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Drivers find ways to bypass dreaded new parking fees

Car-parking matchmaker Parkhound says it is already setting up deals between local residents with spare car parks and office workers

Car-parking matchmaker Parkhound says it is already setting up deals between local residents with spare car parks and office workers Photo: Graham Tidy

Householders around Canberra's Parliamentary Triangle are already cashing in on the paid parking regime around the precinct, according to a private sector parking broker.

Car-parking matchmaker Parkhound says it is already setting up deals between local residents with spare car parks and office workers, mostly federal public servants, from around the triangle.

From July 1, tens of thousands of public servants in and around the national precinct will be hit by the federal government with parking fees of $11 a day for spaces they have enjoyed for free for decades.

Do you know more? Send your confidential tips to ps@canberratimes.com.au

The move has sent bureaucrats scrambling for alternatives to paying the hated new fee and Sydney internet start-up Parkhound says it believes a lucrative new market for its services will develop in Canberra as the pay parking regime begins to bite.

The web-based service has grown in congested cities Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane which connects drivers looking for parking with local property owners who have spare car spaces.

One of Parkhound's owners, Robert Crocitti, said his company had experienced a surge in interest from Canberra recently.

"Traditionally, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane have been our most popular cities but since the turn of the year we have seen a 322 per cent increase in visits from Canberrans and a doubling of booking requests," Mr Crocitti said.

"It appears that public servants are trying to plan ahead."

He said that one Parkhound customer from Barton has been leasing his garage to a public servant for the past three months for $40 a week.

Mr Crocitti said Parkhound was keen to spruik its "community sourced" car parks to the Triangle's workforce.

"Our community sourced parking spaces are cheaper than traditional alternatives and drivers don't have to worry about being back at a certain time as most of our listings are available 24/7," he said.

"We literally only have handful of parking spaces left in the Canberra area.''

16 comments

  • Fantastic, I knew Canberra times would have an April fools article at the top, I miss you Canberra...

    Commenter
    Ronaldo
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    April 01, 2014, 7:16AM
    • Unfortunately its all too plausible. It even makes sense. But I don't think Mr (Edmund) Barton has any carparks left to offer public servants.

      Commenter
      wooandwow
      Location
      Scullin
      Date and time
      April 01, 2014, 10:05AM
  • No public servant would consider walking from Barton to the Triangle.

    Commenter
    April Fool!
    Date and time
    April 01, 2014, 8:20AM
    • This has been going on in Civic for years. Welcome to the real world, parliamentary triangle.

      Commenter
      Mouse
      Date and time
      April 01, 2014, 8:40AM
      • That is a good point, that the free ride is now over. However, we will be paying JUST to go to work, whereas people in the city pay parking to go to work, AND have the added benefits of the facilities civic has to offer (grocery stores, post offices, newsagencies, food courts, etc). We have no facilities in the triangle. It sucks. They shouldn't be charging $11 a day for a place with nothing in it. They are greedy with that price. They would still be earning a bucket load if it was $5 or $7 a day, which is a LITTLE bit more reasonable i think, for paying for parking in a place with nothing to offer.

        Commenter
        Get off your high horse
        Location
        Canberra
        Date and time
        April 01, 2014, 10:54AM
      • I'm sorry Mr. High Horse, $11 is cheap compared to what people living in the real world pay. I work in Braddon and I have no desire to pay the over-inflated prices for food and coffee in the area, and I prefer to use the facilities at my local shops before I go to work if I need to pay bills etc. If I'm lucky enough to find a spot it costs me $26 a day to park in the area, which includes ducking out every two hours to top up the meter. As I'm not on a public service-sized salary this quickly became untenable, so I choose between cycling and public transport each day depending on the prevailing conditions. Admittedly I only live about 15 km away, but I am now beating the bus by a comfortable margin and my fitness and general wellbeing have improved dramatically. As far as I'm aware, most government buildings have shower and change-room facilities, and with bike racks on buses traveling between town centres there really is no need for fifty thousand passenger vehicles, each carrying one person, to descend on the city and Parliamentary Triangle every day.

        Commenter
        jamall
        Location
        Canberra
        Date and time
        April 01, 2014, 3:55PM
    • Yeah it's exactly like New York, Singapore, Hong Kong, the world hot spots that we share the same issues with a massive land shortage, ahem.....

      Commenter
      Land Shortage
      Date and time
      April 01, 2014, 8:45AM
      • Looks like the free lunch is over public service time to start paying like the rest of us :-).

        Commenter
        Free Lunch
        Location
        Canberra
        Date and time
        April 01, 2014, 9:38AM
        • More than public servants around these areas, we have a lot of private organisations. A couple of big names that come to mind are PWC and Microsoft.

          But hey only PS park here apparently.

          Commenter
          d d
          Date and time
          April 01, 2014, 12:21PM
      • I presume the ACT Government will soon be levying stamp duty on these arrangements?

        Oh, and Noel, could you find out whether the various Commonwealth departments' FBT bills have been paid for the last three or four years? I understand there is a gentleman's agreement that the Commissioner will ignore their liability until they can find a way to pass the cost on to employees.

        Commenter
        Economist
        Date and time
        April 01, 2014, 10:44AM

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