ACT Government is right to lift car parking fees

The Property Council of Australia has joined the debate in support of the planned increase in parking rates in Canberra, with its ACT Executive Director, Catherine Carter, claiming that the negative media attention about the level of car parking charges levied by the ACT Government is diverting attention from the real problems facing Canberra commuters and the city’s existing transport system.

Ms Carter said: “The fact is that Canberra continues to be one of the most car-dependant cities in the country, with little to no incentive for commuters to consider transport alternatives such as buses, walking or cycling, particularly while car parking remains so inexpensive. And it is inexpensive in Canberra compared with other Australian cities.

“One of the major reasons … often forgotten in the car parking debate, is that unless the government charges a fair and realistic price for car parking on the sites it owns and controls, the private sector cannot provide additional car parking where it is needed, because it is not commercially viable to do so.”

PCI totally agrees that the nation’s capital, a once-celebrated triumph of urban planning, has become a victim of its own wide spaces, with car dependency creating issues in terms of traffic management, parking and sustainability that will need to be addressed over time. A commercial review of parking charges is an essential element of the process, and what better time to start than NOW?

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