For years, residents living in the Warringah Council area received two beach parking stickers (allowing them to park free at the many beaches in the region) with their annual rates notice.
This year was different. Instead of getting the two parking stickers, ratepayers were given an application to apply for one sticker at no cost, and had to pay $50 for the second.
It has been suggested that this was to cut down on the black market trade of parking stickers between Warringah Council residents and their Manly Council and Pittwater Council neighbours.
Reports have been rife of those in Warringah swapping their spare sticker with someone else, allowing them to park at every beach in the Northern Beaches area.
Warringah Council general manager Rik Hart told a local newspaper, The Manly Daily, that the change was to ensure the parking stickers were issued legitimately.
“This new process aims to ensure Warringah ratepayers are not subsidising free parking at our beaches for people who live outside the area,” he said.
Mr. Hart said in previous years the council had issued 140,000 permits for 2000 spaces.
“There is evidence of misuse of the beach parking permits, which is unfair to the majority of ratepayers who do the right thing.”
The move was set to bring the Council a financial windfall of $500,000.
However, it appears “People Power” has forced Warringah Council to overturn this very unpopular grab for cash.
At its latest meeting, the new regime was voted down and the old system will return. Residents with stickers which are due to expire at the end of August will be allowed to keep them until the end of August 2011, without fear of the dreaded parking ticket.
It’s a great example of how “People Power” can make a change.
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