WA premier Mark McGowan has stepped into the storm sparked by the wheel-clamping of customers in a Myaree shopping centre, calling the clampers “thugs and bullies”.
The controversy kicked off on Wednesday when Subiaco-registered firm Auto Clamp locked down a dozen cars in the Hulme Court retail precinct, with one of the victims claiming on radio the clampers filmed shoppers leaving their cars.
If they didn’t go directly into the shop indicated on the parking bay sign, they’d get clamped.
On returning, shoppers were confronted by two Auto Clamp representatives armed with an EFTPOS terminal, who would only remove the clamp once a $170 fine was paid.
Melville mayor George Gear told the Herald “my gut feeling is that it’s over the top to clamp someone’s wheel”.
He wasn’t sure if private parking was something the council could effectively legislate.
“But if Mark [McGowan] is doing it, he’d have my full support,” Mr Gear said.
Following a high-profile clamping sting in Scarborough in November, Stirling council became the first in WA to propose laws banning the practice.
Stirling mayor Mark Irwin calls clamping “close to extortion” and “deliberate intimidation” and has been ushering by-laws to ban the practice through his council.
by JUSTIN STAHL