Car park sale push

VINCENT council staff appear intent on selling a Barlee Street carpark despite hundreds of nearby business owners and workers complaining it’ll create a parking shortage nightmare.

The 300 people who signed a petition opposing the sell-off have been mushed down into just one submission among 144 in the council report.

The council’s been pondering whether to keep central third of the carpark it owns, or either sell or swap it. 

Developer Palassis owns the outer thirds and the landswap would trade Vincent’s middle bit for one of Palassis’ end pieces, allowing the council set up a public space that would rope in some of the Barlee Street road reserve as well.

But it’s a costly plan: The public space would need anywhere between $500,000 and $1 million, and businesses are concerned the strip already lacks parking.

The 300-signature petition also contests: “Parking in Mount Lawley has always been limited in availabilities. Removing the Barlee Street Public Car Park would further exacerbate the pre-existing limited availabilities,” resulting in fewer visitors, loss of business, and cars cramming surrounding streets and carparks.

The council report’s text acknowledges the petition’s existence but doesn’t include it in the consultation table. That table says 85 respondants liked the landswap deal, 41 wanted the carpark kept, and 17 favoured just selling the land.

Despite the feedback staff reckon selling the land is “the most viable option” given the uncertainties and years-long process involved with a landswap. 

The report says Palassis doesn’t want to run the carpark past 2023 anyway. 

The carpark also runs at a loss, while selling would net near $1million that could be used for street repairs and improvements.

Council will mull over the staff recommendation to sell at the June council meeting.

by DAVID BELL

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