Senate inquiry into commuter car park fund

By Stuart Norman, CEO Parking Australia

After what has been a difficult 2020 and 2021, it’s encouraging that we can see a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of this pandemic. Australians continue to get vaccinated with the view of being able to move locally, nationally and internationally.

For Parking Australia and the industry, this movement of people cannot happen soon enough. Councils and private operators want and need people to be parking, retail want and need people back in their shops and universities and airports want their students and travellers back.

The result of this pandemic is that if people did not believe that parking was a key part of transport and mobility networks, then they should now. This point is reinforced by the finalists and winners of this year’s Parking Industry Awards. Technology in parking continues to evolve and much of the technology is aimed to bridge the gap between traditional entry and payment to integrating parking into the transport mobility ecosystem.

With Christmas fast approaching, it is anticipated that people will be increasing their movement, which in turn means they’ll be parking. However, this is only part of the story. For the industry to get back to pre pandemic levels we need people back in city offices. This will be harder than it sounds with low office occupancies in Melbourne and Sydney and people still working from home. It is vital that these people return, not only for the parking industry but also to revitalise some of our major cities.

AGM

Parking Australia will be holding its Annual General Meeting on 1 December 2021. This will be held virtually.

The AGM will see the announcement of those elected to the three available board positions. Each member organisation will have the opportunity to vote with the virtual voting information having been forwarded to the bundle administrators for each organisation on 24 November.

If you have any questions on who the bundle administrator might be for your organisation, please feel free to contact us on paa@parking.asn.au.

Senate inquiry into the commuter car park fund

On Thursday 11 November, I was asked to appear before the senate inquiry into the urban congestion fund which includes the commuter car park fund. I provided a brief opening statement on the lack of parking technology included in these car parks. While Transport for NSW are currently undertaking a trial of technology in the Hills District of Sydney, the federal government made no stipulation that parking technology be included in the projects to be delivered.

With the cost for some of these projects ballooning out to as much as 522% above the industry benchmark, it is hard to comprehend how the installation of parking technology could not be included. In addition to this, the aim of the fund is to bust congestion and we in the parking industry know that this is difficult to achieve without providing the motorist with accurate and up-to-date information.

It will be interesting to see where this program goes now, as we head into a federal election in 2022. With the opposition also proposing commuter car parks as a policy going into the last election, the car parks will either be seen as ‘too hot’ to handle or an opportunity to hammer the government’s incompetence in administering the program.

 

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