New hospital parking fees ‘too much’

20 Feb

By Ashleigh Nay, Bond University Journalism Student

Staff, patients and visitors at the new Gold Coast University Hospital are complaining about the cost of parking on site which can be as much as $16 per day. The alternative is searching for a park on the already crowded side streets of Parkwood.

Full-time staff parking is $8 per day but part time staff doing alternative shifts must use the visitor parking costing $16 per shift.

A nurse, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals, said she had been doing alternative shifts at the hospital since it opened and was annoyed by the cost of parking.

“Sixteen dollars a day is almost like the hourly wage and although they say half of that is tax deductible, you’ve got no other option,” she said.

“It’s too dangerous for nurses on a late shift to walk beyond the car park. I don’t think it’s fair considering we’re working for the government.”

The multistorey car park owned and operated by Secure Parking has more than 2200 undercover parks.

The company set  prices  at $3  for 30 minutes or less, increasing in  every half hour to an hour.

Nearby residents are frustrated that their  streets are now filled with cars.

“For years it’s been increasing, what with Griffith uni putting up new buildings and getting rid of the parking spaces for students and now it’s the hospital,” local resident Dee Angland said.

Mrs Angland said  her street has been turned into a parking station, even forcing her and her family to park on the grass outside their house.

“I understand that the nurses have to park somewhere because it’s too costly in the parking station. But getting in and out of our own driveway, it’s just been atrocious,” she said.

She said that if Secure Parking reduced the cost they’d get more people using the space and therefore get more money.

“I don’t understand how they’re not figuring that out,” she said.

Griffith University students are also fighting for parks.

Student Terryn Berardone said the limited parking made it hard for students to go to university.

“It really complicates things when you have to think about how you are going to park, where you are going park and how long it will actually take to get a car spot or if you will even get a spot,” she said.

She said that it put pressure on students, especially if they have a lecture in the middle of the day when spaces were limited.

“I’m hearing of people not coming to uni or not wanting to go to uni just purely because there aren’t enough spots available,” she said.

She said that for a full semester before the hospital opened to the medical staff and patients, student car parking was a flat rate of $6 a day in the multistorey.

“Griffith university students were allowed to use the parking facilities and it was really great. They were even giving out loyalty cards, so after a certain amount of payments you got rewarded with half price parking or even free parking. Students were happy to go to and from uni,” she said.

Secure Parking did not comment when contacted by Bond Gold Coast News.

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