14.9 C
Byron Shire
June 26, 2024

Health staff must cough up cash to park at work

Latest News

Cinema: Despicable Me 4

With the school holidays fast approaching it’s time to rev up the kids to see the ever-lovable Minions in the first Despicable Me movie in seven years.

Other News

Campers question Ballina Council management of Flat Rock Tent Park

Visitors to the Ballina Shire and the Northern Rivers have contacted The Echo questioning the reason they have been excluded from the Flat Rock Tent Park between Lennox Head and Ballina. 

Bruns, the fishing town, becomes a musical!  

‘All the old salts have moved on… All the old salts have moved on… I’m wondering where they’ve gone…’

Do gin and art mix?

  If you’re an artist, and want to win $5,000 for having your art and your name featured on a...

Cinema: Despicable Me 4

With the school holidays fast approaching it’s time to rev up the kids to see the ever-lovable Minions in the first Despicable Me movie in seven years.

Lovemore Fermentary

Fermentation, the metabolic process that produces chemical changes in organic substances, has been used by humans since the Neolithic...

Julian Assange is free and on his way back to Australia

Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, has been released from jail in the UK and is on his way back to Australia after he agreed to a plea deal. 

Artists impression of the upgrades at Lismore Base Hospital. Source: Health Infrastructure
Artists impression of the upgrades at Lismore Base Hospital. Source: Health Infrastructure

Chris Dobney

Health workers at Lismore Base Hospital may have to pay up to $35 a week for the privilege of parking close to work after Lismore City Council chose to introduce on-street parking fees higher than the hospital’s own car park.

Up until now workers have been able to park for free in the streets around the hospital but despite the recent construction of a new multi-storey car park in the grounds, not all staff will be able to park there.

According the Health Services Union, the hospital yesterday conducted a ballot of 645 staff seeking subsidised parking for $12/week in the new facility, with only 400 passes available to give out.

The remaining staff will be forced to pay $7/day to park in the surrounding streets or walk some distance, often at unsociable hours, to their vehicles, the union says.

HSU’s Jonathan Milman told Echonetdaily there were ‘definitely 245 permanent workers who will go without parking in the hospital. Several hundred more weren’t eligible to even apply because they’re temporary or casual.’

‘Lismore City council is opportunistically – and we believe it’s very greedy – charging almost triple, compared to what the hospital is charging,’ Mr Milman said.

‘They’re charging $70 per pay packet versus $24 from the hospital.’

Greedy

The council has capped parking in Hunter Street, which runs alongside the hospital, at two hours, except for 90 places that will be $7 all-day paid parking.

‘It’s well in excess of Lismore CBD, which is $2 for all-day parking. They’re even looking to charge $2 more per day more than the hospital is charging, which is $5 a day. It’s just greedy.’

Mr Milman said that 250 workers currently park in Hunter Street for free every day.

‘Some of them will now have to walk up to two kilometres to work.’

‘Is it going to take someone to be attacked or raped or mugged before council will do something about this? It’s just ridiculous.’

Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell said that if council retained free all-day parking next to the hospital it would see people use street parking avoid paying for the multi-storey car park ‘and therefore we might never get stage two’.

‘That came as a request from health infrastructure,’ she said.

‘It’s really up to the hospital to subsidise its staff to make sure that the weekly rate is comparable to what people are paying in the multi-storey car park,’ she told ABC radio this morning.

‘Council is very, very happy to talk to the staff about that but our negotiations with management and staff have been quite delayed,’ she admitted. I think where the fault has been… is there has been lack of communication between hospital management and their own staff.’

No security

Mayor Dowell said that council would not consider putting on security to ensure staff leaving or arriving in the dark were safe.

‘It is the employer’s responsibility to provide security for staff going to or from work,’ she said.

She added that the turnover of spaces in two-hour zones would be a benefit for patients and visitors.

But while Mr Milman agreed there was ‘better need for patient access’, he said the two-hour restriction won’t be good for patients who attend emergency, many of whom aren’t seen within that timeframe.’

He accepted that the issue had been brought to a head by the state government deciding to split the construction of the car park into two stages.

‘The state government urgently needs to fund stage two of the car park… which would make available another another 270 spaces.

‘But the hospital’s increasing in size so we believe there will still be a need for some staff to park outside. And the government still has not funded stage two.’

 


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

1 COMMENT

  1. It’s unethical to slap more costs on workers and visitors ! It’s an imposition on visitors too!
    Already at a disadvantage when a family member is sick now you have to cough up more money just to visit! Most country people have long trips to get there to start with !
    Let’s all not pay and see if they can fine the lot of us !!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Do gin and art mix?

  If you’re an artist, and want to win $5,000 for having your art and your name featured on a limited-edition bottle of gin, plus...

The masters of ‘zero to hero’

The masters of ‘zero to hero’ pub rock, The Tenants, are bringing their live show and Aussie humour to Mullum’s Courthouse Hotel for one night only on Thursday, July 4.

Gin with a slice of rainforest

Cape Byron Distillery, the B-Corp certified distillery from Byron Bay has released a gin flavoured with rainforest botanicals carefully selected by the five winning...

Dirty Three with Eleanor Jawurlngali

New expanses to create. New music to share. The legendary trio Dirty Three are coming to The Green Room, Byron.