining. The money raised will be going to worthwhile things like First class travel for many politicians to Washington to become a sister city, increasing the number of members in the assembly to 25, heavily subsidise an international airline for direct flights to NZ and of course to fund Men in Tight Shorts. Without the increase none of the above could happen and politicians would not have enough "work" to do.

      Commenter
      stoney
      Date and time
      December 19, 2012, 8:25AM
      • Stoney for Chief Minister, how stupid am I, hell how stupid are we 2nd class citizens, thanks for enlightening us stoney, you are one champeen person.
        And remember we have this lot for four years, not three.
        Now how do we get enough apathetic 2nd class citizens to make a bloody great noise and force a new election.

        Commenter
        Nitro Gangster
        Location
        ACT
        Date and time
        December 19, 2012, 8:48AM

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