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Want to be Canberra's most disliked public servant?

The new parking czar will need to find a way to stop workers in Barton finding alternatives to having to pay for parking, like here on the corner of  Brisbane Avenue and State Circle.

The new parking czar will need to find a way to stop workers in Barton finding alternatives to having to pay for parking, like here on the corner of Brisbane Avenue and State Circle. Photo: Graham Tidy

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.

Public servants in the Parliamentary Triangle will see more of these in the future.

Public servants in the Parliamentary Triangle will see more of these in the future. Photo: karleen Minney

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.

69 comments so far

  • perhaps someone from the ATO's customer service area?

    Commenter
    Been there
    Location
    ACT
    Date and time
    January 21, 2014, 1:44PM
    • Abolish parking fees, this job will have nothing to do and can be cut back by the government, everyone's a winner

      Commenter
      Woz
      Location
      Civic
      Date and time
      January 21, 2014, 1:57PM
      • why is it that so many public servants consider themselves entitled to free parking when everyone else has to pay? use public transport, cycle, or pay--like everyone else.

        you had it good up to now, be grateful for that and stop the whinging. people who park illegally because they feel that their rights have somehow been "wronged" by being charged for parking ought to be vigorously ticketed. Again, just like everyone else.

        Commenter
        joe
        Location
        canberra
        Date and time
        January 21, 2014, 2:11PM
        • Hey joe,

          How about we fight for everybody else NOT to have to pay for parking instead? Why should anybody have to pay to go to work?

          As for alternative forms of transport - find me a viable one in and out of the PT that can deal with erratic work hours, then we'll talk.

          Commenter
          Zoidberg
          Location
          Canberra
          Date and time
          January 21, 2014, 2:34PM
        • Hey Zoidberg,

          For your second issue, how about the following (using all sorts of assumptions)?

          Use the bus on a regular day, but leave a a bike at work to use as a homeward-bound mode for those late post-bus service erratic hours (and take the bike back on the bus the next day). For the early pre-bus service erratic hours, take your car and get a spot before everyone else shows up.

          Commenter
          His Lordship
          Date and time
          January 21, 2014, 3:48PM
        • @Zoidberg.

          Your argument is bad and you should feel bad.

          Unless you sleep in your office, everyone 'pays' to go to work. If it's not parking fees or the cost of public transport, then its the cost of fuel, lost time and productivity travelling or sitting in traffic or looking for a car space, or even (*looks over shoulders*) the detrimental effects caused by pollution from our cars/buses.

          As to your second point about the lack of options, you're probably right about that. All I can say is, the grass is much, much greener on the side of the lake.

          Commenter
          *sigh*
          Location
          Canberra
          Date and time
          January 21, 2014, 4:19PM
        • Funny how people are prepared to mortgage themselves up to the neck and buy a property at a huge multiple to their supposed income, and yet they think that the street is free. Just think how much the street would fetch if it could be turned into housing. I have news for you guys ... the street is not free.

          Commenter
          Alfred
          Location
          Melbourne
          Date and time
          January 22, 2014, 7:34AM
      • There are nearly 3500 workers in the Parliamentary Triangle. And only about 2000 parking spaces. Give us another 1500 and I honestly wouldn't mind paying for one, instead of closing off and charging for the insufficient ones we now have.

        Commenter
        Paul
        Date and time
        January 21, 2014, 2:12PM
        • With more and more public service jobs disappearing soon, I don't think car parking fees and/or lack of car parking spaces will be a problem. It is the opposite effect. Visitors, tourists and workers will soon have ample car parking spots. Why are we whingeing about car parks and blame on the buses when the root of the problem now is having to keep our jobs, keep the costs of living within our means and fight for more jobs opportunities? Paying to park will not be a problem if we have a job and money to pay for our lifestyle.

          Commenter
          whatproblem?
          Location
          Weston
          Date and time
          January 22, 2014, 8:37AM
        • Look, pay parking is inevitable. We want a better Canberra and the funds have to come from somewhere. My area of contention is the price. I'd be happy to pay for parking if it were only $5 per day. Why does it have to be so high.....and it will only go up in the future. If the public transport system was better and less crowded then I'd consider it, but for family people it just doesn't work. Try getting back to a school to pick up a child who is injured or sick on busses. You'll easily waste an hour or more on the bus or waiting for it to arrive. Canberra is a family based city so why force it's workers to take a pay cut by paying so much for parking, then provide an unworkable alternative to parking with poor public transport? Wake up politicians, not everyone gets chaufer driven to work each day.

          Commenter
          RamROD
          Date and time
          January 22, 2014, 8:49AM

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