Carpark Sell-Off

Parking is going to become a big problem in Fremantle. The Council has recently sold off the following five inner city Carparks:

(1) Queensgate Carpark, 843 bays [sold to private operator]

(2) Spicer Site Carpark [still currently open – hotel planned]

(3) Point Street Carpark [closed]

(4) Bannister Street Carpark [closed – developed into apartments]

(5) Josephson Street Carpark [closed – apartments planned]

Where are people expected to park?

Now that our Council owned carparks have disappeared, we are at the mercy of private operators charging commercial parking rates. People resent paying for parking to shop, which is one of the reasons that they choose to go to Garden City, Claremont and other shopping centres where parking is free.

Access to affordable parking must be a key consideration of any functioning Central Business District. Meanwhile, Fremantle Council has actively dismantled its car parking resources in central Fremantle, with no funded long-term plan to replace the car parks it has had closed.

The true impact of their short-sightedness on parking is hidden by the fact that Freo’s retail occupancy rate is approaching 40% – many people have stopped shopping in Fremantle. Can central Freo still be categorised as a functioning CBD?

We need to trial a wider range of free parking zones in town to see if this brings people back into Freo. A city-wide approach is required to address just one of the many factors that have triggered the collapse of retail in Fremantle CBD.

Leisure Centre Carpark is also on the block:

Until recently, Fremantle Council even had plans to sell off its Leisure Centre carpark to developers. This plan was only stopped by a sharp back-lash from local residents when the plans for the sale came to light.

[City of Fremantle: Long Term Financial Plan 2015-2025, Page 22]

This Council is relentless in its efforts to sell off income producing assets to fund its short-term needs. This is NOT sustainable.

Where are Council Workers going to park – and who will pay for it?

Meanwhile the City of Fremantle has an obligation to provide “free” car parking in central Fremantle to almost 200 of its staff as part of their employment packages.