The National-Liberal Opposition has slammed the Minister for Transport for her inappropriate use of the Perth Parking Levy, following the release of a damning report into the management of the fund.
Opposition Leader and Shadow Transport Minister Shane Love said the Auditor General’s report found the Minister refused to follow the law by spending the levy’s money on an out-of-scope project.
“Instead of facing up to her unlawful decision, the Minister hastily announced a broadened scope for spending money from this account to projects, knowing the report was coming down the pipeline,” Mr Love said.
“This reeks of an arrogant McGowan Government misusing money raised by West Australians, which is not surprising given Labor’s track record of refusing to be open and transparent.”
Mr Love said the report determined the Department of Transport knew full well what the purpose of the Perth Parking Levy was, yet the rationale and criteria for project selection was not clear and only partly effective.
“The Auditor General also found there had been a lack of consistent consultation with the City of Perth, as is required under the legislation,” Mr Love said.
“It is unacceptable that the McGowan Labor Government was dipping its hand into the Perth Parking levy for vanity projects, without discussing these decisions with the local council.
“The arrogance of the Premier and his Labor Ministers is astounding, and their promise of ‘gold-standard transparency’ has evidently been broken.”
Liberal WA Leader Libby Mettam said with more than $11 billion in surpluses over the past two years, it was extraordinary that the McGowan Labor Government was raiding a parking levy fund to pay for Labor’s pet projects and business cases for swimming pools.
“With close to $200 million sitting in the parking levy, the money should be spent on improving the amenity for Perth small business owners, not for festivals in Subiaco,” Ms Mettam said.
“It’s a slap in the face for business owners and shows the contempt with which this Government treats business operators in the city who are already facing significant financial challenges.”