Thursday, February 01, 2007

Council Parking Charges

There is a story today (1 Feb) story that Mayor of North Sydney, Genia McCaffery, is charging variable rates for resident parking permits, with higher charges for "gas-guzzling" vehicles. She has said that, as President of the Local Government Association, she will encourage other councils to "go greener".

Her Council, North Sydney, raised more that $175,000 last year. How much went on programs to counter or reduce greenhouse emissions? NIL. That's right, nothing. It went, apparently, to fund the program to collect the money. There are no reported changes to the types of vehicles, no reduction or counter to greenhouse gases. The money is being spent to run the program to collect the money. That is disgraceful. Mayor McCaffery, and other North Sydney councillors, ought to be ashamed. Other Sydney councils have now said they will consider such a charge - they have either not thought through this issue properly and/or see only the potential revenue.

If they want to raise more revenue, they should seek more appropriate rises in the general rate by application to the NSW Government, and seek increases in charges for services such as garbage collection. To create charges and fees that are used to collect the charges and fees is bureaucratic stupidity.

The Analyst