EDITOR'S OPINION: Will you be using the new car park?
THE Rockhampton Hospital carpark gets its big test on Monday when it finally opens its gates.
And judging by the positive reaction from Morning Bulletin readers yesterday, it would appear the user-price is right.
The overwhelming response from readers was one of relief, and even gratitude, that we will be spared the extortionate prices demanded by hospital carparks in Brisbane.
Patients and visitors pay an hourly rate of $2, with a full day costing a maximum of $10, while staff can park for just $4 a day.
However $4 a day at 300 days a year is still $1200.
That's a lot of money for anyone with a mortgage and family but, then again, parking in a secure safe area is something worth paying for.
This $25million carpark is a triumph for common sense winning out over the status quo.
Public need demanded it be built, but there was always the blockage of who would pay for it when governments don't.
In the end a campaign by The Morning Bulletin and strong support from Rockhampton State MP Bill Byrne and Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry convinced the respective governments to find the funding for what is an essential piece of community infrastructure.
That is the measure for government to assess, and this was a compelling argument as the poor parking situation at the hospital had been a source of enormous frustration.
I commend everyone who was involved in this project and I take pride in this region for being among the first in Australia to build a government-funded (citizen-owned) hospital carpark.