Brisbane City Council has fined The Oaks Group for unlawfully leasing residential carparks to commuters after an investigation which City News understands lasted several months.
According to its website, The Oaks Group arranges short-term bookings for eight unit blocks in the CBD. Car parking spaces meant for long-term residents have instead been leased to inner-city workers for up to $5000 a year. Councillor David Hinchliffe (Central) welcomed the penalty and said he believed the practice was widespread and was “potentially just the tip of the iceberg”.
He said he believed senior managers in both the private and public sectors had paid for carparks made available in contravention of the Council’s planning approvals. “If you’re operating a commercial carpark, then you need to be zoned and approved for a commercial carpark,” he said. “One carparking space can generate easily around $5000 a year in revenue for the company, 200 car spaces are worth $1 million in revenue.
“My understanding is that apartments are being rented out without carparks so that the company can lease out the carparks separately to commuters, encouraging more people to drive to work and park and adding to congestion.”
Brisbane City Council failed to answer several questions about the practice before City News’ deadline. When contacted for comment, an Oaks spokeswoman replied: “We are not at liberty to respond to that matter.”