The Industry Department is splashing out tens of thousands of dollars for VIP parking in Civic for an elite group of bureaucrats.
As tens of thousands of Canberra public servants face stiff parking charges for the first time in October, Industry has signed a deal with to provide several spaces to several public servants.
The department has paid private firm Secure Parking Limited $80,000 this financial year for parking space at The Canberra Centre for an unspecified number of employees .
The deal comes despite the department’s HQ Industry House, described as “A Smart Building for Smart People” boasting 260 dedicated car spaces.
Car parking is a sore point for many Canberra public servants working in and around the Parliamentary Triangle. They will be slugged with a $13-day- car parking charge by the federal government from October, after enjoying decades of free parking.
Rank-and-file bureaucrats in Civic, who do not have employer-supplied car spaces in their contracts, have been paying for parking - currently up to $15-a-day - for years.
The Industry Department was coy about the Canberra Centre deal and refused to say how many spaces were being rented and how many employees would use them.
“Currently some staff are provided access to parking as part of their employment arrangements with the department,” a spokeswoman said.
“This contract will ensure that there is sufficient parking to meet our obligations to these staff.”
The department would not say what classifications the “staff” were or why they could not be accommodated from the 260 car spaces at Industry House.
“In order to meet the department’s employment arrangements, we have a requirement for parking spaces in addition to those at Industry House,” a spokesman said.