A WAR OF WORDS over paid parking at Orange hospital has broken out between Member for Orange Andrew Gee and Orange City Councillor Glenn Taylor.
In his weekly 'State View' column, published in Thursday’s Central Western Daily, Mr Gee said he “was disappointed to learn that there are Orange City Councillors out there suggesting that there could be paid parking at the Orange health service when the hospital management has confirmed that there is no intention to introduce this.
“It just smacks of the same old party political point scoring, which is very disappointing.”
Orange Health Service general manager Catherine Nowlan on Thursday confirmed there were no plans to introduce paid parking at the hospital.
But Cr Taylor was angry councillors had been publicly admonished by Mr Gee for asking the question.
“I am just doing my job - that’s what the public expect,”Cr Taylor said.
“I was told from a source I can’t reveal and have been asked by members of the public saying they have concerns there will be paid parking and I have a responsibility to the community to act on behalf of residents.
“That’s what I’m paid for and that’s what Mr Gee is paid for - not to try and score cheap political points,” Cr Taylor said.
Cr Taylor said he believed infrastructure is in place at the hospital to introduce paid parking.
“What I am looking for is an assurance that months down the track it won’t be introduced,” he said.
“Its already happening in a lot of other hospitals in the state and I fear we could be next on the list.”
“That’s what I’m paid for and that’s what Mr Gee is paid for - not to try and score cheap political points"
Late on Thursday Mr Gee confirmed the hospital’s response about paid parking.
“Orange Health Service has confirmed there is no intention to introduce paid parking at the hospital, full stop,” Mr Gee said.
“The NSW Health Minister has also ruled out cuts to hospital service or charging co-payments for emergency services.”
Cr Taylor said he would like to see Mr Gee working towards securing funding from Health Infrastructure to at least put line marking on the roadway outside the hospital where there is a parking overflow.
“We need to be working on this together to find a solution, because although this is not council’s responsibility, the problem is not going to go away.”