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Council to import Cowra ranger

Monday, 28th April, 2014

By Erica Visser

The former City Council ranger in charge of CBD parking inspections has spoken out about his hours being cut, despite covering his wages in revenue from fines collected.

Ray Gardoll, a former police officer, was employed as a casual by Council until he quit in January after his hours were cut from around four days a week to being put “on call.”

He worked alongside one full time ranger and his duties included CBD parking inspections.

Business owners in Argent Street told the BDT last week that they hadn’t seen a parking inspector since Mr Gardoll left and drivers were taking advantage of his absence.

“This decision by Council was to help save money, as I was told at the meeting,” Mr Gardoll said.

“According to (a senior manager) it is extravagant for a town of Broken Hill’s size to have two rangers.

“During the time I was working as a ranger, my responsibility was CBD parking. I only remember the full time ranger doing the parking run on three occasions. So basically the entire duty remained with me.”

But it seems that Council has decided it does need a second ranger.

The BDT has confirmed that Council was in the process of seconding a ranger from Cowra.

“While there may be some loss of revenue in the short-term, we can assess where our priorities sit in terms of future ranger duties, keeping in mind the need to assist local businesses with parking enforcement,” said Council’s Manager of Sustainability, Peter Oldsen in a statement to the BDT. 

Mr Gardoll criticised a statement by Mr Oldsen that parking inspections would “intensify” after the full time ranger returned from other duties.

“You cannot maintain services while cutting staff. They just don’t get that,” Mr Gardoll said.    

“As soon as I left, the full time ranger’s workload immediately doubled, and the animal control officer now works alone and unsupported by the casual ranger position.  

“The workload in that office is too much for them to handle.”

Mr Gardoll said that when he was working four days a week, parking complaints from Argent Street business owners fell considerably.

He said that Council “simply tore that system down without any consideration of the ramifications”.

“It has always been my opinion that you should not start something that you cannot maintain,” Mr Gardoll said.

“Council has lost lots of dollars in no parking infringements. Last I looked, it was over $20,000 this financial year.”

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