LABORS CALL FOR FAIR HOSPITAL PARKING FALLS ON DEAF EARS
Central Coast Labor MP’s debated the NSW Liberal Government and Health Minister Brad Hazzard yesterday in NSW Parliament to make parking at Gosford and Wyong Hospital fairer for staff, patients and visitors.
The Government’s response in the debate demonstrated that they have no plans to reduce hospital parking costs or reviewing the policy to be in line with the Central Coast’s lack of public transport.
“If people have major problems, certainly my instructions to the health authorities across the entire State are to be flexible and reasonable. Hopefully that will work for the people on the Central Coast.” The Hon. Brad Hazzard.
This comes after a community led campaign to cap staff fees at $13.92 per week, introduce first 3 hours free parking and have a maximum cost of $12 for visitors at Gosford Hospital while Wyong Hospital remained free for staff and visitors due to the serious lack of public transport.
The heated debate confirmed the NSW Liberal Government’s lack of understanding of the burden caused by these costs. The Minister had no answer to the charge that Gosford Hospital fees are the highest for any parking on the Central Coast.
The Labor MPs highlighted the inequity and added stress created by these costs to the most vulnerable in the local community, committing to continue fighting for fair parking.
Quotes attributed to Yasmin Catley MP
“This is a shameful cash grab from the Liberal Government, slugging our community and healthcare workers with an unfair fee they’ve never had to pay before.”
“Our community has spoken loudly and clearly, they cannot afford this fee."
“Many people in the Central Coast don’t even have access to basic public transport to get to the hospital and now they want to slug them to access our public hospital.”
Quotes attributed to David Harris MP
“The Minister is hamstrung by the Treasurer’s user pay police which will see a tax on sick people who will use our hospital car parking."
“The department has a cause which allows them room to waive chargers but refuse to do so."
“The campaign will continue.”
Quotes attributed to Liesl Tesch MP
“This was a typically tone-deaf response from a government that doesn’t think about anyone but themselves."
"Time and time again we have been shown that they just don’t care about the lived experience of people in regional areas who don’t have a choice but to drive to work at the hospital or visit friends and relatives, then are slogged with extra costs just to do it."
"I thank the community for speaking loudly, and I am sorry that the government has again chosen to ignore our region. We will keep fighting.”
Quotes attributed to David Mehan MP
“It is simply unacceptable that the most expensive parking on the Central Coast is parking at our Public Hospitals.”