Park­ing fee plea


Canning Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Carmelle Wilkin­son

PRES­SURE is be­ing ap­plied to lo­cal gov­ern­ment can­di­dates to support an end to paid park­ing for West­field Carousel staff, which is cost­ing em­ploy­ees hun­dreds of dol­lars a year.

Park the Fee was formed af­ter Scen­tre Group, which owns Carousel, in­tro­duced a paid park­ing scheme for staff in mid 2018.

It is es­ti­mated Scen­tre is mak­ing about $750,000 a year from Carousel park­ing alone.

Wil­son res­i­dent Mar­garet Tay­lor, who has worked at Carousel since 1992, wrote to can­di­dates last week.

She wants to know their po­si­tion on the cam­paign be­fore cast­ing her bal­lot on October 19.

“At this elec­tion, I will be de­cid­ing who I vote for based on whether can­di­dates support free and safe park­ing for Carousel staff, shop as­sis­tants and small busi­ness own­ers and man­agers,” she said.

“In 2018, I didn’t have to pay to park at work. Now I have to pay at least $3 a day. On $21.41 per hour, that’s more than a week’s worth of my wages each year.”

Ms Tay­lor said public trans­port was not an op­tion for her with early or la­teevening shifts and she was con­cerned for her safety.

Shop, Dis­tribu­tive and Al­lied Em­ploy­ees As­so­ci­a­tion WA sec­re­tary Peter O’keefe said it was not fair that Scen­tre was prof­it­ing from staff.

“Carousel staff should not have to pay for a bay,’’ he said.

“Some staff don’t have the choice or flex­i­bil­ity of public trans­port to get to and from work; they have to drive to and park at work be­cause of early morn­ing or late-night shifts, child care or school pick-up or drop-off ar­range­ments, or they may live in ar­eas with poor public trans­port op­tions.”

As of Tues­day, Park the Fee had re­ceived re­sponses from 11 can­di­dates.

A spokesman for the cam­paign said they were thank­ful for the pos­i­tive support so far.

“The sen­ti­ment from all can­di­dates has gen­er­ally been pos­i­tive, with can­di­dates ei­ther com­mit­ting to work to­wards a so­lu­tion, or sup­port­ing our com­mu­nity cam­paign for free and safe park­ing,’’ he said.

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