Yarraville’s controversial parking meters will be dug out and used elsewhere, more than three years after the area’s traders first campaigned for their removal.
The meters, which triggered a heavy protest from angered traders when they were introduced in 2015, culminating in a man being charged with the assault of two councillors at a fiery council meeting, have been dormant since they were switched off within months of their activation.
Maribyrnong Council council has foregone more than $8 million in revenue since freezing parking fees in central Footscray and Yarraville.
Star Weekly last month reported guerrilla crafters had descended on the village overnight to cover the meters with Where’s Wally-inspired outfits.
Vandals stole most of the Wally heads within a day, but the trademark Wally outfits have remained covering the meters.
Disgruntled traders recently met western suburbs Liberal MP Bernie Finn, who used Parliament to call on Local Government Minister Adem Somyurek to pressure Maribyrnong council to remove the meters entirely.
“A lot of people apparently are not [going to Yarraville] because they are concerned that they will get into strife with the parking meters,” he said.
“I ask the minister to have a chat to Maribyrnong council and to emphasise to them the importance of getting on with it and removing the parking meters.”
Maribyrnong council acting planning services director Katy McMahon said the council intended to take the parking meters out of Yarraville and use them in other locations.
“We have always said that paid parking will remain as an option for alleviating parking conditions throughout the city,” she said.
“However, since we are not currently using the meters in Yarraville at this time, and since there are more immediate needs elsewhere, it is now viable to move them.”
Ms McMahon said any signage relating to paid parking has been removed.
Traders have welcomed the decision to remove the meters.