Canberrans need to get used to the fact their city centre is growing up and getting a parking spot won't be as easy or as cheap any more, according to the head of a group charged with promoting the city centre.
The newly appointed chief executive officer of Canberra CBD Limited, Jane Easthope, said Civic could no longer be regarded as a sleepy town centre.
''It is a bit hard for us as Canberrans to really appreciate and accept that this is evolving as a centre of very significant city,'' she said.
Ms Easthope said there was still a mindset that Canberrans could park right outside their destination in Civic, which led to complaints there were not enough car parks in the city centre.
''I came here in the mid-'80s and that's what you did, you swung in here and you picked up your takeaway Chinese. You can't do that. Do you do that in Sydney? No. Would you take your car? Yeah, if you had 100 bucks in your pocket,'' she said.
Ms Easthope said she regarded car parks in Civic as potential development sites. The key was ensuring any development incorporated car parking.
She knew many buildings in the city that had private car parking often had unused spaces. How they might be used more broadly was something she believed was worth investigating.
Ms Easthope said Canberrans paid relatively cheap rates for parking compared with other cities and might have to brace for higher prices as the city became busier. She also believed the government should look at introducing parking meters that accepted credit cards.
''All of us have to be a bit patient with complaining about car parking. There is enough car parking. It's just you've got to find out where it is,'' she said.