Letters to the editor
So, a Ballarat council media release says it has undertaken the biggest community consultation ever with this 'smart parking'.
Hands up anyone who was consulted?
Looks like we really have adopted the Orwellian newspeak.
Smart parking equals computer tracking in any municipality using this system.
Not just where you go but who you bank with and which phone provider.
Throw in a few number plate recognition cars and the parking officers will be joining the unemployed.
Simone Banks, Invermay Park.
My experience with councils and politicians shows that the only voice they hear is the silent one raised within the polling booth.
I will wait for the forthcoming council elections to have my say.
Pat Cerra, Miners Rest.
I have tried to find a meter but they are too far in between one another with no directions for where to find one anyway.
Today, to my amusement they were out of order.
So they are not too smart at all.
Just a waste of rate payers' money which means that our rates will most likely go up again.
Council, please work out a better system if you want people to shop, go to the movies and go to cafes.
People will stop going into the CBD.
Denise Swanton, Wendouree.
It seems that Ballarat council is killing off the CBD traders as effectively as the Warrnambool council has done in its CBD.
There has been no consideration for the businesses and those who would really like to support them.
Kathleen Roache, Warrnambool.
I guess I won't be using Sturt Street or Eastwood Street shopping centre anymore due to council's new money hungry parking meters.
Toni Black, Redan.
V/line is missing an opportunity to run a train from Melbourne to Talbot for the monthly Talbot Market.
It could stop at Ballarat on the way.
Seems to me this would be an excellent day excursion.
Ron Noonan, Lake Wendouree.
I have a small business in the hospital block of Sturt Street.
I offer a delivery service to deliver my product, therefore my car must be parked at the front of my shop (I do not have the luxury of a private park at the rear of my business) before the introduction of the new parking plan, parking, whilst timed was free in the vicinity of my shop.
It will now cost me on average $15 per day to park my delivery car. An extra $3900 per year I now need to find. Small business is suffering as it is, now it's even worse. Not to mention the amount of rates small businesses pay and we don't even get our rubbish collected.
I'm so disappointed in the council, there is no type of concession for small business. I also feel for those who have to spend the day at the hospital for treatment on a regular basis. It's going to cost a fortune!
Well done council, you've struck again.
Anna Harmes, Ballarat.
Why would a Council spend so much rate payers money installing what is essentially the third round of parking meters. From the coin in the slot, the original meters to the ticket machines and now these. How much have they really spent and how did this blow out to who knows what figure.
People will simply shop at Stockland or Delacombe Town Centre or Lucas. It's just bad luck for the shopkeepers or owners in Ballarat. The same has been going on in Ararat with their over inflated rates on the shopkeepers which has forced a lot to close and is the reason so many shops are up for lease.
There should be free parking in Ballarat to keep people in the town, not the opposite to what is happening. There should be a Royal Commission or an ICAC investigation at the least. People don't have a voice, no matter how much they protest.
Anthony Jackson, Ballarat.
I am a working mum with 2 daughters (Ages 1 and 3) and work in the CBD. The "Smart Parking" Is not at all positive for people that work in the shops, cafes, businesses etc. We are at a disadvantage. I either have to hike a distance from the all day car park near office works or pay the $22.50 to be able to park closer to my workplace. As a parent I need to be close to vehicles in case I have to leave for any emergency with my children. Yes, walking is all well and good on a nice sunny day, how about when winter hits when we have to walk through the wind, rain hail etc. Really not happy and I'm pretty sure there are many many others that work in the cbd who feel the same way.
Michelle Cox, Alfredton.
l think this new system of parking metres is just a money grab, or to push people into using public transport. . l used to enjoy two hours free parking at the Bridge mall, to have my hair cut, do my shopping and brouse the retail outlets, without continuously checking my watch, or checking out where these metres are located. l'm so glad that l no longer have 3 young children in tow. l am a senior citizen, who will not be shopping anywhere in the CBD from now on. Very cheesed off and disappointed. Another one of our freedoms taken from us. A very inconvenient system.
Marlene Lovell, Mt. Pleasant.
So many questions to ask but didn't see any customer service officers to ask for a whole afternoon in the CBD. Confusion with parking in Eastwood st complex, signs did not indicate to use meters and actual new meters were not visible until leaving the complex. Where are the meters? Hopefully I won't get a fine. The new system is not clear enough yet and will turn people away especially from Bridge Mall area and moving between top & bottom of Sturt St needs more thought on how Ballarat people park & shop and what they are used to. Transition is required for all.
Julie Harding- Smith, Buninyong.
On Friday morning I had some messages to do in Ballarat and used the app to park in two different locations. Then I travelled to Warrnambool and thought I'd take a look at their local shops. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that they use the same app as Ballarat. Not only that, but I only had 17 minutes of free parking left.
So it's not just one hour free parking in Ballarat per day, but across which ever towns use the app. The extra 11 minutes over the "free" hour I parked across Victoria cost me 60 cents. Purely a revenue raiser and another nail in the coffin for CBD businesses. You will succeed in pushing people out to shopping centres and see more empty shops in the CBD.
Nicole Afford, Buninyong.
Hello, I would like to voice my experience so far with Ballarat City Council's new parking system. I parked on Sturt Street for approx. 5 minutes. I entered my car registration into the new parking meter (which was approx. 150 metres from the parking spot). I then left and returned to another spot on Sturt Street about an hour later for another few minutes. When I entered my registration number into the parking meter, I was requested to pay at least $3.00.
This means I was being charged for an hours' parking even though I had only parked for five minutes an hour earlier. When I rang the Council, I was advised that the first time I registered would be the start of the hour, regardless of only spending minutes parking. This means that if I park in the CBD several times over the day (which I quite often do), and spend a maximum of 30 minutes parking, I will be charged the total number of hours since I first registered my car at the parking meter. I therefore have to make sure that I do all of my errands in the CBD at the SAME TIME to avoid increasing parking fees - ridiculous!
Natalie Ford, Sebastopol.
I looked at two of the new parking meters in Sturt Street last week, neither of which were working.
What about elderly people that don't have a credit card and don't have a smart phone or don't know how to use a smartphone? Both the meters I looked at were credit cards only. What happens if you forget to stop your parking when you leave and go home? What about when you go to the movies during the day?
The new parking will add an extra $9 onto the cost of going to the movies. This is a great way to kill off businesses in the CBD.
Rhonda Petrie, Smythesdale.
Councillor Des Hudson spoke on 3BA about shops needing parking turnover - yet he speaks about one car or more taking up that space for the whole day if you want to pay for it. Shops are being penalised for another revenue grab. Confusion reigned with people just trying to park; it's confusing and crazy and yet the public just has to conform to this utter stupidity. Parking was once easy - that was the past. Ballarat council has a lot to answer for. More bungling by people who say they are there to help. What a wonderful idiotic world it is when parking needs a degree to work it out. I hope you have your phone or credit card. It is truly unbelievable.
Damian Kelly, Ballarat.
The honest truth is that The City of Ballarat, run by bureaucrats and rubber stamped by elected Council members, has pulled yet another fast one on residents. It could not get larger rate hikes so it rammed the new foolhardy parking scheme down our throats to gather additional revenue for other ill conceived projects.
Ballarat will survive. It always has. But as long as unelected bureaucrats strive to make Ballarat just like Melbourne suburbs, it will never be the city it could be.
Listen to The People. Just Listen.
Stephen Downey, Ballarat.
I never even go in the CBD. Council, you've ruined it all in four years. We need to copy Geelong that has free parking all weekend every.
Rachel Hays, Ballarat.
I work in retail in Ballarat and live in Creswick. I have no option but to drive to my place of employment .I think it is extremely unfair that someone working five days a week in the CBD should have to pay $110 per week for parking as well as paying high petrol costs to get to work and live a sustainable life.
The last thing a middle aged worker wants to do is go for a hike after working an eight hour plus day to get to their car. Free parking at the Eastern Oval is kind of a slap in your face when you have been on your feet all day.
Where do the council employees park? The ones that are at a desk all day. We pay our rates and now this. Another kick in the teeth for the working class.
Tracey Wrigley, Creswick.