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Meters Won’t Cut It

By Em Allen on January 3, 2013 in

Photo: From ‘Bondi to the Opera House’ by Budd and Wilson

Ah… isn’t the memory a great thing?

You can go from singing the words to Paul Simon’s ‘You Can Call Me Al’ to thinking the words should be changed to ‘You Can Call Me Al Zheimer’.

The reason for the rant above is that I am constantly hearing that there will be parking meters installed in Bronte Cutting.

And the reason for suggesting that the memory banks need recharging is that I have heard it all before – many times.

A recent clean out of junk in my house unearthed some copies of the former Bronte Express newsletter, edited by former colleague John McNamee and myself.

On the front page of Issue 3, dated March-April 2001, was the headline “Parking Proposal Angers Residents”.

It was a story about a plan to put two-hour parking meters in the Bronte Cutting and how the locals were up in arms over such a proposal.

Well that suggestion has reared its ugly head again, but 11 years down the track nobody seems interested in protesting against such a ludicrous proposal, rather, turning their attention to more relevant issues such as saving the ‘Bronte Village’.

I have lived in Bronte for around 25 years and never, until recently, knew there was a ‘village’.

But I do know the parking situation within the ‘village’ has become out of control because of the parking officers who take it upon themselves to target every local relentlessly without fear nor favour in the hope of being promoted among the Storm Trooper brigade.

To even mention the proposal to install parking meters in the cutting is a huge smack in the face to locals who regularly use the beach and who have seen the price of their beach parking permits increase almost threefold over the past few years.

Do locals have any priority anymore or is the council wholly focused on increasing revenue?

Recent reports in the print media suggested councils in the western suburbs were giving residents some relief in the form of free parking after hours and turning some of the parking meters off during off-peak hours.

But they weren’t earning even half the revenue Waverley Council is from its parking fines.

No one in Waverley Council is prepared to comment on the renewed proposal to put parking meters in the cutting, but the boys in the shed collecting the parking fees don’t mind because they have already knocked up some long-service leave while waiting to hear of their fate if the meters are in fact installed.

Ah, yes, the memory is a great thing. It even goes back to the time when residents were prepared to take up arms over the ludicrous plan to put a café-delicatessen in the Ocean View apartment block in Macpherson Street.

Can’t wait for the next ten years. That’s if old Al Zheimer doesn’t pay me a visit first, of course!