Parking levy stoush

VINCENT council has joined the City of Perth in calling for the state government not to hit ratepayers’ wallets by jacking up the Perth parking levy.

Every year the councils have to give the state government around $1150 for every car bay close to the CBD, amounting to $58 million last year.

The cash is earmarked for public transport initiatives like CAT buses, and recently it helped fund the Perth underground bus station.

But some Perth councillors have been unhappy with how the cash is spent—they opposed the placement of the bus station—and Vincent has recently complained they get very little out of the deal, apart from a small leg of a CAT bus route.

The fee’s also skyrocketed in recent years: when it was introduced in 1998 it was $70 a bay, it then hovered at around $600, before doubling in the past five years when the underground bus station was built.

At last week’s Vincent council meeting, councillors unanimously voted to request the state government freeze the levy at current levels, and that CEO Len Kosova lobby the department of transport to have the cash spent on public transport projects that benefit Vincent.

At a Perth council meeting in April, lord mayor Lisa Scaffidi had tabled a motion asking for a levy freeze as “urgent business”.

At the time the move drew criticism from councillors Reece Harley, Jemma Green and James Limnios, and Cr Harley reckoned the lord mayor tabled it as an urgent to detract from the bad press she was receiving that week.

Vincent councillors decided that it wasn’t that urgent and took another six weeks to approve a near-identical motion.

by DAVID BELL

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