THE mooring permit holders have accused Parks Victoria of “gouging” and using unfair practices that do not allow pro-rata payments.
Kim Stringer, of Rye, who holds a mooring permit at Blairgowrie, said the authority was in many cases getting several payments for the one permit.
She said she was surprised when, after signing up for a 12-month permit in December last year, she was then sent a bill just two months later for another 12 months.
It seemed unusual, she said, given that the permit was not even close to expiring when she took it over, but had been paid in full by the previous holder.
“So, because I took on the permit before the start of the permit year, I had to pay in full and then in full again when the permit year started, this is wrong on so many levels,” Ms Stringer said.
“Why do I have to pay again, admin fees and other costs can’t be that high? I know the previous permit holder didn’t get a refund, so that’s three payments for the same mooring.
“That’s unfair and that’s gouging.”
Ms Stringer said she wanted the issue exposed to try to bring about change, but that Parks Victoria told her that it was a government department and “it can do what it likes”.
“I know other people in the same situation, and we all think it’s crazy,” she said.
District manager Graeme Davis said Parks Victoria issued thousands of permits for moorings and berths within Port Phillip and Western Port, with all fees set annually from the beginning of each financial year.
“The vessel mooring fees in Port Phillip and Western Port are among the lowest in Australia,” he said.
The $122 annual mooring fee for Blairgowrie, allows holders to moor a vessel for the year. The permits expire in February with the annual fee due in March.
Parks Victoria says a permit transfer or establishment fee may also be charged to cover administrative costs, which allows them to cover part of the costs of managing and administering over 3500 moorings across more than 80 fields.
Parks does not offer a pro-rata on any fees or charges, with all piers, jetties, harbours, and permits are non-transferable, except in certain circumstances. However, there are destination and seasonal moorings for short-term boating enthusiasts.