NSW Government commences review of Parking Space Levy Act 2009
Image: Jason Tong CC-BY-SA
The NSW Government has commenced a review of the Parking Space Levy Act 2009 (PSL) to determine whether the policy objectives of the Act remain valid and whether the terms of the Act remain appropriate for securing those objectives. The PSL is one of a number of NSW Government strategies to help reduce congestion in key business districts throughout Sydney.
The aim of the PSL is to discourage car use in leviable districts, as well as attracting customers to public transport by funding around $100 million of improvements to essential infrastructure each year, such as commuter car parks and interchanges.
The Parking Space Regulation 2009 will also be reviewed, as it is due for statutory repeal under the Subordinate Legislation Act 1989.
Transport for NSW has prepared a discussion paper to inform the review of both the Act and its Regulation, and recently invited submissions from stakeholders.
Parking Australia made a submission on behalf of its members who are directly impacted by the PSL, as they either lease, own or manage privately owned car parks in Sydney.
The submission outlines why the PSL is now outdated in its objectives and does not take into consideration new and emerging technologies that can reinforce commercial parking as a potential solution to congestion and why, the PSL needs to be transparent, evaluated and provide a clear demonstration as to how it may achieve its set objectives.
As part of the submission Parking Australia has made the following recommendations:
- An exemption be applied permanently for parking spaces dedicated to Electric Vehicles with infrastructure installed, with the potential for NSW to create one of the largest charging networks in the world. By 2020 we could well see 23,000 electric cars on the road every year that will require a place to park and charge. Currently there are no exemptions for the PSL for electronic charging stations.
- There is a full exemption of parking levies for spaces/bays occupied by car sharing vehicles. This will ensure that the car park operator is not wearing the financial burden to facilitate a more sustainable mode of transport. The business model of the parking industry is set to be impacted by driverless vehicles and it is now that the industry needs to identify and collaborate with TfNSW to be prepared for share, connected and autonomous mobility.
- That 1% (annually) of the PSL revenue be allocated to a Future Parking Initiative designed to work with relevant stakeholders to guide the development of autonomous vehicles, aggregation and intelligent parking initiatives for those parking sectors funding this via their PSL. Evidence suggests that owners and lessees of properties have made investment decisions based on the current PSL rate and should there be any increase in the PSL this would only place further pressure on property owners resulting in an investment wind down and potentially closure of properties.
- To relieve the administrative burden of the OSR and ensure compliance across the whole sector, Parking Australia as the independent industry body proposes that TfNSW consider an audit and review/evaluation system that can be managed by Parking Australia. Over the last two years the parking industry has developed an Accredited Operator Scheme which is underpinned by a Code of Practice for Enforcement on Private Land. This rigorous scheme assesses some 80 standards, engages unannounced site visits and, provides for a sanction scheme of 12 points similar to a driver’s licence which monitors compliance against the Code. The PSL Audit and Evaluation Scheme would provide comprehensive and transparent data regarding parking daily counts, exemptions and evaluation reporting. Similar to the model of the Heavy Vehicle regulator.