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War memorial's $1m mission to keep free parking

Dr Brendan Nelson

Dr Brendan Nelson

The Australian War Memorial will defy the federal government's push for paid parking in the Parliamentary Triangle.

However, the memorial will ask the government to pick up the million-dollar tab for major alterations to keep office workers from Civic out of its car park.

The memorial's council has decided unanimously that parking must remain free for veterans, tourists and staff.

The cost to install secure barriers around the car park to deter drivers of soft-roaders forcing their way in could be as high as $1 million.

The Labor government revealed in the last budget that paid parking would be introduced from July next year in four inner Canberra precincts - the Parliamentary Triangle, Barton, Russell and Acton.

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 on staff and volunteers or risk having free car parks swamped by public servants.

Memorial director Brendan Nelson said on his arrival at work each morning at 7.15 the car park was filling up.

''Before pay parking has even started, I see people parking here and heading off to go somewhere else to work,'' he told Fairfax Media. ''The risk we have is that if we do nothing, come July next year we will have four-wheel-drives driving over footpaths and people filling up the car parks early in the morning and then our visitors will have nowhere to park.

''In order for us to maintain free parking, it will require us to put barriers up.

''We will obviously have to put boom gates in and validation mechanisms and the architects have told me we will have to widen the entries and exits to car parks. It is quite a significant investment in infrastructure.''

Dr Nelson said the Coalition's veterans' affairs policy argued strongly for the memorial to maintain free parking.

''That is very much my view, that it should be free parking here, but it's not as simple as that.''

Dr Nelson said after paid parking was adopted by the government on the recommendation of the National Capital Authority, the authority wrote to the memorial.

''The NCA said it was willing to provide financial assistance to the memorial in implementing the government's policy,'' he said.

''I have written to the acting CEO of the NCA to say, thank you very much, it's going to cost us a million dollars to implement your policy and we are seeking support from the NCA to implement that policy.''

9 comments

  • This is yet another ill thought out cash grab by the ALP. Not sure about the staff, but certainly visitor parking to national attractions is an issue, and not just the AWM

    Commenter
    Irene
    Date and time
    September 12, 2013, 8:32AM
    • So public servants at the War Memorial will be allowed to park for free but every other worker in the Parliamentary Triangle will have to pay! So much for creating parking equality!

      Commenter
      Nigel
      Location
      Russell
      Date and time
      September 12, 2013, 8:39AM
      • one way to stop the people doing it is name and shame. Just have signs up saying no all day parking. No parking for people not visiting the war memorial or its precents (I park at the back of the car park to walk up Mt Ainsle three times a week).
        Patrol the car park and if a car is spotted all day parking for say three or more occasions in a month leave a note on the car and ask them to send an email or ring the war memorial to explain what they are doing. Explain that you will do the following things, listed below if they park here again all day.
        If there is no response and then the car parks there again then name and shame. Track down the owner via the motor register. Then:
        1. Most people have facebook, twitter, linkin accounts. Send a message to their facebook account to let all the friends know what type of person they are.
        2. Ring them up at home and let them or whoever answers know what they are doing.
        3. Contact their workplace and let their supervisors know (if public servants it could be construed to be a breach of the public service conditions of service).
        4. Insert your easy solution here.
        Hello also to the critisms to this posting;
        1. Parking should be free: yes I agree but it isn't.
        2. What you are suggesting is terrible and a breach of privacy. Answer: You were warned and ignored consequences so you get the responsibilities.

        Commenter
        name and shame
        Date and time
        September 12, 2013, 9:03AM
        • Easy low cost solution.
          Contact all the building owners, contractors, exavators.
          Hi, We at the war memorial need rocks. Large rocks to be placed on garden beds, lawns, etc to stop cars crossing these garden beds. Also small rocks to make rock gardens to stop cars driving across. No, we can not pay you for this work. No, we will need you to crane them into postion, drop them off a tipper, move them for us as we have no money for this role. Yes, we will acknowledge your company at our next AGM as a great company that has supported the war memorial. Yes if you position, bring a lot of rocks for us you will be presented with an appreciation certificate from our director Dr Nelson for your support of the war memorial. Yes there is another reason for you to do this. Free dumping of your rock rubble. No we can not take concrete or other brick rubble (actually why not as long as plants are grown over them).
          I think this solution would work and that the war memorial would just have to stand back and all the work would be done.

          Commenter
          block cars crossing garden beds low cost solution
          Date and time
          September 12, 2013, 9:10AM
          • What is wrong with people who visit the AWM and other national attractions paying for parking if we who work in the Parliamentary Triangle (PT) are forced to pay. Why should we pay for their free parking when it is going to cost us $11 a day just to make a living. (I also note the bureaucrat pushing paid parking in the PT found himself a new job outside the PT. No doubt it comes with a free parking space.

            Commenter
            Another Grumpyoldfart
            Date and time
            September 12, 2013, 9:10AM
            • Has anyone looked at a Canberra map lately?
              The Parliamentary Triangle - like any triangle - has 3 sides.
              They are: Commonwealth Ave, Kings Ave and Constitution Ave.
              The AWM is separated from this triangle by the entire length of Anzac Parade.
              Why should Brendan need to find $1 million to get out of a problem he doesn't have?
              Also, the AWM is not in Barton, Russell or Acton, it's in Campbell.
              Can someone please explain?

              Commenter
              Saddington
              Location
              Canberra
              Date and time
              September 12, 2013, 9:11AM
              • It was the ALP Government that had this policy. They were soundly thrashed at the general election because of their attitude. The incoming Government should reverse the position and tell the ACT Government where to go.

                Commenter
                MFL
                Date and time
                September 12, 2013, 9:38AM
                • Except all the public servants voted for the mob who introduced pay parking, so why would the other mob reward them. Another reason why the ACT needs to think about its voting patterns.

                  Commenter
                  Irene
                  Date and time
                  September 12, 2013, 2:40PM
              • Why do you need a full boom gate system? Why couldn't you pick up a 2 hour permit for parking at the front desk? You could then have a parking inspector patrol to keep tabs on compliance. If you don't have a permit you get fined. That keeps public servants out, keep parking free at minimal cost. Problem solved!

                Commenter
                Richo
                Location
                Canberra
                Date and time
                September 12, 2013, 11:56AM
                Comments are now closed

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