Council prepared to begin land transfer for hospital parking

Dubbo Regional Council will make formal representations to NSW Health to supply more free parking on Hospital grounds but has resolved to begin a land transfer if that is unsuccessful.

A Mayoral Minute to undertake steps to transfer ownership of part of Theresa Maliphant Park to NSW Health to enable the construction of additional free car parking at Dubbo Hospital was presented by Mayor Ben Shields to the October meeting of Council.

An amendment by Councillor Stephen Lawrence proposing Council make formal representations to the State Government to build a multi-storey car park offering free parking was adopted. Under the amendment, if that is unsuccessful, Council will continue with its plan to provide NSW Health with land suitable for more free parking.

Councillor Shields said the land at Theresa Maliphant Park was perfectly suited to the cause, being located close to hospital grounds and would only utilise a small amount of the park.

“I welcome Councillor Lawrence’s amendment but I don’t hold much hope that the Government will agree to the costs of building such a large car park. In discussions I have had with health officials, they have indicated they don’t like spending money on multi-level parking,” Councillor Shields said.

“What I do hope they will see value in is a small and comparably affordable car park that will take some pressure off the existing parking at the hospital.”

He said engineering staff had also looked closely and determined the car park would not be a flood risk and there would be minimal impact on the park’s role in stormwater management.

“Council has done its homework to ensure the land would be practical and suitable to the task so that NSW Health will be able to put it to good use. Our plans created an additional 88 spaces for cars while avoiding the need to remove many trees from the existing layout,” Councillor Shields said.

“I think everyone can acknowledge there is a shortage of car parks at the hospital for patients and the elderly. You only have to look at the number of cars that park right along Mary Mackillop Drive because the closer parking is gone.

“Disability access has been a particular push of mine since becoming Mayor. Council itself have formed a disability access panel and is allocating significant funds in order to make Dubbo one of the most accessible city in Australia.  I certainly encourage the NSW Government to assist by building this car park and making sure that hospital patients, the disabled and elderly can appropriately access health services.”

Councillor Shields said it was important to have the car park completed as soon as possible.

“I have said on a number of occasions Dubbo is very lucky to have a fantastic redeveloped hospital but that doesn’t count for much if people are struggling to access it. It is worth remembering that the elderly and seriously ill are among the people who are hunting for parking,” Councillor Shields said.

“It is unfair to ask them to continuously circle the car park or having to find a space that is a long way away from the hospital. The government need to ensure more parking is available urgently.”

Last Edited: 30 Oct 2018

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