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Southbank police staff get back parking permits

Southbank police staff get back parking permits
Brendan Rees

Parking permits have been reissued to staff at Southbank Police Station, just weeks after being removed by the City of Port Phillip.

The council initially took away the permits for personal vehicle parking use from June 30 after citing an availability of all day paid parking in the area.

But in a backflip decision, councillors at their August 2 meeting voted in favour of providing 30 parking permits to the police station in what they believed struck a fair parking environment balance for everyone, including workers and visitors.

The permits allow staff to park personal cars in residential streets, permit zones, timed bays, and ticketed bays while they are at work.

The move was made after the police station, located at the corner of Moray and Chessell streets, advised that most paid parking bays nearby were reserved, limiting access to its 70 staff members.

According to a council report, Southbank Police Station outlined several reasons why it required access to parking permits, but this was knocked back by the council at their May 17 meeting as part of its parking management policy one-year review, in which the permits were removed.

The reasons from police included safety concerns for officers finishing shifts late at night or early in the morning, damage to vehicles, and officers being approached in the street by offenders after leaving work.

It also noted limited public transport options and a lack of parking reducing the desirability to work at Southbank Police Station, “leading to reduced service delivery in the area”.

But the station’s latest feedback prompted Mayor Heather Cunsolo to move a notice of motion at the August council meeting to reinstate the parking permits after acknowledging the “good work they [police] do”.

 

“This is an attempt at finding middle ground in a compromised situation to introduce a few more permits back to them,” Cr Cunsolo said.

 

The measure was supported by Cr Christina Sirakoff who said the “police force plays an important part in our community”.

“This is one way that we can support them, when they’re going to work and going home, to make it easy for them for accessing permits,” she said, adding “I’m in full support of this when they’re a critical part of safety on our streets”.

The motion said by limiting the number of parking permits to 30, “there will be a reduced impact on other users such as workers and visitors needing to access parking in the area.”

But the parking permits will not come free of charge, as the “introduction of a cost in line with a visitor permit (approximately $126) can offset some of the revenue loss whilst emphasising the value of the permit”.

“Other parking users are expected to pay to park in the area and the introduction of a fee ensures equity in the treatment of all users,” the motion read.

Cr Robbie Nyaguy voted against the motion, saying it was not “unreasonable” to ask any worker or visitor, who do not get a parking permit, to “find alternative (transport) methods”. •

 

Caption: Southbank Police Station will be provided with staff parking.

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