JCU: “There isn’t really a parking issue”

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By Rachel Lang

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NO PARKS FOR YOU: Student Sam Shaw is fed up with JCU’s lack of parking spaces. CREDIT: Fred Williams

University officials do not see the lack of on campus parking as an issue despite continued student outcry for better parking facilities.

In addition, a recent decision by the state government has seen parking fines nearly triple in cost for the 2015 academic year.

Parking fines will now cost students up to $110 per infringement.

Annual parking permits cost students $76, but do not guarantee that parking will be available on the day.

Despite news articles, videos and student surveys that make clear the frustration students feel with current facilities, Robyn Fallon, JCU’s Parking and Facilities Officer, disagrees that the university is facing a parking crisis.

“In relation to the number of parks that we have, besides the early parts of semester, there is not really a parking issue,” Mrs Fallon said.

Mrs. Fallon has admitted that while upgrades to facilities near the medicine and nursing buildings are set to occur, there are no immediate plans to build extra parking lots.

Townsville student, Sam Shaw, has already received a $110 fine for attempting to park on the edge of a parking lot when no other spaces were available.

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NOT SO FINE: Outraged student Sam Shaw took to social media to air his grievances. CREDIT: Sam Shaw via Facebook

“Honestly, it made my blood boil the moment I saw the fine,” Mr Shaw said.

“Obviously parking is a major issue.

“With the hospital there, people know that the hospital staff and visitors use university car parks.

“Something needs to be done, whether it’s a multi-story car park – or anything really.

“With these $110 fines they’re giving out, they’ll definitely be raising enough revenue soon enough.

Edward Harridge, member of the JCU Council and Townsville Campus Officer, said that he constantly raises parking as an issue at council meetings.

“The best thing I would say to students is if you’re not happy about parking, send me an email, contact me, contact the university, and make your displeasure known,” Mr Harridge said.

“I found the best way to ensure something gets done about this is to constantly talk about it.”

“Any experience I can get is further ammunition to talk with the university. I’d certainty love to hear any experiences.”

Formal complaints can be lodged by contacting the JCU Registrar.

Parking permits can be purchased at the JCU Bookstore, or by filling out this form.