It may be easier to find a parking spot at Campbelltown Hospital soon. But be warned, it’s likely to come at a cost.
A development application for a seven-storey car park at the hospital was lodged with Campbelltown Council a few days before Christmas last year.
The application has not been placed on public exhibition yet and finer details such as where and when the car park will be built, are unclear.
But Macarthur MP and paediatrician Dr Michael Freelander (Labor) feared it would create a precedent no Macarthur resident would welcome.
“I know there has been a push from NSW Health to charge for parking at hospitals,” he said.
“If you go to most hospitals in NSW they charge for parking.
“A multi-storey car park in Campbelltown would be used by NSW Health as justification to introduce paid parking.”
Dr Freelander said it was “very important that Campbelltown remained the exception” and did not follow the leads of other hospitals throughout the state which had introduced paid parking.
“I strongly believe that,” he said.
“It’s a long way from the station and in an area like Campbelltown, we should not put that extra cost on families.
“There is enough land around the hospital so there is no need to charge for parking.”
Campbelltown MP Greg Warren (Labor) said he was also anti-paid parking at the hospital.
“While there is a chronic lack of parking at Campbelltown Hospital, I believe that the Berejiklian Government should investigate ways to (continue to) provide free parking for patients and their families at the hospital,” he said.
"The Berejiklian Government can spend $2.5 billion on sporting stadiums, but they cannot help patients and their families with cost of living pressures like hospital parking (elsewhere in the state). That is totally ridiculous.”
Ensuring parking remained free at the hospital was one of late-councillor Fred Borg’s passions.
The 24 Hour Fight Against Cancer founder repeatedly expressed his opposition regarding the concept and the organisation’s new boss, Cr Warren Morrison – also Campbelltown councillor – said he would take up where Cr Borg left off.
“We will still push for free parking at the hospital,” he said.
“That’s what Fred wanted and that’s what I want as well.”
Dr Freelander also feared there would be wider implications should paid parking be introduced at Campbelltown.
“Staff could have an extra cost (imposed on them) and that’s something that needs to be avoided because the hospital is already having difficulty attracting nursing staff,” he said.