TOO MUCH: Grand Central employees unhappy with the cost of staff parking are (from left) Bec Irvin, Melissa Griffin, Sallyanne Reis and Angela Wockner.
TOO MUCH: Grand Central employees unhappy with the cost of staff parking are (from left) Bec Irvin, Melissa Griffin, Sallyanne Reis and Angela Wockner. Bev Lacey

Grand Central staff threaten strike over parking prices

STAFF at Grand Central are threatening to strike if the price of employee parking doesn't decrease.

When paid parking was announced mid-last year, shopping centre employees were told they would have to pay $7.50 for parking per day.

A petition went around to all stores, gaining hundreds of signatures, in a bid to get centre management to listen and reduce the price of parking.

Pure Indulgence spa and skin therapist Bec Maclean said although centre management viewed the petition, it fell on deaf ears.

"Nothing has been done about the price, even after the petition, so some people are threatening to strike," she said.

"I just think it is really unfair because it is a lot of money.

"It feels like we are being taken advantage of because shopping centres in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sydney don't even charge that much."

PAID PARKING WOES: Grand Central employees are unhappy with the cost of staff parking, with staff soon to be charges $7.50 per day.
PAID PARKING WOES: Grand Central employees are unhappy with the cost of staff parking, with staff soon to be charges $7.50 per day. Bev Lacey

Westfield Carindale charges $4 per day for staff parking, Indooroopilly Shopping Centre charges $3 and Robina Town Centre has free parking for staff.

Ms Maclean said she would be happy to pay $4, but felt $7.50 was a rip-off.

At the moment Ms Maclean and other centre staff are parking either in the Station St car park, which costs $6.50 per day, or parking on the roof of Grand Central despite not being allowed.

"The trouble with parking at the car park across the road is that it is usually always taken up by tradies who are working on the centre so we can't get a park anyway," Ms Maclean said.

"It is expensive to park there as well but we thought at least the centre could give us a reasonable price. I don't think that is too much to ask."

A Grand Central spokesman responded to the concerns and said the rate was set following an analysis of parking facilities throughout the CBD.

"Staff who choose to park at Grand Central will pay a rate that is commensurate with other all-day parking options throughout the Toowoomba CBD," he said.

"The fundamental objective of Grand Central's ticketless parking system is to provide the best opportunity for customers to easily find a car parking space and connect them with our retailers."

Pure Indulgence manager Bec Irvin said it wasn't just a few staff members who were unhappy with the price, it was at least half the centre.

"Some of the shops and staff have talked about going on strike because we shouldn't have to pay that amount," she said.

"We want to put it out there how strongly we feel so centre management know we are serious about it.

"We are happy to pay a lower cost, if they could lower it like most of the other centres around Queensland it would be a bit more affordable."

Ms Irvin said it would affect business in the centre in more ways than one.

"As we are here every day we support the shops, we get our lunch, we go to Coles, we use each other's services.

"I go to Michel's Patisserie almost on a daily basis to buy coffee and I won't be able to do that anymore so it will affect small businesses as well."

Michel's Patisserie second in charge Angela Wockner has just begun leasing a car park across from the shopping centre, which she said was cheaper than paying $7.50 a day.

"It is sad that leasing a car park is actually cheaper. It works out to be about $4.20 a day," she said.

"I shouldn't have to do that though, and now when I finish work late I'll have to walk to my car in the dark which isn't safe."

Should staff have to pay for parking at Grand Central?

This poll ended on 29 June 2017.

Current Results

Yes

15%

No

84%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.


PARKING PRICES

Toowoomba parking prices per day

Clifford St - $5

Station St - $6.50

Julia St - $6.50

Chalk Dr - $5

Herries/Water St - $5

Neil/Annand St - $8

McCrum Ln - $5


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