Port Phillip reduces parking fees to invigorate Waterfront Place and Fitzroy Street precinct 

By  |  0 Comments

By Becky Maschke

 

Port Phillip Council has moved to reduce parking fees at Waterfront Place and in the Fitzroy Stprecinct in a bid to attract more visitors during the winter months. 

Between April and September, parking fees will drop to $1.80 per hour with a maximum daily rate of $8.50. Additionally, between October and March the hourly rate at Waterfront Place will decrease to $3.80. 

The seasonal adjustment came into effect in July and will continue for 12 months.  

Port Phillip officers initially recommended that a price reduction in parking fees be limited to three months and apply to Waterfront Place only.  

The trial was calculated to cost the city $41,000. This cost was included in the budget 2017/18. 

The proposal is a part of Port Phillip’s ongoing effort to develop its Integrated Transport Strategy and formulate a streamlined approach to paid parking.  

Cr Andrew Bond presented an alternative recommendation ahead of the vote at the Ordinary Meeting of Council on June 21, 2017.  

The new proposal extended the reduction in parking fees at Waterfront Place to 12 months and also included a six-month reduction for the Fitzroy St precinct. 

This addition is expected to cost the council an extra $150,000 per year. This additional expense was not factored into the budget 2017/18 which was approved by the Council later that evening.  

The “last-minute” alternative split the council and sparked disagreement over the extent of the measure. 

Cr Ogy Simic questioned whether “reducing parking fees around Fitzroy St in particular will stimulate business”. 

“We haven’t seen any data to support that view,” Cr Simic said. 

Deputy Mayor Cr Katherine Copsey called the recommendation “a roll of the dice” and voiced her concern over the apparent lack of supporting data and additional budgetary impact. 

“We don’t know that the proposed reduction in the seasonal rates will produce any beneficial outcome for traders on Fitzroy Street and Waterfront Place. But what I can absolutely guarantee is that losing a $150,000 from our council budget will impact our ability to deliver programs,” Cr Copsey said. 

Councillor Bond denied the proposal was “based on a guess or anecdotal evidence” but was the result of “actual analysis of actual transaction data for both locations over a five-year period.” 

“Roughly 22 per cent of transactions have disappeared from Fitzroy Street in the last 12 months. That suggests that we have a problem there,” Cr Bond said. 

Cr Crawford echoed the remarks of Councillor Bond, saying that “the integrated transport strategy takes a long time and businesses are crying out for our help now.” 

 

 

 

Find us on FacebookFind us on FacebookFind us on FacebookFind us on Facebook