Hospital parking reprieve, but for how long?
AFTER community outrage erupted over the issue of free parking around Lismore Base Hospital, the issue has been temporarily resolved.
At last night's Lismore City Council council meeting, a three month extension was granted, a decision welcomed by the Health Services Union.
However, today, the Health Services Union indicated it will continue to campaign to make the decision permanent.
The council transitioned to free parking at the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, before announcing plans to reintroduce parking fees, slugging hospital staff, patients, and visitors.
But the council last night voted to continue free parking for at least the next three months.
"It's a relief that councillors have seen sense," HSU NSW secretary Gerard Hayes said.
"But this decision must be made permanent.
"We are confronting the worst economic crisis in a generation. The idea that a council would raise revenue by slugging modestly paid hospital cleaners and wardspeople is perverse.
"We don't need Lismore Council behaving like some kind of reverso Robin Hood."
Mr Hayes welcomed news the council would hold a workshop on the issue.
"The HSU intends to participate in this workshop to insist that a so-called progressive council doesn't reintroduce a regressive flat tax like parking."
On Monday October 12, the council posted on their website, "All-day paid parking along Hunter and Dalziel streets and time-limited parking along Weaver and McKenzie streets and Laurel Ave will be reintroduced from Monday, 19 October 2020".
"In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lismore City Councillors voted in April to ease parking restrictions around the Base Hospital for a six-month period for healthcare workers and the general community.
"Now that the six-month period has ended, parking restrictions around the hospital will return to normal from October 19.
"Changes will be made this week to parking signage and meter displays to ensure parking controls are consistent with pre-COVID-19 operations.
"Council thanks everyone in advance for adhering to all parking signage within the precinct that will ensure equitable parking for health workers, hospital visitors and the general public."