23 August 2022
The SA Greens will move to amend the State Government’s Shopping Centre Carparking Bill to provide free carparking to hospital workers when parliament resumes next month.
The Private Parking Areas (Shopping Centre Parking Areas) Amendment Bill will prevent major retail shopping centres that are bigger than 34,000 square metres from charging carparking fees for retail workers and customers unless approved by the local Council. The Greens amendment would also prevent public hospitals from charging their workers carparking fees.
“During the last few years of the pandemic, the community has been reminded of the valuable role retail workers play. These workers really are essential – ensuring the community has access to the goods and services we need. They often work long hours and are required to get home late at night at times when public transport is not available or accessible. It’s appropriate that these workers should be given access to free carparking at work and it’s for this reason the Greens are broadly supportive of the Government’s bill,” said the Greens Transport Spokesperson, Robert Simms MLC.
“The same principle, of course, applies to our state’s hospital workers. A global pandemic and a tough flu season has taken its toll on our hospital workers and the Government is struggling with retention and recruitment. Victoria and NSW have provided ‘thank you bonus payments’ to their workers, while in SA the Malinauskas Government has dumped their free carparking and public transport. The Greens amendment would prevent public hospitals from slugging their workers with carparking fees. It’s a small gesture - but one way of recognising the essential service of these workers.”
“I look forward to working with the Government to improve this bill,” said Mr Simms.
The Greens will also move to amend the bill to give the Minister (rather than local Councils) the right to approve carparking fees and will push the Government to increase public transport access to shopping centres.