CBD parking patrols are effectively on hold because of a Goulburn Mulwaree Council ranger shortage.
The Post can reveal that not one parking ticket has been issued in Goulburn this year.
Goulburn Chamber of Commerce president Rob Walker said he and his members were concerned at the lack of monitoring.
It had again come up for discussion at the Chamber’s Monday meeting.
“We have had members complain about the southern end of town… people are parking there all day,” he said.
Mr Walker said the CBD retail outlets depend on parking patrols to ensure shoppers have the best chance of getting easy walking access to the shops.
“It’s an important issue… people need to park for a reasonable amount of time so that others can utilise the facilities,” he said.
Council’s parking patrol strategy is, at best, inconsistent.
Rangers were highly visible in the lead up to Christmas, but haven’t been seen since.
Goulburn Mulwaree Council’s Environmental Services manager Sonia Spotswood said the four-member ranger team had only been operating at half its usual capacity because of staff leave and sickness.
With resources stretched, animal management was given higher priority than parking patrols.
“At the moment we only have two full time rangers and a casual, with a (team leader) position being advertised ,” she said Patrols, however, have been occurring this year.
“It depends on the workload, sometimes we do half day patrols,” Ms Spotswood said.
“We can do more patrols when we have sufficient staff on to deal with the complaints.
“We are dealing with things in a prioritised manner.”
Mr Walker said regardless of staff absences, he believed it could be possible to train others to police the parking when staff numbers are not at full capacity.
“Perhaps they need to pull people from somewhere else to reinforce the policing.”
“Nobody likes to get booked, but it’s there for a reason. The rangers do a job, and it’s a job that has to be done,” he said A total of 266 parking infringements were issued in the Goulburn CBD last year; 465 in 2011; 468 in 2010 and 354 in 2009.
Applications for Council ranger team leader position close March 11.
“You will be responsible for the operation and management of the Companion Animal Facility and conduct monitoring programs, inspections and investigations relevant to the Companion Animals Act, Local Government Act, Impounding Act, POEO Act and Australian Road Rules,” the job description says.
“A nine day fortnight, an attractive commencing salary of $1,141 - $1,247 per week, a home to work use vehicle and 9% Superannuation will be offered.”