Hos­pi­tal’s bid to gain car parks

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - VICTORIA NUGENT

TOWNSVILLE Hos­pi­tal will look for ways to tap into new State Govern­ment fund­ing to re­duce park­ing costs.

Health Min­is­ter Cameron Dick has an­nounced the Govern­ment would spend $ 7.5 mil­lion to help 12 Queens­land pub­lic hos­pi­tals to make way for 100,000 free and dis­counted car spa­ces each year over four years.

Townsville Hos­pi­tal and Health Board chair­man Tony Mooney said he would be look­ing at how Townsville could tap into the fund­ing.

“The Townsville Hos­pi­tal has a … pol­icy which in­cludes con­ces­sions, which de­liver free car park­ing for staff and the low­est paid pub­lic park­ing fees of any pub­lic hos­pi­tal in Queens­land, in­clud­ing dis­counted rates for peo­ple who reg­u­larly visit the hos­pi­tal,” he said.

“We will be care­fully ex­am­in­ing how we can take ad­van­tage of this fund­ing to pro­vide even more con­ces­sional car park­ing.”

Mr Mooney said in the past 12 months the hos­pi­tal had opened 50 more pub­lic car park­ing spa­ces out­side the Townsville Cancer Cen­tre, while a newly com­pleted ma­jor $ 3.1 mil­lion ex­pan­sion of the eastern cam­pus car park now had 326 sealed staff car park­ing spa­ces.

“Ad­di­tion­ally, the Townsville HHS has re­cently se­cured an agree­ment to use James Cook Univer­sity land, which has de­liv­ered a fur­ther 40 staff car park­ing spa­ces,” he said.

“The board has also iden­ti­fied a se­ries of fu­ture projects which will de­liver an es­ti­mated ad­di­tional 250 ad­di­tional staff … spa­ces by next year.”

The up­dgrades come after the Bul­letin re­ported that hos­pi­tal staff had been park­ing up to 20 min­utes away or park­ing il­le­gally and risk­ing fines.

The con­ces­sional park­ing scheme an­nounced by the State Govern­ment is in­tended for pa­tients and car­ers ex­pe­ri­enc­ing fi­nan­cial hard­ship, those who need to at­tend hos­pi­tal for an ex­tended pe­riod of time or fre­quently, and those with spe­cial needs.

Park­ing at Townsville Hos­pi­tal is free for the first hour and $ 5 a day. Weekly park­ing is avail­able for $ 10.

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