The Malinauskas Labor Government will move to block plans to introduce paid parking at Tea Tree Plaza Shopping Centre, which would have effectively charged retail workers to work.
To fight the paid parking plan by centre operators, Westfield, the bill has been fast-tracked to prevent further hip pocket pain for shoppers and retail workers.
The laws will save workers and shoppers in the north-east thousands of dollars a year and defeats a move that would have driven consumers away from the centre, hurting many of its small business operators.
It will also improve safety for some retail workers who had faced a longer walk to their vehicles after hours in order to avoid parking fees.
Peter Malinauskas expresses the importance of keeping living costs down.
“So many South Australian families are already struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living and the last thing they need is to fork out more cash just to go to work or to the shops,” Malinauskas says.
In other shopping centres where Westfield has imposed paid parking, workers can face costs of up to $35 a day. This could set workers back $175 a week or more than $9000 a year.
Member for Wakefield Nick Champion acknowledges the spend that workers and residents would have to pay.
“Free parking is essential for thousands of north eastern suburbs residents who come to shop as well as access essential health and government services.
“Up to $170 a week in parking fees to a person working in retail is a big slug. Many of these workers are young people and are on the minimum wage,” Champion says.
In 2021 Westfield lodged an application with the State Government’s assessment panel for paid parking infrastructure at the Modbury centre. The proposal included bollards, pay stations, fencing and licence plate recognition cameras.
Member for Newland Olivia Savvas says that, “As a former Tea Tree Plaza employee, I know first-hand the toll that paid parking will have on shoppers, workers and retailers here in the North Eastern suburbs.
“In the lead-up to the election we collected thousands of signatures against paid parking, and listened to the concerns of our community.
“We have heard the community loud and clear – they do not support paid parking at Tea Tree Plaza. I am proud to be delivering on our commitment to stop paid parking at our local shopping centre, ” Savvas says.