The Parking Dilemma
Jeff Langdon (Letters, June 5) is right. It is clear that the relative advantage cars have enjoyed over other forms of transport is visibly decreasing. Smaller, electric and more frequent buses would be a more efficient way of getting into the CBD and to the station, especially during morning and afternoon peak times. His idea of a frequent city circle route also has a lot of merit, from Peel Street as far as Gillies Street.
Darryl Cloonan, Ballarat.
The comment by Councillor Des Hudson that council may have contributed to the problem by approving planning applications without car parks is without doubt a significant part of the current problem. The planning scheme sets out requirements for how many parking spaces should be required for particular land uses when they are established and allow council discretion in reducing or waiving the requirement.
The problem is the council has continued to agree to significant waivers and so far refused to take the next step to amend the planning scheme to allow it to take a cash payment instead of car spaces. Most larger councils have implemented a sliding scale of payments per space depending on the location of the business. The payment must then be used towards the provision of car spaces. Payment does not go into general revenue proper parking. Development has not stopped in areas where councils have implemented such a scheme.
The current proposal shifts the cost to employees and shoppers rather than the person who started the business and obtained a free parking exemption. If a more equitable system is not undertaken, the CBD will continue to decline. Suggesting that more housing in the CBD is an answer, will only work if we can retain suitable commercial development to compliment it. Perhaps a separate rate for the CBD might be a short term solution to raise funds?
Gerald Jenzen, Soldiers Hill
As a rate paying business operator, it is hard to see how the council’s proposed new CBD parking policy will contribute to a vibrant CDB
Parking reform is well overdue, but the policy in its current format appears to be a short-sighted policy designed to raise revenue, but which will likely mean less business activity in the CBD. Over time, that means fewer jobs, with all the problems that unemployment can bring.
Unfortunately, we will most likely see the majority of spaces taken up by casual staff. While the hospitality sector continues to grow rapidly and provide the vibrant pulse of the CBD, most staff fall under the causal category with an average shift length of 3-5 hours. Most of our young generation of baristas, bar people and bussies will not baulk at forgoing $6-10 of their shift to score a “rockstar” park. Great for them, but where do the customers park?
Monopolisation of parking spaces has long been issue for traders in the CDB. If we as a city are to evolve, prosper and support more jobs, Zone 1 must be limited to 2 hours. A vibrant CDB relies heavily of people being able to get in, support local businesses and get out. The CBD cannot be a vibrant bustling heart of commerce while being an employee car park.
Geelong has addressed this challenge with an effective Park and Ride service from the Eastern Gardens. Could the same not be done utilizing Victoria Park? I commend the council for a number of dynamic initiatives that have seen our CBD come alive in recent years, but there is still far more work to be done if we are to realize our city’s potential.
The CBD strategy has always been about drawing people into the CDB. Unfortunately, this new policy needs some serious work if the council want to ensure it doesn’t achieve the opposite effect.
Simon Coghlan, Ballarat
Remediating Saleyards site
Regarding the final cost of remediating the Latrobe Street Livestock Selling Centre project, I estimate a figure of more than $40 million
A Cost Estimate of the Ballarat Saleyards
Eileen McGhee last Saturday invited readers to consider what the final cost might be of the Latrobe Street Livestock Selling Centre project.
As a Public Accountant who has been involved with setting prices for the selling of operating businesses and a director of a civil contracting business which routinely has to deal with contaminated soil removal and disposal, I have come up with a figure of more than 40 million dollars.
Assuming the sheep section is likely to be more contaminated by arsenic than the western section by a factor of two to one, I have priced the sale based on the business being established with a customer database, plant and equipment and recurrent routine trade in a monopoly position where there cannot be competition.
I have allowed for replacement clean fill after remediation, the removal of the above ground infrastructure and the purchase of the site from the state government.
I have not allowed for lower level contamination from mining tailings which may have been used to fill the land from adjoining mines as I have not seen soil tests. Neither have I allowed for improvements for the future use of the site or the sale of the blue stone paving which will also be contaminated.
I have allowed for the payment of the one dollar by the buyer that is reflected in my copy of the purchase contract.
If, the site was left in a largely undisturbed condition and concreted, cost reduction in my opinion will be over 20 million dollars.
The council does not have any provision in its budget for any of these works.
Peter Berlyn, Mount Rowan.