South Australians have a big reason to be happy – they will not be forced to pay extra to park in Adelaide’s CBD. Labor’s toxic tax was voted down in Parliament’s Legislative Council by State Liberal Members of the Legislative Council and crossbenchers – the Hon John Darley MLC, the Hon Dennis Hood MLC and the Hon Robert Brokenshire MLC.
The State Liberals have been staunchly opposed to the introduction of the Weatherill Labor Government’s car park tax from day one. We don’t believe in burdening people who work in the city, who spend time in the city and who promote city vibrancy. We want the opposite – to encourage people to spend more time in the city and support local businesses.
The car park tax proposal was nothing more than a tax grab by Labor to plug their massive budget deficit. For the past 12 years we’ve seen Labor mismanage the State’s budget which has resulted in record debts, deficits and broken promises. Premier Jay Weatherill and his parliamentary colleagues have tried to slug the household budget to pay for their own financial failings.
If the tax had been introduced, Labor could have easily increased the rate and expanded the area it covered. Just look at what they did with the Emergency Services Levy. The average household will this year pay about $150 more for the ESL. Unlike Labor, the Liberal Party committed to scrapping the car park tax at the recent State Election and went even further by promising not to introduce any new taxes or levies.
When South Australians voted in March this year, Labor received just 36% of the vote – people rejected them and their car park tax. The State Liberals have listed to what the majority of South Australians wanted and together with Family First and the Xenophon group we have honoured their calls to scrap the car park tax.
It’s important to understand that our State doesn’t need a car park tax to build transport infrastructure. We have built a train, tram and bus network without a new tax on car parks. There is plenty of revenue from other taxes to pay for our transport system. Labor just needs to learn how to manage its Budget, stop wasting money, and use existing taxes to invest in key services for South Australia.
The key to stimulating our economy and growing jobs is to support businesses and traders. They are the backbone of South Australia’s economy and should not be punished with unnecessary taxes. The Gouger Street precinct is an excellent example of thriving restaurants and shops. It attracts tourists, locals and international students and offers convenient, affordable parking options.
I’m passionate about ensuring that all South Australians can afford to frequent the city and support local businesses. I also want to build on what our city already offers and encourage our younger generations to invest in city projects and business ventures.
Adelaide has repeatedly been named one of the most liveable cities in the world and we must do everything in our power to preserve this reputation. In fact, we need to work towards making South Australia the number one most liveable city in the world.