Workers and business operators have mixed reactions to Stockland Green Hills parking situation

NO VACANCIES: Former Maitland councillor Bob Geoghegan in Garnett Street, Green Hills where every park is a premium. Picture: Max Mason Hubers.
NO VACANCIES: Former Maitland councillor Bob Geoghegan in Garnett Street, Green Hills where every park is a premium. Picture: Max Mason Hubers.

Some Stockland Green Hills employees have vented fears about their personal safety in the wake of the company’s plan to have workers park outside the redeveloped shopping centre.

Response to Fairfax Media’s recent report on Stockland’s car parking regulations for workers was overwhelming with the bulk of comments coming from employees too scared to walk back to their vehicles parked in side streets.

Other comments came from business operators who said their clients struggled to find a park because Stockland employees occupied the bulk of street parking all day, particularly along Mitchell Drive.

But there were some traders from outside the centre who did not find parking an issue like Hit n Dip owner Bob Geoghegan who said his business has not suffered. He did say however that further along Mitchell Drive, where he lives, street parking availability was minimal.

Fairfax Media has reported how workers were being bullied and harassed by security personnel and ordered to park in the street to free up spaces for shoppers. The Shop Distributives and Allied Employees' Association (union) raised the issue.

A Stockland spokesperson said the company is exploring opportunities with council to introduce more staff parking options. “Stockland is committed to a safe work environment and has communicated to staff parking can be accommodated for late night shifts, where employee mobility and severe weather are considerations. There has been no security monitoring staff parking since March, when security attendance was required for the grand opening.” The car park was at 95% occupancy on the long weekend when Hoyts cinemas opened.

A centre worker Jackie Bowtell said she parks in the centre’s car park but away from entrance points to free closer parks for customers. “As a young female I don’t feel safe to park off premises.” 

Melba Jay said it is a disgrace expecting employees to park in streets impacting residents and businesses.

Allison Meredith said her daughter has had to walk “streets over” in the dark at 10pm. “I’ve had to talk to her on the phone until she gets to her car because she is scared.” 

Richard Rounsley from Vascular HealthCare on Mitchell Drive, has not noticed people parking in the business’s allocated parks. “Some patients say parking is tight but perhaps that’s on our busy days,” he said.

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