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Parking on the Hill – time to cough up the cash

By Alexandra Craig - 21 October 2014 47

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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?

What’s Your opinion?


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47 Responses to
Parking on the Hill – time to cough up the cash
Innovation 11:24 am 22 Oct 14

wildturkeycanoe said :

Unlike others here, I do not have the option of riding a motorcycle, bicycle or catching a bus [due to having to carry tools and arriving at work earlier than the transport system allows]. I haven’t got $60 extra to spare to pay it so I have resorted to finding places that don’t cost anything. It does mean I have to walk a fair distance, carrying all my gear, plus having to wake at five and get in early for the few limited spaces. Sacrifices must be made, but work is for earning a living. When did it change so that going to work actually costs you money? Almost cheaper to stay at home and claim the dole.

Fair enough if you don’t want to ride a motorbike but, if you now have to “walk a fair distance, carrying all [your] gear” then you should be able to carry that gear on a suitably modified motorbike or trailer.

For tradespeople that still do need their vehicle I presume there are still loading zones, building owner provided permit parking, temporary on site storage for tools, and tax deductions for where paid parking is still a necessity?

pajs 9:17 am 22 Oct 14

Masquara said :

Katie Gallagher and her government are picking on Parliamentary Triangle workers because there are very few small businesses in the area to get offside re patrons having to pay to park. There’s lots of small business in Dickson, and the government is keeping the parking fees quite reasonable there. Mind you, I would think a lot of workers in the Triangle are now taking a sandwich lunch and saving much of the $12 a day that way. I’ve been told the NLA cafe is giving up the lease because of the parking sitch.

Federal land, federal decisions. Not ACT Government. I’m sure you’ll apologise for getting this wrong.

JC 8:12 am 22 Oct 14

Masquara said :

Katie Gallagher and her government are picking on Parliamentary Triangle workers because there are very few small businesses in the area to get offside re patrons having to pay to park. There’s lots of small business in Dickson, and the government is keeping the parking fees quite reasonable there. Mind you, I would think a lot of workers in the Triangle are now taking a sandwich lunch and saving much of the $12 a day that way. I’ve been told the NLA cafe is giving up the lease because of the parking sitch.

Good rant. But you seem to have ignored the bleeding obvious. Paid parking in the triangle was introduced by the Federal government (first kicked off by Labor) and all revenue, including fines goes to the Federal government. So please explain what Katie Gallagher and her government have to do with it?

Maya123 3:00 am 22 Oct 14

Maya123 said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

Unlike others here, I do not have the option of riding a motorcycle, bicycle or catching a bus [due to having to carry tools and arriving at work earlier than the transport system allows]. I haven’t got $60 extra to spare to pay it so I have resorted to finding places that don’t cost anything. It does mean I have to walk a fair distance, carrying all my gear, plus having to wake at five and get in early for the few limited spaces. Sacrifices must be made, but work is for earning a living. When did it change so that going to work actually costs you money? Almost cheaper to stay at home and claim the dole.

This needs more explanation. You are obvious self employed, because if you worked for the public service or other government type organization, they would supply the tools and a work vehicle, which would have a reserved place to park. This was what happened in my old work place, which had paid parking for the general workers, but reserved places for the work vehicles, and the tools were supplied as part of employment. I can’t imagine a private person having a business in the parliamentary triangle, so it can’t be where most of this discussion is about. Also many businesses have a reserved place to park. That’s why your comments need more information, so we can better understand your position.

Also I should add, where I worked had several parking passes they would give out to visiting people who needed to be there for the day, such as tradespeople and official guests. I know this, because after I retired from there, I went back for a couple of days work and was given one of these parking passes. Have you asked about this? Otherwise, put the parking fees on the bill.

Maya123 2:54 am 22 Oct 14

wildturkeycanoe said :

Unlike others here, I do not have the option of riding a motorcycle, bicycle or catching a bus [due to having to carry tools and arriving at work earlier than the transport system allows]. I haven’t got $60 extra to spare to pay it so I have resorted to finding places that don’t cost anything. It does mean I have to walk a fair distance, carrying all my gear, plus having to wake at five and get in early for the few limited spaces. Sacrifices must be made, but work is for earning a living. When did it change so that going to work actually costs you money? Almost cheaper to stay at home and claim the dole.

This needs more explanation. You are obvious self employed, because if you worked for the public service or other government type organization, they would supply the tools and a work vehicle, which would have a reserved place to park. This was what happened in my old work place, which had paid parking for the general workers, but reserved places for the work vehicles, and the tools were supplied as part of employment. I can’t imagine a private person having a business in the parliamentary triangle, so it can’t be where most of this discussion is about. Also many businesses have a reserved place to park. That’s why your comments need more information, so we can better understand your position.

Crazed_Loner 11:25 pm 21 Oct 14

Masquara said :

Katie Gallagher and her government are picking on Parliamentary Triangle workers because there are very few small businesses in the area to get offside re patrons having to pay to park. There’s lots of small business in Dickson, and the government is keeping the parking fees quite reasonable there. Mind you, I would think a lot of workers in the Triangle are now taking a sandwich lunch and saving much of the $12 a day that way. I’ve been told the NLA cafe is giving up the lease because of the parking sitch.

It’s nothing to do with the ACT government, it’s a Federal Government decision – the previous Labor Government, to their shame, especially given that the money is going into consolidated revenue rather than to the NCA, Canberra generally, or improving facilities in the area.
And having worked in the area, it’s not the same as for people working in Civic or at town centres. No banks, shops, supermarkets, limited eateries – a retail desert.
If the government was really interested in solving the problem of workers parking in national institution parking areas, they could have and should have charged for parking only in those parking areas. But it’s really just an intellectually dishonest cash grab.

wildturkeycanoe 9:51 pm 21 Oct 14

Unlike others here, I do not have the option of riding a motorcycle, bicycle or catching a bus [due to having to carry tools and arriving at work earlier than the transport system allows]. I haven’t got $60 extra to spare to pay it so I have resorted to finding places that don’t cost anything. It does mean I have to walk a fair distance, carrying all my gear, plus having to wake at five and get in early for the few limited spaces. Sacrifices must be made, but work is for earning a living. When did it change so that going to work actually costs you money? Almost cheaper to stay at home and claim the dole.

2604 9:39 pm 21 Oct 14

Masquara said :

Katie Gallagher and her government are picking on Parliamentary Triangle workers because there are very few small businesses in the area to get offside re patrons having to pay to park.

Err…that’s Commonwealth land, not ACT Government land. The National Capital Authority is collecting the money on behalf of the Commonwealth. Wayne Swan announced the measure in the 2013-14 budget.

To answer the OP, I’ve started riding to work. It’s a 15.5km ride each way. The return on investment on my new, $1200 roadie is pretty good (I save $18 per day in parking and petrol, so about 1.5% daily), and arrive at work feeling quite energized.

The downside is spending 40 mins per day less with my family. =(

HenryBG 9:03 pm 21 Oct 14

Masquara said :

I’ve been told the NLA cafe is giving up the lease because of the parking sitch.

Yeah. Sure.

Alderney 9:01 pm 21 Oct 14

I work in Woden and the wife in city west. It costs us $55 a week to park, plus over $28 on the bus.

Wife drives 3 days a week and buses the other 2, I bus 3 days and drive the other 2 so we can drop and pick up the lad from school. Adds up in the long term.

I used to cycle 3 days, but since the bike needs a fair bit spent on it have negated that for the bus in the meantime. It’s not really any cheaper when you factor in the maintenance, although there are other benefits like better health.

We’ve never taken 2 cars.

It’s a cost of living just like food, bills, alcohol etc. If you don’t want to pay it start a home business.

Alderney 8:53 pm 21 Oct 14

Masquara said :

Katie Gallagher and her government are picking on Parliamentary Triangle workers because there are very few small businesses in the area to get offside re patrons having to pay to park. There’s lots of small business in Dickson, and the government is keeping the parking fees quite reasonable there. Mind you, I would think a lot of workers in the Triangle are now taking a sandwich lunch and saving much of the $12 a day that way. I’ve been told the NLA cafe is giving up the lease because of the parking sitch.

What a lot of rot.

Many other places in the ACT have paid parking. Instead of having a whinge, those in the triangle should consider themselves lucky they got a way with it for so long.

Masquara 6:45 pm 21 Oct 14

Katie Gallagher and her government are picking on Parliamentary Triangle workers because there are very few small businesses in the area to get offside re patrons having to pay to park. There’s lots of small business in Dickson, and the government is keeping the parking fees quite reasonable there. Mind you, I would think a lot of workers in the Triangle are now taking a sandwich lunch and saving much of the $12 a day that way. I’ve been told the NLA cafe is giving up the lease because of the parking sitch.

Maya123 3:38 pm 21 Oct 14

I rode my bicycle more often to work, and on wet days caught the bus. Before I would drive on wet days.

arescarti42 3:33 pm 21 Oct 14

“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.”

I’ve started riding the bus daily as a direct result of the introduction of paid parking, I seriously begrudge paying $12/day to park.

My colleague has a much longer commute, and has started catching the bus about 2-3 days a week, and cops the fee the other 2-3 days.

I don’t know if I’m imagining it, but the traffic on Northbourne in the morning and evenings seems much lighter than it was a few months ago.

dkNigs 2:37 pm 21 Oct 14

I started riding a motorcycle, not because of paid parking, but because my work moved to a new premises with woefully inadequate parking and 55 minutes of public transport vs the 8 minute drive/ride. It has now in the last few years become a lifestyle change, while the wife still has a car, I only have a motorbike, and we were able to move into an apartment in the city because we no longer required two car spaces. Having gone back to uni with pay parking it’s actually cheaper in petrol to ride the bike and park for free than it is to catch the bus at student rates per week! Plus with a bike smaller than 300cc, the registration is ridiculously low. Just got my full licence for the bike, so now able to ride 2-up also.

I can’t deal with relying on bus timetables, the past 3 times I’ve gone to catch one it hasn’t shown up and the next bus has made me either cut it very close or be late.

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