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Editions
August 09 Edition Cover

Cut us some slack – traders

28 Feb 2012

Cut us some slack – traders Image

A group of Victoria Harbour traders wants the City of Melbourne to “cut them some slack” with parking in the area as well as regulations
governing signage.

Led by barber Alex Tabakman, the traders say their businesses have never really got going but turnover has plummeted since the council introduced metered parking at the end of Bourke St late last year.

Wendy Yuan says turnover on weekends is only a third of what it used to be since the council started charging for parking on weekends.

She said customers would book appointments but would fail to appear when they couldn’t find anywhere to park.

Ling Shentu lives in Docklands and has two businesses here.  But she says she shops in South Melbourne because she can’t get a car park near Safeway in Victoria Harbour.

“Things aren’t booming here.  We just want to survive,” she said.

And Mr Tabakman said he was gaining a new customer everyday when he was flying a promotional flag outside his shop until council officers enforced its removal.

Council bylaws officers have also threatened to prosecute him for illegally displaying promotional A-frame advertisements around Victoria Harbour.

Mr Tabakman admits they were “cheekily illegal” but says he doubted his business would have survived without them.

“They have to relax the rules for businesses here,” Mr Tabakman said. “There are more businesses closing than opening in Docklands.”

“Even if they cut us some slack on a temporary basis until all the construction was finished, this would give us a chance to get established.”

Mr Tabakman said he wanted permission to display A-frames in positions around Victoria Harbour so corporate workers would know where he was located.

“When the signs were out there people kept coming in saying ‘I saw your sign’,” he said.

And he also wants permission to put out his promotional flag to attract customers.

“We’re all new down here and we just need to be given a chance to survive,” he said.

Mr Tabakman said the council had granted him permission to put a single A-frame sign outside his business, but that this was costing him $600 per year for the privilege.

He said he had another store in Bentleigh where an A-frame sign cost only $95 for a year to display.

A City of Melbourne spokesperson said consistency was needed across the municipality and a special case could not be made for Docklands.

“In a capital city, consistency is very important and if every business was putting up multiple signs throughout Docklands and the CBD then we’d have some very cluttered and hard to navigate streets,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson also defended the council’s decision to introduce metered parking in Bourke St.

“These conditions are in place to ensure that the on-street parking spaces in the precinct are not occupied by long-term parkers either working in or attending events, such as the football, held in Docklands,” the spokesperson said.

“Given that there are around 450 on-street spaces in Docklands it is important that these public car spaces provide as much parking opportunities for visitors as possible and consequently these spaces are metered on weekends to achieve this necessary turnover.”

“If the on-street spaces were unrestricted or unmetered these spaces would be taken up by all-day or long-term parkers very early in the day and would not allow other opportunities for others to park in the precinct.”

“The on-street parking fee of $2.40/hour is also very reasonable when compared with the CBD and other metropolitan on-street parking fees.”

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Comments

  • colin g at 6:54pm on 06/03/12

    tired of Dockland traders blaming everything but themselves. I live in south bank as a rate payer but find little variety Ling Shentu lives there shops elsewhere. Woolworths on Sundays and after 5 pm ,plenty of parks. she could WALK with a shopping trolley. traders just whinge I no longer shop . barbers , hundreds work/live there so letter box, butwant special deals from Council. NO NO NO

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