ROCKHAMPTON LNP candidate Bridie Luva has pledged to make solving parking problems at Rockhampton Hospital a priority, if elected.
Yesterday Ms Luva said as part of an LNP Government she would "make sure this issue is a local priority and will examine all possible solutions to resolve the issue".
The Morning Bulletin published a story about parking at the hospital on Saturday after it was revealed the vacant Top Shop block was set to be fenced off. The block had been used by staff, patients and visitors as a makeshift carpark since the corner store was demolished in 2011.
Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Len Richards said building a new helipad and expanded Intensive Care Unit was a bigger spending priority than a car park.
But a site master plan, which will help identify how extra parking can be created, will be released at the end of September.
Ms Luva said the new helipad and Intensive Care Unit meant the hospital was "providing a superior level of care" but parking still needed to be addressed.
"Like many other Rockhampton locals, I have experienced the parking frustration while struggling pregnant up the hill, or while carrying a sick child," Ms Luva said.
"I have spoken to many elderly residents who praise the quality of care at the hospital, but say the parking issue is a concern."
Although Ms Luva did not have a proposed site or plan, she said a long term solution needed to be found.
Rockhampton MP Bill Byrne agreed something needed to be done and said he had "strongly" represented the issue to the health minister, Lawrence Springborg.
Mr Byrne said his preferred solution would be a multi-storey car park with an integrated helipad facility.
He said any funding for a car park should come from a public and private partnership, not from funds set aside to expand hospital infrastructure.
"That is the only model I could stand up in front of my voters and sell," he said.
"It's my belief that the idea is has merit but requires development."
Mr Byrne said with this solution, people would pay for parking.
He said he would continue to push the issue if Labor was successful at the next election.
But Mr Byrne said the LNP Government had delivered three budgets where they could have addressed the issue.
"Why should we have to wait for an election campaign to do this?" he said.
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