Fury over hospital parking
RESIDENTS' frustration at the lack of car parking at Bundaberg Hospital has been bubbling away for years – but it has finally boiled over.
As patients and visitors continue to struggle to find a space near the hospital, the NewsMail is calling for the public to take a stand and send a message to the State Government by signing its online petition.
The petition launched today on our website, with paper copies to be circulated next week.
Farnsfield woman Helen Chester, who was at the hospital yesterday pushing her wheelchair-bound mum Beverley to a spot more than half a block from the entrance, said she was fed up with the parking shortage.
“It's a pain – even more so if you can't get around very well,” Ms Chester said.
She said she felt lucky getting a park where she did yesterday and, on previous occasions, she had had to park as far away as the Mater Hospital and walk down.
Gin Gin woman Nicole Weaver said she had a mini-celebration when she found a park just outside the hospital's entrance.
“I'm one of the lucky ones,” she said.
“I like to try and be about 15 minutes early to the hospital just in case I have to walk.”
Bundaberg councillor Mary Wilkinson said there was no more space for the council to build more parks on the street.
“The State Government does not provide the infrastructure for any of their buildings,” she said.
Cr Wilkinson said it was up to private hospitals to provide their own parking.
“We have also been told over the years that there would be onsite parking and it has never happened,” she said.
Member for Burnett Rob Messenger called for a meeting with the council, state and federal members of parliament, the hospital and medical professionals to discuss the parking issue.
“At the moment there is no one talking about the future,” he said.
Mr Messenger said any parking plan would need to account for population growth for up to 20 years.
Member for Bundaberg Jack Dempsey said the hospital needed to come up with both a short-term and long-term solution.
“There has been a lot of talking over the years, but no financial commitment,” he said.
But according to Bundaberg Hospital operational executive Luke Worth, some parking relief could happen soon with planning under way to deliver parking on land near the hospital that used to house the pony club.
“Over the past month, four additional car parks designated for renal patients have been implemented in close proximity to the main entrance,” Mr Worth said.
He said 25 parks had been reopened to the public after the completion of the new rehabilitation ward and a few more would open up when the hospital expansion was complete.
To sign the petition, click on the petition link at the top of the NewsMail's home page.