Message from the CEO – Stuart Norman
In what can only be called a dangerous precedent, the recently elected Labor South Australian Government is set to introduce an amendment to the Private Parking Areas Bill into Parliament. The changes would see Councils with the power to approve or deny shopping centres from introducing paid parking.
Parking Australia, the Shopping Centre Council of Australia (SCCA) and the National Retail Association (NRA) have all spoken out against this legislation citing a number of reasons why the bill should not be passed.
The Bill is an election promise from the Malinauskas Government, who has stated that paid parking will cost employees $35 a day and will hurt retailers. Neither of these are true. It’s hypocritical of the Government, as they charge for parking at nearby hospitals and Park and Ride car parks.
Parking Australia has been vocal in its opposition of this Bill having been interviewed on ABC Radio Adelaide and 5AA. We have also been quoted in The Advertiser in an attempt to clarify some of the mistruths expressed in support of the Bill.
Retailers, and in particular shopping centres, aim for as much turnover from customers as possible. The more customers, the more their tenants can sell. Unfortunately, in South Australia like in many other locations around the country, their car parks are often used by people who do not shop at their centres.
Unlike the name, paid parking at shopping centres does not mean that motorists have to pay each time they park. Usually there is a time of 1-3 hours where parking is free and most shopping centres have a staff rate or staff allocated parking away from shopping centre entrances.
One of the key reasons why Parking Australia opposes this Bill is that many local governments have a conflict of interest. In Adelaide, like in many other locations around the country, Councils are contracted to undertake enforcement activities in these car parks. There is little incentive for the Council to approve paid parking applications as it will cost them money. Paid parking would see less fines and thus much less revenue for the council assessing the application.
In response to these latest developments, the next Parking Australia Networking event in Brisbane will discuss the special relationship that exists between retails and parking. Whether it be a major shopping centre or the local High Street, retailers require customer turns over and parking policies that support their industry and customers.
Brisbane Networking Event – The Special Relationship
The special relationship that exists between retail and parking will be examined at the Brisbane Networking Event, Wednesday 17 August. The event will hear from Dominique Lamb the CEO of the National Retail Association, Brad Newton GM of Point Parking and a panel of industry experts.
In addition to the presentations and panel there will be our customary networking over a drink and a bite to eat which will be provided by Pri Park. We’d also like to thank QUT for supplying the venue for the event.
Whether you are a supplier, council, university or property owner we encourage you to attend and to share with those you may know who would benefit from attending. To register, please click on the link.
On-Street EV Charging
A small number of councils in Melbourne are trialling the installation of on-street EV charging for those residents that do not have a driveway or garage. Unfortunately, these councils (while well intentioned) are undertaking a trial that is not in the public interest.
After having recently been to Europe and the UK, I have witnessed and discussed with industry leaders what on-street EV charging should look like. The consensus is that on-street EV charging should be a publicly available asset very much like a parking meter. It is imperative that given Councils own the kerbside, they maintain control of any asset which may be installed and ensure that they are publicly available.
The model being trialled in Melbourne sees the resident paying for the EV charger which has been installed on the street, with the power being drawn from the persons residence via their own home’s switchboard. They are also saying that they are copying what is happening in the UK. In fact, this is nothing like what is being undertaken in the UK where there are over 30,000 publicly available EV chargers with the majority of these being on the footpath.
Councils in the UK are first and foremost seeing these as publicly available assets and, in many instances, linking these to their on-street parking technologies.
Let’s hope that Councils in Australia do not follow the model being trialled in Melbourne and have the common sense to mirror what is being installed across the UK.
Victorian Mental Wellbeing Grant
Parking Australia has successfully applied for the Victorian Government Mental Wellbeing of Business Communities Grants Program. The grants support Business Communities such as the parking industry to develop and deliver a dedicated program to improve the mental health and wellbeing of members.
Having been awarded the grant, Parking Australia will be running a Wellbeing program in conjunction with Quality Minds, who will be delivering the program. The program is open to businesses who are based in Victoria or who have staff who live in Victoria.
The program will start with an impression session in Melbourne in late August and will then move to being online to assist participants access the sessions. The initial in-person sessions are open to all Parking Australia members who may first want to hear about the program without having to commit further.
To assist Parking Australia obtain numbers for a venue we invite any interested members to email us at email@example.com to register your interest. The program is free of charge and we believe that the Quality Minds program will be extremely beneficial for those who participate.
Stuart Norman, CEO, Parking Australia