Councils defend parking fines rise

Office of State Revenue figures released last week reveal parking-related notices in NSW increased by more than 200,000 in the five years between 2004-05 and 2008-09. The cost to drivers in this time jumped from almost $95 million to more than $140 million.

The Local Government Association insists it is motivated by the public good, not revenue raising, and defended the increase, saying fines were issued to manage traffic and demand for spaces, not to make money.

Market research group IBISWorld estimates Australian drivers will spend $928 million on private parking (excluding airports) this financial year, $15 million more than last year and about $120 million more than five years ago.

IBISWorld said NSW makes up more than 33 per cent of private car park revenue, with the average Australian driver spending $59.69 a year, 2.7 per cent more than five years ago – primarily driven by higher population, more cars, increased fees and a higher volume of air traffic, leading to more third party car parks near airports.

Worryingly, however, the use of private vehicles has increased over the past 12 to 18 months, driven by a reduction in fuel prices, and a public transport system close to capacity, seeing increased problems with reliability and overcrowding.

For more details on the rate increases and meter figures for ten Sydney councils, view the figures from the Office of State Revenue and councils summarised by the SMH here.

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