Queensland Minister Bans the Sharing of License Details
On Australia Day it was reported that the Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey made comments stating payment notices issued by commercial car park operators was a “rip off” and that motorists should not pay.
While these comments were directed at parking operators and lead to the Queensland Government banning the sharing of licence plate details, the decision has a significant impact on car park owners ability to manage their facilities. Parking is an enabler for these property owners who have invested in retail, health and other commercial properties.
On Wednesday 15 February, Minister Bailey announced that the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) would cease the sharing of licence plate details to commercial car park operators and their related enforcement entities as of yesterday (Monday 20 February).
To say that Parking Australia is disappointed is an understatement. On 30 January, Parking Australia wrote to the Minister requesting a meeting to understand what specific issues he had and to see what we, as an industry could do to address these concerns.
The Minister’s office confirmed receipt of the correspondence and said that the Minister was considering our request to meet. On Monday 13 February the Minister agreed to meet the following day, Tuesday 14 February. While the Minister had continued to make uncomplimentary statements about the industry, we saw this as a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, this meeting was then cancelled by Minister Bailey.
On the Wednesday morning (15th) the Minister announced that TMR would cease the sharing of licence plate details from yesterday. Parking Australia subsequently contacted the Minister’s office again and requested an urgent rescheduling of our cancelled meeting. Parking Australia was then told by the Minister’s Chief of Staff that the Minister could no longer meet to discuss the matters as he had already initiated a review, but we could meet with TMR.
On Thursday afternoon (16th) Parking Australia met with TMR to discuss the immediate impact of the decision and its ramifications for the industry. We also discussed the process by which the review will be held.
Parking Australia is seeking clarification on the use of data already lawfully obtained and paid for prior to the ban coming into effect.
Over the last couple of weeks, while this matter has been afoot, Parking Australia has publicly and privately sought a meeting with Minister Bailey to constructively seek to address his issues with commercial parking operators. This has included interviews on 4BC, and ABC Brisbane, Toowoomba and Cairns.
In addition to this we’ve provided quotes to the Brisbane Times and Courier Mail, as well as being interviewed for the Brisbane Channel 7 news.
Parking Australia intends to be a major contributor in the review process and recommend that the Queensland Government implement forward looking measures in line with the increasing digitisation of the parking / mobility sector. We intend to work closely with other property and retail industry bodies to obtain the best possible solution for members, the industry and the motoring public.