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Call to correct 'appalling' parking

Date

Megan Doherty

National Capital Authority's Gary Rake in the car park next to the National Library.

National Capital Authority's Gary Rake in the car park next to the National Library. Photo: Melissa Adams

The second-in-charge of Questacon has left safe public-servant speak behind to urge authorities to ''show some leadership'' and fix the ''appalling'' parking situation in the Parliamentary Triangle.

And the National Capital Authority has promised to look at putting more short-term car spaces near the cultural institutions to stop workers in the Triangle hogging the spaces.

Questacon's general manager operations Lorraine Neish said an already unacceptable situation was about to get worse, with the NCA planning to close a temporary car park in front of the National Library in less than a month to restore the Patrick White Lawns, which lead down to Lake Burley Griffin.

The prospect of paid parking in the Triangle has been a political football for years, with unions representing public servants opposing it and committees issuing discussion papers about it but very little changing in the meantime.

While not calling specifically for paid parking, Mrs Neish said the closure of the temporary car park next to Questacon would ''have a significant and detrimental effect on our visitors who will be completely displaced by workers who will move into the available [spaces]''.

''The current situation will become immediately more frustrating for visitors, both local families and also those who have travelled long distances to visit Questacon.

''To see them drive around in circles and see them ultimately give up and leave the area is appalling. This is not the experience that they came for. It is essential that the visitors to the nation's capital have a wonderful experience and that their tourism and educational needs are high on our priority list.

''Workers who currently occupy the Patrick White Lawns and the lakeside car park have options in the broader area. It is time that leadership is shown to address this … issue.''

The National Library's director-general Anne-Marie Schwirtlich said she also wanted to ensure that the many visitors to the library had access to convenient parking.

''Given the growing number of visitors we receive daily - ranging from young families to seniors - the library is concerned that there is both sufficient parking in the library's proximity and that there is the correct mix of short-term and long-term parking,'' she said.

''Our researchers and volunteers, for example, would need all-day parking while other visitors who come for lunch, events or to see one of our exhibitions, are generally looking for shorter term parking.''

The little-known Patrick White Lawns, honouring the late writer, were created in 2004 but became a temporary gravel car park in 2007.

NCA chief executive Gary Rake said the car park was never meant to stay but had done so in part because the authority did not have the money to restore the lawns. He said it now had $150,000 to restore the lawns, with the gates to the temporary car park to close on August 3 and the lawns to be finished by the end of the year. The area will still be used for one-off events such as car shows, but Mr Rake said that was different to the area being used by ''a couple of hundred cars every day''.

Mr Rake said he had spoken to the heads of both Questacon and the library and understood both had concerns about the mix of parking in the area. The authority was looking at trying to get more short-term spots closer to the institutions. He said he had already received other objections from people concerned about the loss of parking.

The Patrick White Lawns also sit within the Parliament House Vista, a place included on the Commonwealth Heritage List. The Parliament House Vista Heritage Management Plan lists the restoration of Patrick White Lawns as a high priority ''to improve the condition and integrity of the area''.

13 comments so far

  • When I worked in the parliamentary triangle, I liked free parking.

    Just out of curiosity, does anyone know whether the employees of the National Gallery, National Library and the other national institutions get a guaranteed parking area?

    Most of the senior management will get access to SES car parks...

    Commenter
    BrindiCruiser
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    July 26, 2012, 12:45PM
    • Try ride sharing to work to avoid congestion. coseats.com connects commuters heading the same way.

      Commenter
      Scott
      Date and time
      July 26, 2012, 12:56PM
      • Why don't they look at fixing the woeful commuter parking situation across the ACT and then we wont be reading periodic articles about how the lack of parking for workers is affecting other parts of the ACT.

        Commenter
        Woz
        Location
        Kaleen
        Date and time
        July 26, 2012, 1:19PM
        • short term parking won't fix the problem. public servants will just use the 2 and 3 hour parking areas and shift their cars around during morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. only solution is to fix public transport system.

          Commenter
          fuel guzzler
          Date and time
          July 26, 2012, 2:38PM
          • That's a great car park. I use it all the time and walk into the city for work. Oh well, guess I'll just have to spend half my workday moving my car an/or rubbing chalk off my tyres.

            Commenter
            Cheapskate
            Location
            Acton
            Date and time
            July 26, 2012, 2:49PM
            • The Parlimentary Triangle is one of the last few areas that have free parking. Why? Just what is it exactly that makes this a no go area for paid parking? The reat of the ACT population pays for parking. Talk about discrimination.

              Commenter
              befuddled
              Date and time
              July 26, 2012, 3:10PM
              • It is not discrimination because you cannot compare parking in the triangle to any other major centre such as civic, woden, tuggeranong etc. The public transport is appalling (over an hour on the bus as opposed to a 10 min car trip) and there are no amenities to use in break times (medicare, banks etc). When these problems are solved the parking situation can be fixed. It might also be worth noting the number of people who park in the triangle and cross the bridge to the city!!!

                Commenter
                SDK
                Location
                ACT
                Date and time
                July 26, 2012, 6:36PM
              • Befuddled - (good tag by the way), why do we have paid parking in other areas? Why do you have to pay for the priveledge of driving to work? Why not have free parking in Canberra? Prior to self government (which nobody with half a brain wanted by the way, except for the drop kick trade union leaders and ALP organisers), there was no paid parking except in spaces owned by private enterprise.

                If you say it is to raise revenue, what for? More public art scupltures? More sister city arrangements with other cities I've never heard of? More overseas junkets for our pollies?

                Maybe if the government focused on what is actually needed, rather than on what ideological slant that makes them think they know what we need, we would be better off.

                Commenter
                BBA
                Location
                Banks
                Date and time
                July 26, 2012, 8:01PM
            • Here we go again. More entitlements, more free' more tax money being used to fund the unending luxuries of public servants.

              We went out to the national museum today. Ram packed, not one spot. Everyone on the grass and parked around the guttering. Circled three times before parking "illegally" (is this part of the "revenue" model? Tax by fines?).

              How many people were inside the museum, actual visitors? Hardly any.

              Prune back the public service tree, hard. Right back to the root. Apply some poison. Charge them to use public infrastructure for free. Charge them a daily fee for parking. Recover the costs attributed to their unending benefits.

              Commenter
              Evanism
              Location
              Canberra
              Date and time
              July 26, 2012, 3:23PM
              • Oh is that a Museum carpark?
                I thought that it was reserved for ANU people and workers from Civic.

                Commenter
                bilked
                Location
                Canberra
                Date and time
                July 26, 2012, 4:30PM

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