Free parking benefits
I thank John Gray, News (January 4) for informing us that we in fact have three councillors instead of two supporting free parking, which means we can include Cr Oroszvary in the top three of the next council election ballot paper instead of in the other group at the bottom if we want free parking and all the benefits that have flowed to Albury and Wodonga since parking meter removal. This is living proof.
Mr Gray has implied that referring to free parking is a ‘‘dangerous activity’’, seemingly claiming that costs are transferred from motorist to ratepayer. In many cases, it would be the same person.
Presently it is more than transferring costs, it is raising revenue far in excess of administration costs to fund other services and projects.
Before councillors trash the free parking trial, if they went to Albury/Wodonga they would see first-hand how a successful free parking system has encouraged shopping and development in the CBD since the removal of their parking meter tax.
A large number of off-street free parking bays have been provided at no cost to council by developers within their developments.
It seems that the parking meter tax is a revenue stream council relies on to fund other projects unrelated to parking. It is then claimed that because of rate capping they can’t manage without the parking meter tax. It should not be used as an excuse without observing how other cities have flourished since the removal of the parking meter tax.
Raising this punitive tax is a deterrent to shoppers and investment alike. My definition is different to Mr Gray’s — free parking.
Cutting back on Christmas
I was disappointed with the absence of council Christmas decorations this year in the CBD and in particular in the mall. Only a few stickers on the footpaths to walk over and signs on the back of seats and on rubbish bins, (not a good way to promote the mall).
Have all of the Victorian councils made an agreement to cut back on them as well?
I hope they also cut back on their celebrations in the council chambers.
From one disgusted ratepayer.