Walls And Passports Proposed As Radical Solution To Parking Chaos
Passport requirements and a Donald Trump-style wall are cornerstones of a wild new suggestion to ensure residents of Sydney's Inner West secure parking spots.
Councillor Juile Passas tabled the motion in sheer frustration at both residents and councillors who think it's possible for Inner West Council to fix the on-going issue with parking in suburbs like Ashfield, Marrickville and Leichhardt.
The tongue-in-cheek motion makes a series of outlandish suggestions to address a problem which Passas claims council doesn't have the ability to solve.
She told 10 daily streets in the Inner West are "at capacity" and that members who promise solutions are simply trying to be elected on an issue that's too difficult to solve.
"I have suggested more concrete parking stations, they are not beautiful to look at, but otherwise we all have to say we are ditching our cars. We will open up all the little corner shops again and get our bread and milk delivered by horse and cart like they did 100 years ago," Passas said.
"They are giving people a false sense of their capacity to fix those problems. Those streets were built hundreds of years ago when hardly anyone had a car and now we are at capacity."
Passas' motion suggests contacting U.S. President Donald Trump for "his wall building contractor" to build a similar wall around the Inner West. She also suggests non-residents carry passports for entry into the streets, and proposed a mobility tax for visitors -- as well as a blanket ban on non-residents parking in the area.
Passas said residents' demand to have parking available directly in front of or close to their homes is mismatched with the number of cars-to-address ratio.
"People in this area are very aware of climate change and the environment but you only have to come here are see the big four-wheel drives they have," Passass said.
"What are we supposed to do? Put the cars in our pockets? We are not here in mountainous terrain and they all just have such large cars.
"The parking permits were a knee-jerk reaction from candidates who were trying to be elected. We have issued parking permits, which I think are only revenue-raising anyway because if you have a parking permit it doesn't guarantee you a space."
Just last month 10 News First exclusively revealed Inner West Council makes the most money in parking fines in Sydney. In the last financial year, the Council raked in a whopping $14.3 million in fines, a jump of $2 million since the previous year.
Overall, Sydney's Councils made a record $218.2 million, an increase of $5.5 million from the year before.
Some local business owners say the lack of action on parking has lead to a drop in revenue for them.
"They are just killing our businesses," owner of Bar Italia Con Damouras told 10 News First in July.
While the Inner West Council has introduced 30-minute free parking in some streets in Leichhardt, Damouras said his customers still don't have time to sit in his shop and enjoy his coffee.
"Parking metres, you can't stop, can't shop, you can't do anything ... I have to spend my time to get tickets for my customers so they don't get booked."
Passas said the joke-motion was prompted when a resident complained that workers at a cafe were coming to work and occupying parking all day.
According to Passas, a fellow Councillor suggested installing number plate monitoring across the Inner West to monitor where people are visiting the suburbs from.
"That's when I lost it," Passass said.
"Councillors in their role have to have a sense of humour and I have to laugh because otherwise, I think I could have bitten their heads off.
"If you know me well enough you know [my proposal] is very tongue-in-cheek and that it's a joke."
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