The Daily Telegraph (Sydney)

Clover’s vi­sion: Tax cars

- ROB­BIE PAT­TER­SON

SYDNEY Lord Mayor Clover Moore has jus­ti­fied a trip half­way around the world, stay­ing in the lux­u­ri­ous north­ern Ital­ian re­sort area of Lake Como, by pre­sent­ing a re­port telling ratepay­ers they need a con­ges­tion tax.

Dur­ing the five-day trip, which cost ratepay­ers $20,000, Ms Moore vis­ited Italy’s fash­ion cap­i­tal Milan and stopped off in Dubai on her way home.

She at­tended the 100 Re­sili- ent Cities Net­work Lead­ers Sum­mit in the picturesqu­e Lake Como town of Bel­la­gio, home to Hol­ly­wood star Ge­orge Clooney.

The con­fer­ence dis­cussed the fu­ture of liv­ing in big cities.

Ms Moore’s re­port for City of Sydney, ten­dered at Mon­day’s coun­cil meet­ing, high­lighted the suc­cess of a con­ges­tion taxes in cities such as Milan, Lon­don and Stock- holm. The Lord Mayor praised Milan’s scheme, which op­er­ates be­tween 7.30am and 7.30pm on most week­days.

“Ve­hi­cles en­ter­ing the zone gen­er­ally pay €5, al­though the 77,000 res­i­dents liv­ing within the zone have 40 free ac­cesses per year and a dis­counted rate of €2,” Ms Moore said. In Lon­don, the stan­dard con­ges­tion charge is £11.50 a day — al­most $24.

It is not the first time Ms Moore has ad­vo­cated a con­ges­tion tax. In Oc­to­ber she said a con­ges­tion tax could solve Sydney’s woes: “We need this sort of in­no­va­tive think­ing and com­mit­ment Sydney-wide. Traf­fic con­ges­tion costs Sydney $5 bil­lion a year and by 2020 that will soar to $8 bil­lion.”

But when she was asked by The Daily Tele­graph this week if she would ad­vo­cate for the scheme in Sydney, Ms Moore stopped short.

“A con­ges­tion charge on traf­fic through the city cen­tre makes a lot of sense but we have to get pub­lic trans­port right first,” she said.

“In­vest­ing in pub­lic trans­port will al­le­vi­ate con­ges­tion and free up road space for peo­ple who have to drive.”

In her re­port to coun­cil­lors she said the money earned through a con­ges­tion charge could be spent on im­prov­ing bike in­fra­struc­ture, just as it had been in Milan.

“In the first year the pro­gram pro­vided over €13 mil­lion to in­crease ser­vices on the Milan Metro and sur­face pub­lic trans­port, and to ex­pand the BikeMi bike hire scheme,” her re­port said.

City of Sydney Lib­eral coun­cil­lor Ed­ward Mandla crit­i­cised the re­port, say­ing the Lord Mayor needed to spend more time fo­cus­ing on bet­ter park­ing and less time on “this crazy green pro­gram”.

“The City of Sydney’s park­ing strat­egy is in dis­ar­ray be­cause of the con­stant med­dling of the Lord Mayor,” he said. He said the coun­cil should in­stead fo­cus on “tak­ing lead­er­ship on park­ing”, which would in­clude bet­ter signs and de­vel­op­ment of a pre­pay park­ing app.

 ??  ?? Ms Moore.
Ms Moore.

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