SHOPPERS who park in Orange Central shopping centre’s car park could have their vehicle entered and moved under one of the conditions of entry imposed by the operators.
Secure Parking says it is not liable for any loss or damage caused if cars are moved by the parking officers but shoppers are liable for any damage to the car park they or their vehicle causes, according to a sign in the car park displaying the terms and conditions.
The centre’s management has come under fire from businesses who say the three-hour daily limit imposed at the car park in March is scaring customers away.
Councillor Chris Gryllis has also been outspoken against the changes, which saw a private contractor take over the management of the car park from Orange City Council.
He said the daily limit and terms and conditions broke the covenant the centre’s developers signed with council when they purchased the car park for a nominal amount in 1996.
“It obviously indicates to me a very cowboy attitude [from the centre’s managers],” he said.
“I don’t believe that was part of the terms and conditions of the original sale of land.
“It was for the public and it was meant to stay for the public.”
A spokesperson for the centre’s management Charter Hall said the “standard clause covers Secure Parking’s OHS responsibilities in ensuring a safe environment in the car park”.
“There may be circumstances where a vehicle is required to be moved or made safe, for instance, if a child or animal was left unattended in a car,” she said.
But cars could also be moved if they are “standing in a no-parking zone, in case of a fire or if vehicle is causing an obstruction presenting a danger or nuisance to other car park users”.
Cr Gryllis said it was unnecessary for cars to be moved if they were simply in the wrong zone.
“They’re allowed to break the glass if the owners have locked animals or kids in the car ... but to break a window to move a car is pretty silly,” he said.
He said he had asked business owners to put their concerns about the car park in writing to council.
Council spokesperson Nick Redmond said council had reached a stalemate with the centre’s management after writing to them regarding the terms of the agreement.
“They have written back and they maintain their position,” he said.
“But they have agreed to the opportunity to discuss their views and our views further.”