E-permits locked in

CONTENTIOUS electronic parking permits will be rolled out in Vincent, with the council saying it’s already bought the software and can’t back out.

Residents weren’t consulted about the new system, which will force them to log into a council app to register their cars and those of visitors, while the change also caught some councillors on the hop.

A petition with 26 signatures went to Vincent council on October 20 calling for a halt e-permits until a decent consultation was conducted.

Petitioner Fiona Keating – the fifth resident to approach the Voice over the system – said the signatories have concerns about inconvenience, limited access to computers for some, and not being able to tell whether cars in their street are legally parked or not since no one will have permits displayed. There’s also privacy concerns as the council will have a log of which vehicles have visited which property.

Mayor Emma Cole does think the e-permit system is beneficial but doesn’t think the admin did a great job conveying that. 

Procured

She responded to the petition at the October 20 meeting: “I have checked with the CEO and understand that the software for the e-permit system has already been procured.”

Ms Cole requested council staff prepare a report addressing the petitioners’ concerns and asked that consultation be done as part of the rollout, to “iron out any issues that might emerge and to be responsive to those”.

Benefits of the news system should be happy tech-savvy residents who’ll enjoy a streamlined application process and receive fewer parking tickets of their own to appeal.

Ms Keating remains sceptical on those points: “I am intrigued with how ‘increased customer satisfaction’ will be measured particularly when the city’s administration has not sought the community’s views about changing the current system. 

“Also, on what basis does the administration expect e-permits will decrease the number of infringement appeals? 

“My conversations suggest the opposite. Residents expect more appeals, for example, if only one letter or number of the licence plate is entered incorrectly, the visitor will unreasonably be fined.

“In part I am concerned because new reasons have constantly been put forward as to why consultation is not needed for the e-permit system.”

by DAVID BELL

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