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Pay parking tender puts pressure on institutions

Parliament house

Parliament house Photo: Supplied

The National Capital Authority is about to call for bids for a multimillion-dollar tender to install pay parking machines in the parliamentary triangle.

The move will put pressure on cultural institutions that control their own parking to decide whether they will allow their car parks to be flooded with commuters when pay parking begins next July.

As reported on Thursday, the Australian War Memorial will install sturdy barriers and boom gates to keep out commuters who now park there and ride or walk to Civic.

Veterans, tourists and staff will be given vouchers for free parking.

One option being investigated by cultural institutions is a version of the honesty-based voucher system that operates at the National Portrait Gallery.

The gallery usually does not open its public car park until 9.45am to discourage workers from other places arriving early and momentarily pretending to be interested in the gallery's exhibitions to have their parking fee cleared.

Along with Parliament House, the four independent institutions that control their own car parks - the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, High Court and War Memorial - face a dilemma: impose paid parking or a voucher system on staff and volunteers or risk having free car parks swamped by public servants.

The Portrait Gallery expects to make a decision this year on whether to keep or modify its ticket validation system or adopt a different scheme. ''The board is considering the options but for us, the most important thing is the interests of our visitors to the portrait gallery and they will be at the forefront of any decision taken by the board,'' a spokeswoman said.

The National Gallery of Australia is considering a voucher system as one of its options.

''The gallery aims to introduce pay parking arrangements consistent with government policy and the proposed parking fees across the parliamentary zone from 1 July 2014,'' a spokeswoman said.

''This allows the gallery to control access to the car parks and manage the hours of operations to ensure parking is available for visitors, guides and volunteers.''

The High Court and Parliament House are still considering how to respond to the budget decision to introduce pay parking in four inner Canberra precincts - the Parliamentary Triangle, Barton, Russell and Acton.

The scheme will raise $73 million, which will go directly into federal government consolidated revenue.

Paid parking was adopted by the government on the recommendation of the National Capital Authority, which told cultural institutions it was willing to provide financial assistance to implement the policy.

War memorial director Brendan Nelson has asked the NCA for $1 million, the estimated cost of modifying the car parks.

Defence has objected strongly to paid parking being forced on to its Russell offices, saying there was no need to keep out tourists.

The decision to introduce paid parking sparked debate about the lack of amenities for workers in the zone, compared with counterparts working close to town centres.

An inquiry by a parliamentary committee said the NCA should be directed to develop a strategy for retail services and childcare in the parliamentary zone when paid parking is introduced. It also recommended a park-and-ride facility and that the Centenary Loop shuttle bus be made permanent.

The committee accepted pay parking was a ''useful strategy'' for managing parking.

10 comments

  • Please please tell me they wont install coin only operated machines (a la the arboretum). Get with technology!!!

    Commenter
    For real?
    Date and time
    September 13, 2013, 7:27AM
    • With 12,000 public servant losing their jobs, we all will be able to bring a trailer into the triangle and gert a double park with ease.

      Commenter
      maddogmuz
      Location
      Gungahlin
      Date and time
      September 13, 2013, 8:11AM
  • Defence should look at boom gates that operate using security passes. The place is not a tourist pot and in fact you can be prosecuted if you take pictures or make drawings of a Defence establishment without permission.

    The number of people who park and then catch a bus from their is the problem and boom gates would stop them dead apart from the 4WDs. Those who are caught going cross country should have their vehicles impounded for a hefty fee of about $200 to have it released.

    Commenter
    YS
    Date and time
    September 13, 2013, 8:05AM
    • Here's smashing idea, why not reduce the cost of paid parking in the City to something managable and reduce the need for people to search for free or lower fare parking options which impact those areas.

      Paid parking in caberra is a joke and the price difference from Civic to south Canberra?

      Commenter
      Warren
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      September 13, 2013, 8:13AM
      • Good point Warren. There is an economic modelling formula that can be used to make paid parking attractive through being affordable. Sadly that has been totally ignored in Civic and has contributed to a number of the current issues we are dealing with.

        Add to that the proliferation of apparently empty multi-sotry builings in Barton that have destroyed parking areas and a mess that could have been handled well has been created.

        Commenter
        Outraged of Palmerston
        Date and time
        September 13, 2013, 9:19AM
    • Here we go let's have a whinge about public servants having to do what everybody else does and pay for parking. But let's just push aside the issue of tourism and volunteers to national institutions. Pay parking for those wishing to access national institutions is an outrage and should be stopped. Public servants should just pay like the rest of us

      Commenter
      Irene
      Date and time
      September 13, 2013, 8:24AM
      • CORRECT Irene.

        Commenter
        OLD DOG
        Date and time
        September 13, 2013, 8:49AM
      • yes they should pay like everyone else - but all they will do is get a payrise 500% more than the parking fees for 12 months would be anyway

        Commenter
        Davo
        Date and time
        September 13, 2013, 11:14AM
    • This paragraph gave me a laught:

      "Along with Parliament House, the four independent institutions that control their own car parks - the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, High Court and War Memorial - face a dilemma: impose paid parking or a voucher system on staff and volunteers or risk having free car parks swamped by public servants"

      Now unless I am mistaken aren;t the STAFF at the instiutions public servants? If so why should they be any different to any other public servant in the triangle. Now volunteers and visitors I can understand, but should not be too hard to have a voucher system for volunteers to get around any issues, but as mentioned the staff are no different to any other public servant.

      Commenter
      Jimmy
      Date and time
      September 13, 2013, 10:24AM
      • Reopen the Patrick White lawns next to the library to parking. Abolish the hypocritical NCA and their free private car spots.

        Commenter
        Close the NCA
        Date and time
        September 13, 2013, 10:47AM
        Comments are now closed

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