Paid parking has been introduced by Oakleigh Central in an effort to tackle rail commuters parking at the centre and using spots that could otherwise be used by customers. Last week I wrote to management acknowledging that this was fundamentally a good idea but requesting that they revert back to the original three hour parking limits. I also asked them to consider restrictions only during business hours.
On Tuesday night at our monthly Council meeting, I moved an urgent notice of motion requesting that Council write to management requesting that they reinstate the 3 hour free parking limit, as is standard at most shopping centres. I also asked them to engage in meaningful consultation with both traders and the community.
When I take my young children to do the shopping, I often follow up with a haircut at Just Cuts, a milkshake at Muffin Break and of course the kids have to have a ride. 90 minutes is simply not enough time to relax and enjoy the experience without having to check my watch every few minutes, even if it is extended by 30 minutes should I happen to spend enough money at a Supermarket. I’m not a fan of the underground carpark and often park at the outdoor carpark, so just getting two young kids out of the car and walking to the entrance of the centre takes a good 10-15 minutes.
And of course I haven’t mentioned the $4 per day that staff now have to pay to park at the Centre (rumour has it supermarket staff are exempt from this??). $20 a week might not sound like much, but retail staff are already paid so little that this will have a big impact.
Yes it’s a private business, and yes the carpark is on private land, and yes Council has no control over this change, but I thought it was important for us to send a clear message that we stand with our Community!