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The bell tolls for free parking in Barton

By johnboy 8 April 2010 26

The Canberra Times has a good piece of digging by Markus Mannheim on the imminent end to free parking in Barton.

It seems the vast tracts of free parking in The Valley Of Death (has there ever been so many high income workers so poorly served by amenity?) is about to become a huge Fringe Benefits Tax event for the public service with a commercial multistory opening in the area in the next couple of years:

Tax law demands employers that provide parking for their workers pay FBT if a commercial all-day car park operates within 1km of their workplace.

Where the Chiefly Stanhope’s Angry Voice has failed a whopping great bill and glittering redevelopment opportunities will almost certainly succeed!

But will they sort the buses out? Hell No! A meaningless number like 500 buses a day is apparently the magic one.


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26 Responses to
The bell tolls for free parking in Barton
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RCB 2:56 pm 11 Jun 10

To answer youami there is a reason SES get paid more, but its not what you are trying to hint at!

Most Upper management in the Public service are just like most politicians. Over paid, over confident, extremely incompetent and looking for their own interests! They claim they have more responsibility, but when all their idiotic ideas and policies fail they blame someone else or just move on to the next job. The reason they are usually in their job is because they all talk the talk and are the only ones that can bare to listen to their crap and worse believe it.

BTW youami are you SES or are you just naive?

Side Point:
I give more to my job than it pays, (weekends and unpaid overtime). I was/can earn more in the private sector. But I enjoy what I do and feel I’m making a contirbution to a better socitiey in Australia hence “Public Servant”. But I am starting to consider other jobs as my conditions decline(parking one of them).

The point that some people here are missing is that the government should be IMPROVING our standards of living not degrading them.
Nobody should have to PAY to park going to work in Canberra FullStop — Or commute 1 hour each way (This is not a city of millions, or unplanned large city, so no comparisons)

Buses are a joke. I live in a Woden suburb and I only have 2 buses to catch that are direct the whole journey takes 3 times longer (6 times longer if I go via depot) than if I drove and the buses sometimes don’t stop as they are FULL.

Riding a bike is dangerous on Adelaide Ave!! (green strips). Make a bike path that is direct to Barton OFF the rode no in the middle or cars doing 80kmph. Common-sense somebody?

It’s a shame to see Canberra being ruined by Greedy businesses, officials and politicians.

youami 2:01 pm 12 Apr 10

There is the new Redex every 15 minutes that goes through Barton 7am to 7pm. Public transport is fine in the area if one bothers to do some research but if it doesn’t spend the 10 minute walk through parklands to Albert Hall bus stop! And for those who whinge about the thought of having to pay for parking why don’t you take a look at pretty much everywhere else in Canberra. Barton isn’t special and shouldn’t be treated as such… driving is a privilege not a right.

miz said :

Sepi, you are so right – in my Dept (AGD), the SES all get ACT Govt permits to park their salary package cars for nothing in specially designated places. Whereas, it’s the average, less well paid ‘paeons’ who would have to pay for parking. Currently, non-SES staff in our Dept can get underground paid parking through a lottery arrangement that turns about every few months. I can’t afford this so I don’t do that myself, and rely on the free parking out the back.

Frankly, this whole argument if back to front – there should in fact be free parking for all employees in the CBD areas (inc NCA and Civic) if they need it. Personally, I get the bus four days a week but MUST drive the other day so I can get to UC, and back to work, in a reasonable timeframe during the afternoon. If the buses were efficient, people would use them regardless of a foolish ‘stick’ like pay parking.

If I had to pay for parking, I would seriously reconsider ditching my job in Barton, and I will never apply for a Civic job due to the same concern. Depts are already so short staffed this should be a serious consideration for the NCA.

As for SES staff, they get paid more than plebs sure but there is a reason for that! C’mon, do you stay at work for 70 hours a week, don’t get overtime, respond to emails and phone calls on weekends without pay? Do you have to go to meeting after meeting after meeting? Give them a break, maybe you should start thinking about your work ethics rather than criticise hardworking professionals who most likely have earnt their car spot!

And what? You would reconsider your job if you had to pay for parking? Seriously? Wake up you spoilt brat and smell the real world of user-pays.

miz 1:23 pm 10 Apr 10

Sepi, you are so right – in my Dept (AGD), the SES all get ACT Govt permits to park their salary package cars for nothing in specially designated places. Whereas, it’s the average, less well paid ‘paeons’ who would have to pay for parking. Currently, non-SES staff in our Dept can get underground paid parking through a lottery arrangement that turns about every few months. I can’t afford this so I don’t do that myself, and rely on the free parking out the back.

Frankly, this whole argument if back to front – there should in fact be free parking for all employees in the CBD areas (inc NCA and Civic) if they need it. Personally, I get the bus four days a week but MUST drive the other day so I can get to UC, and back to work, in a reasonable timeframe during the afternoon. If the buses were efficient, people would use them regardless of a foolish ‘stick’ like pay parking.

If I had to pay for parking, I would seriously reconsider ditching my job in Barton, and I will never apply for a Civic job due to the same concern. Depts are already so short staffed this should be a serious consideration for the NCA.

toriness 9:53 am 10 Apr 10

hopeful said :

I’m not sure why these people think their problems are so special. Thousands of Canberrans have to drop kids at school, get to work by nine, buy the groceries on the way home and pay for parking!. It’s all about choice. You can still drive your car – you just have to pay for parking like the rest of us.

amen to this! not to mention those in barton and parkes work in the higher paid departments as well – they can well afford to pay for parking as much as anyone else in canberra.

Wraith 9:06 pm 09 Apr 10

goose said :

Ride a motorbike 🙂

I agree, love my bike, even in Winter.

Side effect, the public service 500 in the morning and evening would be a whole lot more entertaining if more bikes were involved…..

random 1:13 pm 09 Apr 10

phil m: There are apparently several different methods for calculating the tax payable.

And the ATO doesn’t really care about whether you have a dedicated parking space or not, it cares that Department X has 200 spaces on Department X land. From there, all roads lead to “user pays”.

housebound 12:27 pm 09 Apr 10

Buses are fine in commuter-hour, so bring on pay parking in the triangle for commuters. It’ll mean I can get a parking spot when I need to.

That said, the bus system is hopeless the rest of the time. Those local politicians need to start relying on buses to see how the great unwashed masses (that’s us) live. Then, when it takes them 1.5 hours to get from one part of town to another (off-peak hour) they might start to realise why we all have to rely on our cars.

phil m 11:18 am 09 Apr 10

I would dearly like to know how they will quantify the number of free carparks assigned to each organisation for the purposes of applying an FBT on them. I would be highly dubious they weren’t double-dipping and charging more than one organisation for the one space.

I work in the triangle and I park for free, but that does not mean I “get a free car park”. If a tax was imposed on me I will be asking exactly which car-space is my car space because I am not really that keen on paying a tax on something that I am not receiving. And for that matter if I elected to take public transport each day would I expect to not be taxed? If I had to pay the tax regardless I would be more inclined to drive myself to work to get value for my money rather than doing anything else.

It is also quite arrogant of Mr Stanhope to assume that once you walk to your bus-stop it will just instantly take you to your destination. Most Canberrans would likely need to change buses once or even twice to get from their home to the triangle. But I don’t really expect much effort from him anyway, I doubt he has paid a single coin from his own pocket to pay for parking while at work over the past five or so years.

Postalgeek 11:04 am 09 Apr 10

I can understand the difficulties facing parents with children, but single drivers out there using a lot of metal, space and energy to shift their carcasses get no sympathy. I mean, it’s insane to employ the resources to move a 1000kg+ vehicle in order to move a 50-100kg individual. Like goose says, if you’re too unfit to ride a bike, ride a motorbike.

sepi 10:08 am 09 Apr 10

If you work in civic you can do your groceries/errands at lunchtime. Parkes and Barton really have nothing going for them.

The line of 1km from this pay parking is going to be very interesting!

More users of public transport has still not seen extra services from ACTION. They still make a loss on each passenger. They would have to more than double patronage to even think about making a profit.

And it isn’t all public service fat-cats. All those APS 1s and 2s at Questacon, and the elderly volunteers, will lose out bigtime if they have to pay to park.

Pandy 9:55 am 09 Apr 10

@ Openyourmind

>I wonder what the flow-on effect will be?

Easy. Stanloop installs a paid car-park outside of the Russell boundary but withn 1km of the existing car-parks. Then points this out to the ATO and says: “F.B.T.” Watch Defence run!!!! LOL

Thumper 9:30 am 09 Apr 10

I noticed typical bellicose, blustering Stanhope bullying on the news last night.

burkes08 9:24 am 09 Apr 10

I don’t mind paying, but there need to be parks. The AFP are moving into the Edmund Barton building in the coming months with an additional 2000 staff. It is already hard to get a park after 0830, soon it will not be possible.

Oh, and as a shift worker I can’t catch the bus, otherwise I would.

goose 7:40 am 09 Apr 10

Ride a motorbike 🙂

cleo 12:48 am 09 Apr 10

Not everyone can ride a bike! 🙁

Aubergine 11:39 pm 08 Apr 10

About time too. Free parking is not a right. Fancy complaining about paying $15 a day for secure undercover parking a 5-10 minute walk from your workplace. Want to work in Sydney? Central CBD parking is $25 for the first hour, $72 for 3 or more hours, early bird $39. The days of thousands of cars packed like cockroaches into wasteful dirt surface carparks are over. The carparks will vanish and something useful will take their place. More people using public transport more often will inevitably result in more services. Think creatively. Drop the kids off at school, park for $5 all day under the Griffin Hotel in Kingston, walk 10 mins to Barton. You choose to have kids, you get tax benefits like Family Tax Benefit – up to $6000 pa – use some of that to pay for parking. Start now because the parking will only get scarcer. The huge carpark between the Landmark, Ottoman and Kurrajong Hotel is up for sale too.

sexynotsmart 8:59 pm 08 Apr 10

I’ve worked in the Triangle on a couple of projects in the last few years. I suspect most car users wouldn’t mind paying provided there is an increase in parks! Even if you get in early and always got a park (as I did) people park too close and ding your doors, or double-park and block you in. A multi-story carpark or two may reduce this.

Suggestion for anyone looking to dodge parking fees when they come… last year I did the bike thing until the mornings grew too chilly and sunsets too early. I’m not fit enough to do Tuggeranong to Parkes in a reasonable time. So I drove to Deakin, parked in a side street and rode the last few kilometres.

OpenYourMind 8:27 pm 08 Apr 10

I wonder what the flow-on effect will be? Will Russell parking become paid parking? And currently Defence covers the cost of parking at Brindabella Park and Fairbairn. Part of the rationale for Brindabella and Fairbairn is that Russell is free. Ironically Defence sold the Fairbairn land to Snow Empire Inc. for a song. Snow Empire inc. rolled out the asphalt and charges Defence hundreds and hundreds of dollars per year per car for what was formerly an empty Defence owned paddock.

annoyedcan 7:20 pm 08 Apr 10

WillowJim said :

midlife said :

The department of finance got a private ruling not a secret ruling.

If the Government doesn’t release the ruling, why isn’t it secret?

I agree why are they so special, plenty of buses service the area. They should vist a website called http://www.action.act.gov au, it must be new service since most people dont know about the service.

When I have to work in barton i can catch a bus and be at barton by 7.45am from Gungahlin.

annoyedcan 7:16 pm 08 Apr 10

midlife said :

Pity the Crimes cannot get their reporting right. The department of finance got a private ruling not a secret ruling. A private ruling is used by companies and government agencies to get a ruling on the specific application of a point of tax law. It is better than guessing the intent of the law. Tens of millions?? might like to check that calculation it seems grossly exagerated. Guess a headline of tens of thousands just doesn’t have the same impact.

If they won’t tell why they got a ruling then it’s secret. I guess it was to keep the whinging Parkes/Barton Public Servants quiet. The ruling should be removed and all is fair, pay for parking. If you’re not happy get a different job, move to Sydney CBD or Parramatta, North Sydney and live in the Blue Mts, then you can whinge.

Having worked in the city for 5 years and pay for parking, get over and move with the times.
Maybe the ACT GOVT or NCA can place dispensers of Harden the …. Up liquid hand wash and try your eyes princess towels placed at the pay parking meters.

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