It was a long time ago, over 2 1/2 years in fact, when I last spoke about parking in Australia. If you live in a town or area where finding a parking space where YOU want to park is difficult, you might like to go back and read that post.
In it, I explain a very cool trick for finding that aforementioned parking space, which is why I called the post The Parking Space Trick and Other Parking Stuff.
In the same article I was also boasting about how much free parking there was here in Australia, with the exception being major city centres and some very popular beaches, like Surfers Paradise. That explains the “Other Parking Stuff” of the title.
So, imagine my horror when I read the following headline:
Shoppers paid parking outrage
The story, which you can read in full here, is about plans to introduce paid parking at a major shopping centre in Brisbane called Chermside. You remember Chermside, Trinny and Susannah were at Chermside to give out fashion tips……
If, or when plans go ahead, it would make Chermside the first shopping centre in Queensland to introduce paid parking.
This is shocking news! Paying to park at the shopping mall? Ridiculous!
People were not happy at the announcement; the call by most was to boycott Chermside, there are plenty other shopping centres to go to.
Let me return to England.
Only in thought, of course.
When I was in England, I used to live close to the relatively average sized towns of Southend, Chelmsford, Romford and Basildon. Try to park anywhere near any of the shops of those towns and you would pay to park.
At best, you might get one hour of free parking if you used a car park owned by a supermarket chain. Obviously you have to spend money in their store and get your ticket stamped. But by the time you done that, there’d be precious little, if any, of your free hour left.
But by and large, you would end up paying to park.
Let’s get back to Australia.
The shopping centre is owned by a company called Westfield, they have shopping centres all over. They already have plans to introduce paid parking at another Brisbane site, the one in Carindale. But when you look closely at the deal, it doesn’t seem too bad.
Customers will get the first three hours for free.
Three hours! Three hours!!
If you can’t get all of your shopping done in three hours, you have a serious shopping problem! Three hours! You’d need to have a thing about shoes or bags to spend more than three hours shopping!
Actually, no! Mrs BobinOz has a thing about both shoes AND bags and even she can get in and out of Chermside inside three hours!
The move is intended to prevent people from parking all day that aren’t really using the shopping centre. Westfield are also spending $10 million (we are told) in technology to help customers easily find the nearest parking space.
Parking will be easier.
So why the outrage? This sounds like a marvellous deal for customers, providing they are not shopaholics.
Well, there is a downside and I only found out about this today. It turns out that the people who work in the shopping centre are going to be asked to pay three dollars a day to park. This is very, very bad!
$60 a month is a lot of money to pay for the privilege of turning up at work. For that reason I expect the outrage to continue. But apparently, paying to park at the shops is a bit more common the further south you go in Australia.
What’s parking like where you live?
Parking at Surfers Paradise.
There are some paid parking spaces in the heart of Surfers Paradise, otherwise they wouldn’t need those Meter Maids. But you can still park for free if you one of the spaces a little further out. We always are happy to do that and then enjoy the 10 minute or so stroll along the beach to the centre.
But when we went the other Sunday morning, even all the most distant free parking spaces had been taken. Well, it was Sunday and it was a beautiful sunny day.
Or maybe the lack of parking spaces has something to do with the world’s largest bikini parade?