Liberals push to legislate free car parking in hospitals
The state government has tabled legislation in the Lower House, due to be debated on Tuesday, that will prevent large suburban shopping centers from introducing parking charges unless they get local council approval competent.
The legislation applies to shopping centers larger than 34,000 square meters.
But the parliamentary push comes amid a row between health workers and the Malinauskas government over paid hospital parking, which was reintroduced on July 1 after being scrapped during the pandemic.
Unions argue that the reintroduction of hospital parking fees represents a 2% pay cut for a hospital cleaner earning $27 an hour.
The Shopping Center Parking Bill will go through the Lower House but could face a tougher road in the Legislative Council where the Greens and now the opposition have signaled they will push for amendments to give employees hospitals free parking.
Labor holds nine seats in the Upper House, compared to seven for the Liberals, with five MLCs on the cross bench.
The opposition amendments would also give the Consumer Affairs Commissioner the power to approve new shopping center parking fees, rather than local councils.
‘We have already rejected Peter Malinauskas’ pet bill because it is fundamentally flawed and it is shocking that the Prime Minister has no prospect of realizing his mistake,’ said Opposition Leader David Speirs in a press release.
“Peter Malinauskas has quickly turned his back on the same frontline healthcare workers he promised the world before the election.”
Malinauskas said it was the prerogative of the Liberal Party to vote against the bill.
“I just wish maybe someone in the Liberal Party would spend some time talking to the retail workers who can’t access the parking lots – the very limited number of parking lots – that Westfield provides,” he said. told reporters on Sunday.
“What we are looking to do is protect residents of the Tea Tree Gully area and residents of the northeast suburbs from another cost imposed on them at a time when the cost of living is rising.
“What we want to do is save people money by not having to pay for parking which is currently free.”
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