Clamp to be put on Wil­son

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - face­ WesternSuburb­sWeekly

SU­BI­ACO coun­cil­lors say they are fed up with Wil­son Park­ing “hi­jack­ing the town’s park­ing” with ex­pen­sive tick­ets, wheel clamp­ing and “bul­ly­ing tac­tics” at the Sed­don Street carpark.

Last Wed­nes­day, Western Sub­urbs Weekly broke the story that coun­cil­lors wanted to end their 2003 com­mer­cial agree­ment with WA’s big­gest pri­vate park­ing com­pany.

Although five coun­cil­lors crit­i­cised Wil­son Park­ing at the coun­cil meet­ing, act­ing Mayor Scott Ar­buckle sin­gled out Cr Mark Burns for say­ing the park­ing op­er­a­tor was “the text­book def­i­ni­tion of cor­po­rate psy­chopaths”.

“Coun­cil dis­as­so­ci­ates it­self from the ter­mi­nol­ogy used by this in­di­vid­ual coun­cil­lor,” Cr Ar­buckle said.

“It is con­trary to our lo­cal laws and stan­dards. We are lead­ers of this com­mu­nity and have to be­have as such.”

Cr Burns said that he had been in­un­dated with calls and emails sup­port­ing his ob­jec­tive to drive Wil­son Park­ing out of Su­bi­aco.

AN elected mem­ber’s mo­tion to ter­mi­nate all con­tracts and agree­ments with Wil­son Park­ing will be pre­sented by Coun­cil­lor Lee Hem­s­ley to the Su­bi­aco Coun­cil this month.

Cr Hem­s­ley said he pro­posed a sim­i­lar mo­tion to sever ties with the con­tro­ver­sial park­ing com­pany in 2012, but it was not sup­ported.

“Su­bi­aco is tar­nished by its as­so­ci­a­tion with Wil­son Park­ing,” he said.

The Coun­cil last Tues­day voted 8-1 to ap­prove Cr Mark Burns’ elected mem­ber’s mo­tion for ad­min­is­tra­tion to pre­pare a re­port de­tail­ing the cur­rent le­gal sta­tus and ten­ure of its man­age­ment agree­ment over 46 car bays at Sed­don Street.

Cr Burns said the cur­rent ex­pired agree­ment would be bro­ken if ei­ther the 16-storey mixe­duse de­vel­op­ment at the old Pav­il­ion Mar­kets site or Bar­rie Le­p­ley’s 1 Sed­don Street of­fices were built.

“If they don’t build, then this agree­ment ex­ists (in­def­i­nitely),” he said.

“They are like vul­tures on a barbed wire fence, just wait­ing for you to stay one minute over and charge a $65 fine. The bot­tom line is that they are bul­lies. Does Su­bi­aco and our com­mu­nity re­ally want to be in busi­ness with them?”

A Wil­son Park­ing spokes­woman said she was dis­ap­pointed by the “un­pro­fes­sional, in­ac­cu­rate and dam­ag­ing state­ments” made by Cr Burns.

“Wil­son Park­ing has a long-stand­ing, suc­cess­ful con­tract with the City of Su­bi­aco,” she said.

“It should be noted that park­ing fees are set in con­sul­ta­tion with the coun­cil.”

Su­bi­aco chief ex­ec­u­tive Ian Hill said City of­fi­cers and a se­nior Wil­son Park­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tive would meet for “con­struc­tive dis­cus­sions” about their work­ing re­la­tion­ship this week.

But Cr Burns said the meet­ing was con­trary to his ap­proved elected mem­ber’s mo­tion.

“My mo­tion was sim­ply to ex­am­ine the le­gal ten­ure of the re­la­tion­ship with a view of break­ing it. There was no sug­ges­tion coun­cil’s staff should at­tempt to re­build a re­la­tion­ship with Wil­son.”

BLOOD­SUCK­ING leeches, cor­po­rate psy­chopaths, bul­lies, vul­tures… Wil­son Park­ing has copped a laun­dry list of in­sults in the past week – most from Su­bi­aco Coun­cil cham­bers. Lis­ten­ing to coun­cil­lors on Tues­day night was like watch­ing the start of a witch-hunt. Their in­flam­ma­tory lan­guage has ef­fec­tively thrown out the City of Su­bi­aco’s op­por­tu­nity to ne­go­ti­ate an am­i­ca­ble exit from its com­mer­cial agree­ment with Wil­son Park­ing. I’m all for sharp­en­ing my pitch­fork against pay­ing $12 an hour to get a cof­fee on Rokeby Road, but try­ing to pin the break­down of Su­bi­aco busi­ness and vi­tal­ity on one ex­pen­sive car park is lu­di­crous. Su­bi­aco has long been sip­ping a toxic cock­tail of fine-happy park­ing of­fi­cers, un­rea­son­able shop rents, the clo­sure of Pav­il­ion and Sta­tion Street mar­kets, min­i­mal coun­cil ex­pen­di­ture on the high street, empty stores and com­pe­ti­tion from neigh­bours Clare­mont Quar­ter and Floreat Fo­rum. As for push­ing Wil­son Park­ing out of Su­bi­aco, an old say­ing keeps run­ning through my head: you catch more flies with honey than vine­gar.

Rosanna Can­dler - re­porter

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