Western Suburbs Weekly - - Opinion -

CHRIST­MAS shoppers are strate­gic. They de­ter­mine how crowded a shop­ping cen­tre or town cen­tre will be, but mostly they con­sider the avail­abil­ity and cost of park­ing. It is a time when peo­ple may di­vert from their lo­cal to a new area if it’s more ac­ces­si­ble. Perth, Clare­mont, Leed­erville, Su­bi­aco, just to name a few, are com­pet­ing for the Christ­mas shoppers ev­ery De­cem­ber. The City of Vin­cent of­fers one hour of free park­ing, Su­bi­aco is tri­alling three hours free in Roland Street in De­cem­ber, Clare­mont park­ing is free, but timed and Perth charges up to $5.80 an hour to use its pub­lic carparks dur­ing busi­ness hours. Perth Deputy Lord Mayor James Limnios has started the con­ver­sa­tion among his coun­cil­lors about of­fer­ing free park­ing for Christ­mas shoppers. It’s been re­jected in favour of pos­si­ble free park­ing in Jan­uary. Other coun­cils need to join this con­ver­sa­tion and make a play for the Christ­mas shoppers. While Su­bi­aco and Perth could of­fer free park­ing, Clare­mont and Leed­erville could take their rangers off the streets. The ini­tia­tive will come at a cost to coun­cils in terms of rev­enue, but re­tail­ers, cafes, bars and restau­rants will reap the re­wards. Re­wards many des­per­ately need in this tough eco­nomic cli­mate.

Denise S Cahill - Ed­i­tor

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