Melbourne City Council Allows Extra Parking Permits for Healthcare Workers

August 11, 2020 Updated: August 11, 2020

Melbourne healthcare workers will have access to thousands of extra parking permits after one doctor copped a fine while working to keep some of Victoria’s sickest COVID-19 patients alive.

Royal Melbourne Hospital anaesthetics registrar Katarina Arandjelovic said she had worked 56 hours over just four days when she discovered the parking fine late on the night of Aug 10.

“In lockdown, who do you think is parking in the streets by the hospital? It is the doctors, nurses, orderlies, pharmacists, physios, technicians, cleaners, cooks, ward clerks,” she tweeted on Tuesday.

“We cannot work from home. We come here, and we sweat it out under our gowns, our voices muffled under masks, learning to ‘smile with our eyes’.

“We wash our hands obsessively, hoping desperately we do not become part of That Statistic. We do not see our families for weeks.”

Within hours, the City of Melbourne apologised and withdrew the fine.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp also announced up to 5000 extra temporary parking permits would be available for frontline workers. About 8000 had already been provided to doctors and nurses, the council said.

Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters: “Someone who’s in there literally saving lives at considerable risk to themselves should not be the subject of a parking ticket.”

During the pandemic, councils are still allowed to enforce parking restrictions when they relate to access and safety, such as vehicles in disabled parks without a permit or in no standing zones.