PERTH’S paid parking revenue is in free-fall, with council machines collecting $120,000 less per month than budgeted.
The budgeted figure was itself $3.8 million less than earlier projected figures.
Parking fees make up $75m of the PCC’s projected $111m operating revenue budget.
With the public transport authority also reporting a drop in commuters on trains, the parking shortfall is not due to people swapping cars for public transport.
In a report to council, staff suggested that disruptive capital works projects across the CBD may have had an impact, while chief bean counter Robert Mianich told councillors the drop could be down to fewer people working in the CBD: office vacancies and jobless rates are rising due to a dramatic cooling of the once-rampant resources sector.
In the six months to December 2014 the PCC reported big falls in parking at Elder Street ($261,000 down), the convention centre ($168,000), Pier Street ($98,000) and Mayfair Street ($56,000). Queens Gardens dropped $75,000 and kerbside parking $215,000.
A further drop in council parking revenue is now anticipated and the PCC will reduce parking prices to stay competitive.
PCC car park director Doug Forster notes the council is also being hit on the “supply side” with residents illegally renting their spare spots to commuters, undercutting PCC car parks (Voice, January 24, 2015).
Cr Janet Davidson asked “aren’t we stopping that?” and Mr Forster replied, “there are moves in that direction”.
by DAVID BELL