I am concerned about the trust we instill into the ACT Government to use its regulatory powers for an appropriate public purpose. How, logically, can we expect a proper execution of these powers when they are dubiously given to a commercial operation who only interested in maximising their profits?
I refer to parking at the Brindabella Business Park, Canberra International Airport, which is on land held, quite clearly, by an Australian Proprietary Company limited by shares. Notwithstanding ownership characteristics, parking fines are issued in the name of the Office of Regulatory Services, ACT Government.
Persons issuing the fines drive private plated vehicles branded with the company’s logo. They are clearly employed by the company yet have a photographic pass indicating they are authorised to issue the fines. However, disclosed to me today is that company representatives heavily patrol the property and mark tyres each 20 minutes. Further, the company has the express intention to ensure all tenants and visitors are forced into the company’s paid parking zones.
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Parking on the property is problematic. If arriving late, and in a hurry, there are only 1 hour places available, which do not have a time range for regulated parking. Other paid options are either at capacity or far from the entrance to the business facilities, and would not be suitable for persons who are temporarily injured.
There is an apparent conflict of interest exists in the exercise of this regulatory power. Parking regulation should serve to ensure access to buildings for persons requiring a temporary visit, or to divert traffic from tight areas.
In the immediate circumstances it becomes apparent to me that the ACT Government is aiding and abetting oppressive and impractical parking arrangements which have an agenda at ruthlessly extracting a profit in a closed market. The fact that there are no time ranges on the parking areas adds weight to this argument. Further too, by the zealous actions of the patrol officers, there is no chance a person can believe that public policy can take into account the realities of life and business, that is, that meetings become delayed, persons run late and that others cannot walk the distance imposed upon then due to a poorly designed urban environment.
Given the public outcry over the paid parking debacle at hospitals some years ago, I cannot see how the ACT Government would want to be seen abusing the confidence of its residents by facilitating such arrangements. I encourage others to also condemn this relationship by writing to their local member.