Murdoch parking permit fees surge
By Madura McCormack
- Parking rates up by average of 30 per cent
- Funds to be used for upgrading and maintenance
- NTEU launches petition in protest
- Murdoch University has 39 parking spots available per 100 students, twice national average
- Daily permit rates remain unchanged at $5
- Guild President to have meeting with university on January 18
Parking rates at Murdoch University have increased across the board, with full year Red Zone parking now costing $480 and $500 for students and staff respectively.
This is a marked increase from 2015 when the same category cost $390.
Parking at the Student Village has risen a staggering 47 per cent for residents, at $250 per annum and $140 a semester.
The rate increase has been made to reflect the true cost of maintaining, operating and upgrading parking services says Steve Dickson, Senior Executive Director at Murdoch University.
“Murdoch University is embarking on an investment plan to improve our car parks and roads,” says Mr Dickson, stating the new fees will allow for necessary upgrades to the 13 car parks and 15-kilometre road network.
“In 2013, we announced the University was unable to continue to heavily subsidise the delivery of parking facilities and services.
After consideration on the financial impact on our students, it was decided we would only adjust fees on a gradual basis and over a number of years,” he says.
Mr Dickson confirms that any further parking rate increases will be capped at the rate of inflation until 2018.
The University made an announcement on Thursday, January 14, stating that the latest increase is ‘the final instalment of a four-year staged process’.
Union and students unhappy
The National Teaching and Education Union [NTEU] Murdoch office say there was no consultation before the increase, and the surge was only noticed when a member went to purchase a permit.
The NTEU has since launched a petition opposing the price hike, garnering more than 230 signatures so far.
“Students and staff who live in areas where public transport isn’t readily available or practical will be seriously disadvantaged by these changes,” says Beth Cole, NTEU officer at Murdoch University.
“The lack of consultation or even advice to staff or students doesn’t start us off on a good foot with management for the New Year.”
A meeting between Guild President Guy McDonald and the university to be held on January 18 will allow the student representative body to voice a number of concerns he says.
The cost of parking-related maintenance and services is currently more than $1.2 million per year, according to the university.
The increased rates will fund on-going maintenance and safety such as improved lighting and 24/7 security.
Parking availability at Murdoch University is twice the national average, at 39 spaces per 100 students, says Mr Dickson
While still better than other universities, which average 19 spaces per 100 students, parking at Murdoch is a competitive sport.
“When I was last there [in 2014] parking lots in the expensive red zone were always quite empty while the green zone was so full.
People were parking on the verges then receiving hefty fines despite having nowhere else to park,” says Murdoch student Hannah Pratt.
“Punishing us for parking or having a car when that’s a prerequisite for most jobs in Perth and, therefore, necessary for survival for many working students is wrong,” she says.
Editor’s note: In a 1994 edition of METIOR, former Guild President Adam and current Greens MP Adam Bandt was tackling the parking issue as well. Check out the article, on page 9.