The National Capital Authority says it is moving to drag the triangle's car parks up to standard. Photo: Melissa Adams
Public servants at Canberra's Defence hub are crying foul at being slugged $11 a day to park their vehicles in unsealed, eroded and potholed car parks.
Military and civilian Defence aides at the lakeside office precinct were incensed this week when they saw preparations under way to install ticket machines on the gravelled areas of Russell's car parks.
One of the gravel parking areas at the rear of Russell Offices. Photo: Melissa Adams
But the National Capital Authority says it is moving to drag the triangle's car parks up to the standard expected by paying customers - it just might take a little time.
Russell is included in the hated new pay parking regime in and around the capital's Parliamentary Triangle that will mean public servants and other workers pay $11 a day for parking privileges they had used free for decades.
Defence workers are gagged from speaking publicly but one public servant, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he and his colleagues were seething at the prospect of being asked to pay to use the primitive parking conditions at some parts of Russell.
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''The NCA must be really hard up for cash,'' the bureaucrat said. ''These parking areas are not the official borders of the Parliamentary Triangle, are unsealed, eroded and potholed and do not have any security lighting at all.
''Defence workers must negotiate a bush track to reach one of them.
''In the wet, it is muddy and slippery and in winter it is pitch black.
''This poses a personal safety and security risk to Defence workers.''
Then there are the familiar gripes about the general lack of shops and other services at Russell.
''Does the NCA really expect Defence workers to pay $11 a day for this and on top of the general lack of services and facilities at Russell?'' the worker asked.
Other car parks in the triangle are in similarly poor condition, notably the Foreign Affairs car park on the corner of Brisbane Avenue and State Circle, which is dominated by the vehicles of DFAT workers.
But the NCA has anticipated mass discontent at Barton and has builders already on site to resurface the patchier parts of the car park. The NCA says the upgrade will be done by the end of June, just in time for paid parking. An NCA spokeswoman said the authority would get to the Russell car parks too.
''The unsurfaced car park off Kelliher Drive, Russell and the unsurfaced car park off Borella Street in Campbell are scheduled to be surfaced in the 2014-15 financial year,'' she said.
''Maintaining a safe, attractive and accessible Central National Area is one of the NCA's highest priorities.
''Enhancements to car parks on national land will be based on regular condition assessments and reports and will be carried out as part of future scheduled work programs.''