Parking plan scaled back

A LAST-DITCH attempt by deputy-mayor James Limnios to entice Christmas shoppers into Perth’s CBD with free parking has been stymied.

The council will instead offer free parking during two weekends in January, a compromise suggested by lord mayor Lisa Scaffidi at last month’s council meeting when she sent Cr Limnios’s suggestion back to committee. The free parking will apply to outer car parks, while in the CBD shoppers will pay a flat $5 fee to park all day in car parks. Street parking will be unaffected.

Ms Scaffidi’s recommendation was taken up by staff, who argued retailers needed more help in the sluggish post-Christmas period, but Limnios allies Jemma Green and Reece Harley amended the item at committee to reinstate his original plan.

But it turned out to be an exercise in vain because full council amended it right back to it’s scaled-back form on Tuesday.

At the same meeting, Cr Limnios doubled down with another parking motion, asking the city to investigate free 15-minute bays in retail areas. Fremantle has already introduced the measure as a way of addressing its struggling retail sector.

If successful, the city would have marketed the bays as ‘Stop Hop & Shop’ spots for shoppers grabbing in-and-out items, but it was also blocked by council.

Cr Limnios later said he thought the outcome demonstrated a lack of understanding about grass root problems affecting city retailers.

“I won’t stop listening to the people of Perth … we have a duty to the ratepayers who are struggling,” Cr Limnios said.

by TRILOKESH CHANMUGAM

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