ROUGH DEAL: Staff in and around Gladstone Square are reeling after being told their cars will be towed if they park in the centre. The council is targeting the surrounding streets, issuing fines, leaving them with no-where to go. Laundromat employees Cheree Graham, Robyn Schultz and Cheryl Wallis. Photo Paul Braven / The Observer
ROUGH DEAL: Staff in and around Gladstone Square are reeling after being told their cars will be towed if they park in the centre. The council is targeting the surrounding streets, issuing fines, leaving them with no-where to go. Laundromat employees Cheree Graham, Robyn Schultz and Cheryl Wallis. Photo Paul Braven / The Observer Paul Braven

Gladstone Square bans staff from carpark, threatens towing

STAFF at Gladstone Square shopping centre claim they have been threatened with having their cars towed if they continue to park in customer spaces.

The development of Oaka Ln, which started last month along with the local Woolworths expansion, has meant staff on the entire block have lost the spaces they did use behind the shops where a bigger car park is now being built.

The workers have been left with little option but to park on the street where time limits apply --- and the council isn't being shy about handing out tickets.

Yesterday business owners and managers warned their staff that centre security would be closely monitoring who was parking where.

And staff say they'd heard Gladstone Square centre manager Charter Hall had hired its own parking inspector, although we couldn't confirm this.

Gladstone Square shopping centre staff are caught between a rock and a hard place: park in the centre and risk being...

Posted by The Observer on Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Parking at Gladstone Square, or The Valley, was the biggest issue raised when news of the Woolworths expansion (to add three more aisles) broke in February.

Final plans show there will be 10 additional parking spaces, but there has been no indication whether the approximately 100 staff who work there will have any parking.

Robyn Schultz has worked at Gladstone Steam Laundry and Dry Cleaners on Auckland St for 10 years, using the same five parks at the back of the shop. She says she tried to discuss the problem with the council and management, Charter Hall.

"They just keep passing the buck," Ms Schultz said.

"No-one is taking responsibility for it. We understand they had to take the parks away to do the development, but why couldn't there have been some kind of agreement with the council to lift the time restrictions for parking on the street temporarily?

"They've told us we can walk to work. Well, some of our staff live in Calliope, so that doesn't work."

Jenny Parker, also from the laundry, was issued a parking ticket on October 21 for $58.

"There's no way I am paying it," Ms Parker said.

"There's nowhere else for us to go."

One centre staffer said she intended to keep parking at the centre even if that meant having her car towed while another, Hannah Crompton, said it was ridiculous to ask staff to walk to work.

"What's the solution when the development is finished?" the Hairhouse Warehouse employee said.

"They haven't said anything about a dedicated staff car park. I understand there are fewer parks and customers need somewhere to park but there should have been a solution that included staff.

"I finish at 8pm... I am not walking to my car parked streets away at that time." The second stage of works on Oaka Ln started on October 28 and should finish early next month.

Charter Hall did not respond to our request for comment but the council said ticket inspections were random, although areas would be targeted if complaints were lodged.


What you said on Facebook:

Christine Heisner: Car parking for workers in Gladstone is joke. Public car park across from day care is full by 8.30am every morning. Totally agree there is no available spaces for workers. Goondoon st & the side streets are limited time frames.

Effie Robb: This has a been an issue for some time for us who work at the Palms Shopping Centre across the road from Woolys we aren't allowed to park in the centre and have been threatened and watched, we finish late through the week so that we can offer our services to the workers who work late and have to walk to our cars after hours and of recent our cars have been broken into and damaged now with this recent upgrade it's only made things worse for staff. An on going issue that progressively getting worse.

Harry Harrison: Bad planning for the woolies extension

Christine Heisner: Businesses between Bramston & Tank streets are in the same predicament their staff need to park streets away. It will take an attack of a innocent worker before anything gets done about it.



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