Common sense prevails: Nurses exempt from parking fines
COVID-19 swab nurses have been granted a reprieve after the City of Sydney decided to issue special parking permits.
A group of swab nurses working at hotel quarantine sites in Sydney have been asking for parking permits since February to avoid getting fined.
The permits only arrived in July after Ben Fordham’s intervention but the nurses were still getting fined in loading zones despite displaying signs on their cars clearly stating they are part of a “COVID-19 onsite response team”.
The new permits, specifically designed for swab nurses, will be ready for distribution today, according to the City of Sydney. (Full statement below)
Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock told Ben Fordham there is no excuse for the nurses to be fined.
“It made me very cranky when I heard about it.
“We will treat every fine now on a case by case basis.”
Click PLAY below to hear the full interview
Full statement from a City of Sydney spokesperson:
“The City of Sydney is grateful for the hard work and commitment shown by essential services workers who are on the frontline of this pandemic, and we will continue to support them.
“The City has been in discussions with Health Care Australia to facilitate parking that allows nurses quick access to and from quarantine hotels.
“The City received a list of hotels which has allowed us to understand the options available and as such is:
· Working with the hotels to identify available parking spots that meet the need for quick access
· Identifying parking spots outside of the hotels that can be used by the nurses
· Developing a specifically designed permit for use by the nurses doing the testing. The permit will be a visual cue for the City’s Rangers, so they know not to fine even when parked in loading zones. These permits will be ready for distribution on Monday 3 August 2020
“In addition, the City has already issued 1,400 parking permits to emergency workers, including doctors, nurses, NSW Police and Red Cross staff.
“And in our continuing support for essential workers, the City will also extend the free 24-hour access to our Kings Cross and Goulburn Street car parks. These car parks are free for quarantine hotel emergency service workers as well.
“The City will continue to work with Health Care Australia and local health authorities to monitor the effectiveness of the above measures and adapt as changes arise.”