JCU Car Park Complaints: Make it Formal!

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James Cook University (JCU) officials are saying students need to make formal complaints about the lack of on-campus parking before something can be done about it.

by Mykala Wright

Townsville JCU Security Manager Ian Brooks says students are not expressing their frustration with on-campus parking formally.

“Car parking complaints have been on a downward trend in 2016,” he said.

“Traditionally there are complaints at the commencement of the academic year until timetables settle down.”

PHOTO: JCU Memes Facebook page

PHOTO: JCU Memes Facebook page

JCUs Head of Estate Operations Robyn Fallon suggested the decrease in formal complaints may be due to an increased education campaign for   students and staff.

“We have enhanced our website to provide improved parking information and advise the University community at the start of semester about parking.

“Our message is that other options should be considered during busy times.

“Arriving early to secure a park, parking in free areas further out, cycling, car pooling and public transport should be considered during these times,” Mrs. Fallon said.

Third year Law student and former JCU employee Kate Gough said alongside her, a number of students feel frustrated with the on-campus parking, but do not submit formal complaints.

“I have only placed a complaint on one incident when contesting a parking fine that I received,” she said.

Third year Arts student Emily Devon also said the on-campus parking is inadequate despite never making a formal complaint.

“I never considered the possibility of a formal complaint making a difference,” Mrs. Devon said.

Other students, including first year Health Sciences student Talisha Mason, say they do not see the point in placing a formal complaint.

“I feel like making a formal complaint would be a waste of time.

“I don’t think it would be taken seriously or change anything at all,” Mrs. Mason said.

Mrs. Fallon said student’s formal complaints are taken seriously.

“We do listen to complaints to try to understand what we can do better.

“Students are our customers and the reason the University exists.

“We need to ensure their needs are met.” Mrs. Fallon said.

She also said it is the Estate Offices challenge to provide sustainable solutions.

“At the same time we need to encourage people to consider their impact on the environment and destroying natural areas to create bitumen car parks is not an environmentally sustainable action,” Mrs. Fallon said.

Mrs. Gough, Mrs. Devon and Mrs. Mason all said the current on-campus parking is unreliable.

“If every student attended every class they were enrolled in, there is no way there is an adequate number of carparks,” Mrs. Gough said.

Ms. Gough said there had been instances where the on-campus parking had negatively impacted her studies.

“There have been a few times that I have been late to class, and on top of that a few times where I could not find a park at all so just went home, despite arriving early,” she said.

Parking on the Townsville campus consists of a mix of free parking and permit only parking, with more than half of the parking areas exclusively available to permit holders.

Mr. Brooks encourages students to buy parking permits. permit

“It [parking permit] does expand the parking choices.

“However, availability of Permit Parking is not guaranteed as demand peaks at certain times,” he said.

If you have a complaint in regard to the Townsville JCU campus parking, place it formally here.