Many Tasmanians have felt the crunch of the increased cost of living, with grocery, petrol and energy prices continuing to surge and no relief from the cost of housing - whether mortgage or rent.
However, it's the increase in a parking fine that has many Launcestonians drawing a line in the sand. A more than 39 per cent increase simply hasn't been welcomed.
The issue has caused such a stir that City of Launceston councillor Susie Cai has successfully pushed for more review into a policy mere months old.
In June, the council passed a new bylaw bringing the municipality in line with others around the state. That decision was based on months-worth of investigation and followed the recommendation of council officers.
Now councillors and officers are set to spend more time discussing the issue at workshops.
Could it be a matter of Launceston motorists have had it too good for too long?
The penalty hadn't been reviewed in 10 years. Since that time Launceston has grown and evolved, it's time for straightforward policies, such as parking fines, to keep up.
The new fee remains lower than Hobart, and rightly so as the state's capital and more populated city. But a visit to Hobart's CBD and it's obvious higher parking fines haven't impacted those choosing to visit businesses there. Using the same adage, increased in parking fines is unlikely to impact whether shoppers will continue supporting those in Launceston.
The question also stands, if there are changes back to the old system of a flat-rate requiring review to change, could it just be prolonging the inevitable?
The creation of the by-law was intended to future-guard from a further price shock, and allow it to automatically fluctuate in line with CPI. So rather than leave the rate to the whim of councillors to formulate, the updated model followed a set penalty rate to change based on inflation.
A decision to implement such a change during a cost of living crisis perhaps is more a timing issue of why such a policy has been left for so long, than it is bad policy.
When the by-law was introduced, councillors warned the public there would be an increase and catch-up period.
Advice extended so far as to Councillor Hugh McKenzie saying it wouldn't be a money grab for people doing the right thing. Maybe it's time to follow this guidance?
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