Priority for Budget 2023/24

The City of Yarra is asking residents and ratepayers to suggest what the priority should be for the Budget 2023/24, at Your Say Yarra.

Image credit: City of Yarra.

Budget importance

Although the City of Yarra has developed a Community Vision and adopted a best practice Transport Strategy, we have yet to see those aspirations reflected in the budget. If council is committed to social justice with regards to transport and public space, then that needs to happen.

Image credit: TODERIAN UrbanWORKS

Priority for Budget 2023/24

We suggest that the priority for the 2023/24 Budget should be to introduce digital parking permits for visitors, to:

  • offer improved services to residents, and to
  • deliver significant additional revenue that can be reinvested in walking, biking, trees, and place making.

We suggest introducing digital parking permits in the following phases.

Phase 1:

  • Remove the paper visitor permits (which are valid for a year, and hang from a rear view mirror) and replace them with digital visitor permits (which are valid for a day), linked to the number plate of the visiting vehicle
  • Charge $2 per day (with a 50% discount for eligible concession card holders)
  • To prevent residents selling digital visitor permits on the black market, charge $2 for the first 10, $4 for the next 10, $6 for the next 10, etc, up to a maximum of $10 per day

Phase 2:

  • Introduce digital visitor permits for residents who were previously ineligible for visitor permits, e.g. for occupants of apartments
  • Use the same pricing system, but starting at $6 per day, i.e. starting at 3x more than an eligible resident, and increasing up to a maximum of $10 per day

Phase 3:

  • Introduce digital visitor permits for anyone
  • Charge them at $10 per day, i.e. commuters are charged 5x more than a resident

In parallel with Phases 1 to 3, make adjustments to parking restrictions:

  • Phase 1: remove all parking bays that are free and don’t have a time restriction, and replace them with 4-hour time limits
  • Phase 2: Change all 4-hour parking bays to 2-hour
  • Phase 3: Change all 2-hour parking bays to permit

Note that this suggestion makes no reference to any changes to the operation and pricing of the “sticker on the windscreen” permits for residents and businesses.

The effect of these changes will be:

  • Residents will be able to invite more than one guest (vehicle) for dinner
  • Residents who were ineligible for visitor permits will now be able to invite guests to park near their home, yet will be financially discouraged from permanently parking their own vehicle on-street (it will cost them $10 per day)
  • Businesses operating vehicles in Yarra will have a clear and simple method of obtaining a permit to park
  • Commuters who need on-street parking will contribute $10 per day to Yarra

Regarding the additional revenue, once Phase 3 has been completed, we estimate that this reform will enable council to raise between $25 million and $50 million per year.

  • $10 a day, from 10,000 bays, for 250 days per year, equals $25 million per year
  • $10 a day, from 20,000 bays, for 250 days per year, equals $50 million per year

Such sums are clearly material to the council budget, so we suggest that the entire transition, Phase 1 to 3, should be completed within two years, i.e. before December 2024.

Concluding remarks

Streets Alive Yarra would be delighted to provide further detail or explanation of the themes raised in this submission.

Download our submission as PDF:

Image credit: Streets Alive Yarra.

Posted 1st December 2022.