The West

Councils  clamp down  on parking
Restrictions coming: Street parking near Edgewater station. Picture: The West Australian

Perth councils will step up patrols and tighten time restrictions to stop train commuters parking all day on suburban streets when new charges come into force tomorrow.

A $2 daily parking fee will be introduced to all metropolitan train stations from tomorrow.

There will also be higher parking fees in the City of Perth, cuts to the seniors' cost-of-living rebate and a fall in the first-homebuyer's benefit.

Introducing paid parking at train stations has sparked some councils' concerns that commuters may decide to park in nearby streets to avoid paying.

Bayswater mayor Sylvan Albert said he expected the city's rangers and parking inspectors would be "stepping up their game" from tomorrow.

"Really our target is the long-term parking - those who park the whole day and upset the applecart when it comes to the business community and the town site," he said.

"We will have our rangers and parking inspectors keep an eye on those areas.

"I imagine (from July 1) they'll be stepping up their game."

Town of Claremont chief executive Stephen Goode hopes the overflow will be "relatively minimal" but the town will act if necessary.

"We will be monitoring the situation and will manage this by responding with timed parking restrictions and ranger patrols if required," he said.

The town successfully appealed to have one of its major carparks near Claremont station exempted from the fee.

City of Rockingham mayor Barry Sammels said the city, which has two stations and no paid council parking, had not experienced problems but he was "a bit concerned".

"We would be in a position if people were illegally parked we would need to infringe them," he said.

"Not what we want to see happen."

The flat $2 fee applies to cars, motorcycles and scooters Monday to Friday, 5am to 9pm.

The State Opposition claimed yesterday a typical household would spend more than $130 extra a year on public transport and $100-plus extra on motor vehicle charges because of new or higher fees.

Shadow treasurer Ben Wyatt said rises in fees and charges came at the same time as above-inflation increases on fees for electricity, water and general cost-of-living expenses.

"Mr Barnett, to help cob- ble together his finances, has looked to West Australian households to fund his commitments," he said.

"In a whole suite of different areas, he has made decisions to ensure more and more revenue is coming into his budget from WA households."

Deputy Premier Kim Hames said West Australians should be "comforted" by price rises because they were less than those imposed in other States and Territories.

"If you take a package of things that include water, car charges and stamp duty, we're about $1800 cheaper than Queensland - people are earning more and paying less (in WA)," he said.

Dr Hames said halving the seniors' rebate, triggered by a $25 million Federal Budget funding cut, was a "minor hiccup not of our causing".

"We have been caught between a rock and a hard place," he said.

Both sides of politics ad- mitted the timing of a pay rise for MPs, with many getting increases of more than $5000 a year, would make fee rises harder to justify.

The West Australian

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