Former MP says pay and display parking at local terminals unfair
THE extra day of work in%Sydney didn’t worry Brian Pezzutti, but the $130 fine for doing it really got his back%up.
The Lismore anaesthetist and former State MLC said he began flying exclusively from Lismore airport after he received the $130 parking fine at Ballina when a work trip to Sydney several months ago was unexpectedly extended.
However, Dr Pezzutti’s ire has been raised again after Lismore airport introduced the same overnight parking fee system as Ballina.
The ‘pay and display’ system involves people who leave their cars in secure parking at the airports to buy a ticket%covering each of the nights they are away. The fees are $4 a night at Lismore or $8 a night at Ballina.
Dr Pezzutti – who convinced Ballina Shire Council to waive his fine – did not take issues with the fees, but said both airports, which are run by their respective councils, had the system backwards.
“I’ve travelled the world a lot as an MP and nowhere in the world have I seen a pay-%before-you-go system,” he said. “It’s almost impossible to enforce and if you do%enforce it, it’s unfair.”
Dr Pezzutti said the airports should be collecting parking fees from people as they were leaving the car park. Lismore City Council planning and governance executive director Lindsay Walker said Dr Pezzutti had raised a ‘good point’ and that anyone extending their stay away from the region could extend their parking at Lismore airport by calling Regional Express at the airport, or the council’s after-hours number. However, he ruled out changing the system. Mr Walker said most airport customers returned the day they expected to; that a pay-as-you-leave system would require installing boom gates at the airport’s entry and exit points, which would inconvenience even more customers; and suggested the boom gates would compromise the free daytime parking offered to customers.
Ballina Shire Council civil services manager John Tru-man also ruled out changing Ballina’s system, saying the airport car park would have to be redesigned to charge people as they drove out.
Ballina had a special toll-free number for people to call if their return flight details changed, or if they were unable to get a ticket before boarding their flight, he said.