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Want to be Canberra's most disliked public servant?

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Wanted: executive level 1 manager for the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. Must be experienced, highly motivated, service focused and prepared to be Canberra’s most disliked public servant.

Yes, the department’s National Capital Authority is looking for an enforcer-in-chief for the new paid parking regime in the capital’s Parliamentary Triangle and while the job carries a six-figure salary, popularity will not be one of the perks.

Tens of thousands of public servants, who for decades have been able to park (pretty much) anywhere they please within the parliamentary zone, will be slugged $11 a day for the privilege from July 1.

And they’re not a bit happy about it.

So when the NCA appoints its new manager of parking services, the lucky candidate will inherit tens of thousands of very dissatisfied customers.

But in these straitened times, an EL1 job is an EL1 job and being persona non-grata at drinks at the Hotel Realm on a Friday evening might be a small price to pay for what promises to be steady, if eventful, work.


The job’s duty statement gives us a few clues about what the small world of the Parliamentary Triangle will look like in the PPP (post-paid parking) age.

1. Manage the pay parking team including recruitment, ranger patrol rostering, workplace health and safety practices, training, budget, enforcement targets and equipment provision.

Yes, you read that right: enforcement targets. Could that  be how many tickets each parking inspector can or should write each day? That’s gonna go down a treat.

5. Respond to complaints and manage enforcement policies and matters.

Complaints. We’re tipping there will be quite a few of those. Already have been, in fact, and nobody has been charged a cent yet.

6. Represent the NCA to the ACT Government, Commonwealth agencies and other stakeholders on parking matters and collaborate on information and encroachment strategies.

“Encroachment issues”. That’s NCA-speak for public servants roaming far and wide into the Triangle’s neighbouring suburbs looking for a free park within walking, or cycling, distance of their workplaces. Not unlike those who have been using the War Memorial’s car park and unloading their pushbikes from the back of the car and riding into Civic. 

“Encroachment issues” are also the reason that parks, churches and even residential streets in Forrest, Kingston, Barton, Deakin and Yarralumla are likely to end up with two-hour parking restrictions at the back end of this year. Cue outrage from the locals.

“Encroachment issues” means some public servants are going to try everything and anything to avoid paying for a car parking space. The NCA and its allies want to stop them.

Applications for the job close on Friday. The, ahem, hiring freeze means you’ve already got to be in the service to be considered. Good luck and maybe don’t mention it to your mates in the department. Not just yet anyway.