Fancy a visit to the arboretum? It's time to pay up. Photo: Rohan Thomson
Parking inspectors will be roaming the main car park at the National Arboretum Canberra this week but won't start issuing fines until next week.
Arboretum general manager Jason Brown said no fines had yet been issued for car parking infringements since the facility officially opened in February.
"We wanted to make sure our visitors got used to the concept of paid parking," he said.
"We've got parking officers out there but I'll be asking them to essentially monitor this week only and provide me with a report and I think the first ticket as such, if we indeed need to, will be written next week. This week will be just a bit more data for us."
The cost of paid parking at the arboretum is $2 per hour with a maximum of $7 per day.
Mr Brown said about $100,000 from parking fees had so far been raised across the 250 paid car spaces at the facility. All money raised from the parking fees then goes back into projects at the arboretum. However, parking fine revenue will not go to the arboretum but into government coffers.
There was a separate overflow car park at the arboretum which was not subject to the fees or meters and was only opened - by the removal of barricades - when the main car park was full.
"You wouldn't get fined if we had it opened up but if we didn't have it opened up and you were parked there, you'd probably get a friendly reminder that it's not a parking area," he said.
"We don't like to open it up because the grass gets damaged down there and it takes a long time to repair. It is simply just an overflow car park."
Mr Brown said the main car park would be sealed in work scheduled to happen early next year.
There were no plans as yet to develop more car parks.
"The idea of paid parking is keep people flowing through the arboretum to the different sites," he said.
"We actually get data out of those parking meters which tell us how long people have parking for, so we know that people are circulating through the site.
"In the future, the overflow car park could be formalised into a permanent car park but that's not something that is going to happen in the short-term."
In another development, Mr Brown said a coffee cart for the pod playground was due to be in place within weeks.
He was also meeting with Roads ACT next week to review how people were using the roads at the arboretum.
For more information visit www.nationalarboretum.act.gov.au or call Canberra Connect on 13 22 81.