Parking pledge

• Paula Denis is fighting Melville council’s paid parking in the Riseley shopping precinct. Photo by Justin Stahl.

MORE than 1600 people have signed a petition opposing the recent introduction of paid parking by Melville council at the Riseley Shopping Precinct.

Petitioners have given up hope of free parking being completely reinstated, but are calling for the first three hours to be free. Under the new system only the first hour is without charge.

Melville councillor and mayoral candidate Katie Mair is backing the petition.

“My promise is that I want free street parking, particularly at shopping and business centres, as well as preventing paid parking at our favourite foreshore areas such as Deep Water Point, Heathcote and Point Walter,” she says.

“It’s terribly disappointing, I’m against it. We’re not the CBD, we don’t need to do this.”

She’s also calling for precinct staff to be issued permits so they can park beside their work.

“I’d hate if something terrible was to happen, like a woman being raped because she had to park so far away.”

Lead petitioner Paula Denis, a Naturopath at the precinct, says female staff working late now have to walk through dark streets to reach free parking at Strickland Oval.

This is the second parking petition Ms Denis has organised; the first was rejected by Melville council because she hand’t used their official form.

“Although these petitions have required far more time and work than I anticipated, if it results in making a difference for the safety of employees and a more user-friendly parking system for all the customers then it will be worth it,” she told the Herald.

“It wouldn’t have been possible without the support of all the great businesses and wonderful customers who have supported it, so let’s hope our voice is heard.”

by JUSTIN STAHL

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