CONFIRMED: Free parking to end around Lismore base hospital
Update 9.20am: All-day paid parking along Hunter and Dalziel streets and time-limited parking along Weaver and McKenzie streets and Laurel Avenue will be re-introduced from Monday, 19 October 2020, Lismore City Council confirmed today.
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 19 October," council explained.
Changes will be made this week to parking signage and meter displays to ensure parking controls are consistent with pre-COVID-19 operations.
Council thanked residents and visitors 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".
Original story: THE Health Services Union called on Lismore Mayor Isaac Smith to retain free on-street parking around Lismore Base Hospital.
After transitioning to free parking at the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, the six month measure is coming to an end.
Lismore City Council announced on April 16 it would provide free, all-day parking in the hospital precinct on Hunter and Dalziel streets for six months, and waive parking restrictions in Weaver Street, Laurel Ave and McKenzie Street, to enable all-day parking for the same six-month period.
That period end this Friday, October 16.
HSU NSW Secretary Gerard Hayes said Mayor Smith needed to introduce a mayoral minute at this Tuesday's council meeting to extend free parking.
"Health workers at Lismore Base have been under extreme pressure this year, yet they have tirelessly focused on keeping the community safe and healthy. The least they should expect is to be able to park for free when they go to work," Mr Hayes said.
"Parking costs can be a significant expense for all health workers - and especially for lower-paid workers like cleaners and kitchen staff.
"Although the response to the pandemic has been pleasing so far, we are hardly out of the woods. Even if the virus does not take hold in New South Wales, the economic pressures being felt will only grow worse in the coming months.
"We need to do everything we can to ease the stress on patients, visitors and staff. It's exactly the wrong time to be slugging people with parking costs when they need to be at Lismore Base Hospital.
"There has to be a better was for Lismore City Council to raise funds than to slug hospital workers and visitors with heavy parking costs at this time."
Council meetings can be watched live online from the LCC website.