WELCOME RELIEF: The Health Services Union has welcomed Lismore City Council’s decision to offer free all-day parking in the Lismore Base Hospital precinct in selected zones. Photo: Marc Stapelberg.
WELCOME RELIEF: The Health Services Union has welcomed Lismore City Council’s decision to offer free all-day parking in the Lismore Base Hospital precinct in selected zones. Photo: Marc Stapelberg.

Free parking boost for hospital workers

THE Health Services Union has welcomed Lismore City Council's decision to offer free all-day parking in the Lismore Base Hospital precinct in selected zones, which councillors voted for at Tuesday night's meeting.

Health Services Union secretary Gerard Hayes said the decision will be a "huge boost for hospital workers on the front line of the fight against COVID-19".

Mr Hayes said hospital workers were doing vital work to keep the community safe.

"This crisis is placing enormous pressure on the health workforce," he said.

"Parking costs can be quite significant for local hospital workers, and particularly for lower paid workers like kitchen staff and cleaners.

"Access to free parking will lift some of that pressure and be a moral boost for those workers."

Last week the HSU wrote to local mayors in northern NSW seeking their support for free council parking for all health workers during the COVID-19 crisis.

The Tweed Shire Council has confirmed that it will not enforce parking restrictions in place in the streets surrounding public hospitals until further notice.

The HSU has also successfully lobbied the NSW State Government to provide free on-site parking for hospital workers.

Mr Hayes thanked Lismore mayor Isaac Smith and Tweed Mayor Katie Milne for their quick and decisive responses to the HSU's request.

"These mayors are clearly listening to the needs of their communities," Mr Hayes said.

"We'll keep pushing for other councils in northern NSW to remove parking restrictions for local health workers."