Pay parking will
The Federal Government's plan to introduce pay parking into Canberra's Parliamentary Triangle is being opposed by the Australian War Memorial, which also wants the Commonwealth to foot the cost of alterations to keep city office workers out of its car park.
The War Memorial Council decided unanimously that parking must remain free for veterans, tourists and staff.
The previous Labor Government revealed in the last Budget that pay parking would be introduced from July next year in four inner Canberra precincts - the Parliamentary Triangle, Barton, Russell and Acton.
Along with Parliament House, the four independent institutions that control their own car parks - the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, High Court and War Memorial -were faced with the prospect of imposing paid parking themselves or risk having free car parks swamped by Public Servants.
Director of the Australian War Memorial, Brendan Nelson said that even before pay parking, he had seen people parking at the Memorial and heading off to go somewhere else to work.
''The risk we have is that if we do nothing, come July next year we will have four-wheel-drives driving over footpaths and people filling up the car parks early in the morning and then our visitors will have nowhere to park,” Dr Nelson said
“We will obviously have to put boom gates in and validation mechanisms and the architects have told me we will have to widen the entries and exits to car parks. It is quite a significant investment in infrastructure.''
Dr Nelson said after pay parking was adopted by the Government on the recommendation of the National Capital Authority (NCA) the Authority wrote to the Memorial saying it was willing to provide financial assistance.
''I have written to the acting CEO of the NCA to say, thank you very much, it's going to cost us a million dollars to implement your policy and we are seeking support from the NCA to implement that policy,'' he said.
Edition 379, 17 September 2013