Clamp to be put on Wilson
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