Drivers take car park issue into own hands

Friday November 15, 2019

Published by The Border Watch

By Sandra Morello

RIPPED FROM GROUND: Timber posts lay on the ground on the Mount Gambier Hospital grounds.


FRUSTRATION over the lack of carpark spaces at Mount Gambier Hospital appears to have hit fever-pitch with a number of posts being ripped from the ground.

It is understood motorists who have been unable to find a carpark space - have removed the timber posts so they can park on grassed areas.

According to one hospital visitor at the site yesterday, people were becoming increasingly frustrated over the lack of spaces.

The visitor said this was particularly difficult for families who were regularly attending the health facility to visit a loved one.

A number of posts - at different locations - were laying on the ground yesterday.

The issue, which is fuelling a growing community backlash, is expected to be placed on the agenda on Monday when Health Minister Stephen Wade visits the Blue Lake city.

Member for Mount Gambier Troy Bell has vowed to tackle the issue with Mr Wade given millions of dollars is being poured into improving car parking at metropolitan hospitals.

“While I do not condone vandalism of public property, this is a clear example of the community’s frustrations over the lack parking at the hospital,” Mr Bell told The Border Watch yesterday.

Mr Bell called on the government earlier this week to take action, claiming vehicles were “stacked up like sardines”.

“I do not see it as a difficult problem to solve,” said Mr Bell, who explained there was ample vacant land at the site to expand car parking.

He argued the lack of parking was particularly concerning for people who had mobility issues.

The Mount Gambier MP also revealed he would raise concerns the carparks were too narrow, which was a common complaint by his constituents.

“The State Government has acknowledged this is a problem and I will be speaking about it with Mr Wade.”

Mr Bell revealed he planned to personally show the minister the problems with the carpark, including the need to increase lighting to improve safety for staff.

Other health-related issues on his list for discussion include funding for The Junction, which delivers pivotal mental health training to the community, as well as hospital security measures.

Mr Bell will also seek an update on how many recommendations from the independent review had been implemented at the hospital.

Limestone Coast Local Health Network yesterday declined to comment on the removal of the posts yesterday.

In an earlier statement, a spokesperson said hospital management was aware of the car parking issue.

“We are aware of the need for additional car parking at Mount Gambier Hospital and are considering a range of options to meet current demand,” a spokesperson said.