WA local councils’ parking revenues

An analysis of parking fine data collected from 15 councils
in Western Australia has shown that some of them are reaping nearly twice as
much as originally forecast, with significant variations in laws between local
government areas.

According to The West Australian, more than 225,000
parking fines were issued in the past financial year in total, equating to more
than $16 million. 

Not surprisingly, the media has suggested that the higher
revenue is a result of a deliberate increase in enforcement, with annual
revenue projections for parking fines included within their budgets based on
historical data.

All WA councils have strongly rejected suggestions
that parking inspectors had targets for the number of fines they had to issue
each year. Both the City of Nedlands and City of Stirling have performance
indicators for their rangers which are not revenue related. City of Swan chief
executive Mike Foley was reported to have said that if revenue projections were
not met, a number of areas would be investigated, including issuing rates,
payments and processing delays.

According to The West Australian, The City of Belmont
said parking fine revenue as of last week was $40,406 – an increase of 84 per
cent from the $22,000 forecast for 2010-11, attributing the rise to higher
staff numbers and more weekend activities.

Each council sets its fines based on a combination of State
laws, the fines that other councils set, and as a deterrent to discourage
people from breaking parking laws. 

It is important to note that the efficiency of the
infringement activity is paramount in the management of traffic and congestion
in the streets. Therefore it is very likely that additional revenues are a
result of the implementation of modern technology systems (such as in-ground
sensors) which allow local governments to achieve a higher level of compliance
in a cost-effective way.

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