Paid parking across Canberra is not a new thing. Most parking lots have been user pays for some time now with the Parliamentary Triangle having paid parking introduced on October 1 this year. Parliament House is probably the only government institution to still have free parking available. There’s a real possibility that this is all about to change.
Paid parking in the public car parks at Parliament House (basement at the front of the building and also spots on either side of Federation Mall) will come to effect in November. Paid parking for building occupants in the four private car parks (House of Representatives, Senate, Ministerial outdoor and Ministerial underground) is still under review but an outcome is expected before the end of the year.
I suspect that if paid parking is introduced for the private car parks there will be an outcry, similar to the outcry we saw when paid parking was introduced in the Parliamentary Triangle. I think the outcry will come not from political staff because the majority of them are not Canberra based anyway, but from the other building occupants that don’t earn the same wages as some highly paid public servants and political staff do. People like the cleaners, the childcare centre workers, the staff at the cafes, the attendants in the House of Representatives and the Senate, the building maintenance staff, the staff at Australia Post, the security guards, the gardeners. The list could go on and on.
I’m interested to know if those who have already had paid parking implemented at their workplace changed their lifestyle because of it, choosing to ride the bus or cycle to work, or if most people just decided to begrudgingly keep driving to work and copping the parking fee each day. Has the number of people carpooling increased perhaps?
For those readers who don’t have paid parking at their work; if it was implemented tomorrow, would you start finding alternative ways to get to and from work or would you suck it up and pay the parking fee?