Critical care nurse Beth Lane says parking options are dwindling at Sunshine Coast University Hospital.
Critical care nurse Beth Lane says parking options are dwindling at Sunshine Coast University Hospital. Patrick Woods

Nurses lose street parking around hospital, forced to pay

CRITICAL care nurses were gutted when they returned to their cars, parked on a Birtinya street, to find a new no stopping sign had been erected during their shift on Thursday.

Mantra Esplanade was one of the last streets in the suburb where staff could park their cars for free and without receiving a penalty.

Registered nurse Beth Lane said staff members were now left with no option but to pay the $82.92 fortnightly staff pass to park in the privately managed carpark at Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

She said many of the nurses worked late shifts and juggled work with childcare and school pick-ups, so public transport was not an option.

"Like many young families, we rely on a single income," Ms Lane said.

"How am I supposed to give $80 of that each fortnight to a company so I can park at my workplace?

"It's blatant money grubbing and it feels like we're being bullied into paying for parking."

A Sunshine Coast Council spokesperson said the new signs were erected to improve safety on the street.

Are you concerned about paid parking around local hospitals?

This poll ended on 17 July 2019.

Current Results

Yes, it's not fair on people who work there.

50%

No, I've never had an issue with it.

50%

It depends on how far away people are being charged.

0%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

"With increased traffic anticipated due to upcoming construction at either end of Mantra Esplanade, the no stopping signs have been installed to provide safer passing opportunities and sight distance for drivers," they said.

"There are no plans to install further restrictions similar to Mantra Esplanade as the majority of surrounding streets are part of the 1P Birtinya resident parking area, which is designed to manage overflow parking from the health precinct."

The spokesperson said the council managed only 2 per cent of the total parking supply within the health precinct and the 4000 parking spaces available within the hospital's carpark were privately run.

In a public/private partnership agreement signed in 2012, Examplar Health was tasked to design, build, finance and maintain the hospital.

Sunshine Coast Hospital chief financial officer Andrew McDonald said Exemplar Health provided a 49percent discount in parking rates for staff.

For the 2019/2020 financial year the cost of staff parking was $7.54 per day, excluding GST.

"...and this fee can be salary sacrificed by staff," Mr McDonald said.

Ms Lane said staff would benefit from a similar parking system to that of Buderim Private Hospital.

A free courtesy bus runs from the Maroochydore cricket ground on weekdays between 5.45am and 5.45pm, and parking on-site at the hospital is free.

"Give people options," Ms Lane said.



SNEAK PEEK: What Brunswick Heads looks like as Pearl Bay

premium_icon SNEAK PEEK: What Brunswick Heads looks like as Pearl Bay

Reboot of popular series now has a screening date

'Cult' leader's lawyer to be investigated over her behaviour

premium_icon 'Cult' leader's lawyer to be investigated over her behaviour

Solicitor's behaviour during failed defamation case criticised

5 reasons why Evans Head is better than Byron Bay

premium_icon 5 reasons why Evans Head is better than Byron Bay

An ice-cream costs $4 in Evans, but it's $7 in the Bay