Removal of staff car parks: the reality
The Transport Minister has made quite a deal in the media of her proposal to “hand back to the public” car parking spaces that had previously been allocated for employees.
Under the guise of providing these spaces for “customers” rather than employees, Transport for NSW commenced a series of works across a wide range of stations to do exactly that. In some instances all that was required was the removal signs demarcating staff parking areas; in other areas these works required significant changes to larger staff parking areas. In these areas these works required removal of fencing, installation of additional lighting, asphalt re-surfacing, kerb and guttering as well as line marking of spaces all paid for by the “customers” through their taxes.
If the customer only knew what their hard earned taxes actually achieved it would be reasonable to expect them to be very annoyed. For example, a portion of the previous staff parking arrangements at Campbelltown station amounted to in excess of 40 car parking spaces. Once all the works to “hand them back” had been completed, only 23 spaces were actually achieved, all at the cost of hundreds of thousands of tax payer dollars. When taken into context across the whole of the network, millions of dollars of “customers” taxes are being spent on what amounts to nothing more than a propaganda exercise?
It would be very interesting, once all this “customer” tax money is spent, to see what has actually been achieved in comparison to what has been spent to achieve it? To rub salt into the wound, the Transport Minister recently opened the new South West Rail Link and attended the new Leppington Station where, low and behold, a car park had been demarcated for the Transport Ministers use only. This is the ultimate hypocrisy from someone who repeatedly stated that government employees (i.e. Rail workers) should not have allocated parking and they should ‘share’ available parking spaces with customers. Apparently this standard doesn’t apply to Ministers who, last time we looked, were public servants as well.
Might it be that the Minister is above “sharing with customers” and in reality they don’t actually come first when it applies to her rights to park wherever and whenever she wants?