Free parking offer at McCabe Park for Wollongong’s mass vaccination centre

TO encourage as many people as possible to get their COVID-19 vaccinations at the Illawarra Shoalhaven Mass Vaccination Centre, Wollongong City Council is offering two hours free parking in the MacCabe Park car park.

From Monday, August 9 drivers are able to park in the car park and enjoy the first two hours of parking free, provided they display a ticket from the parking meter.

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said the free parking was targeted at those coming to the vaccination centre.

Cr Bradbery said the temporary step to offer timed free parking coincided with the Illawarra Shoalhaven Mass Vaccination Centre’s opening in the former David Jones building in the Crown Street Mall. The MacCabe Park car park is a short walk from the Centre, just past the Cenotaph.

“We want people to do the right thing and get vaccinated,” he said.

“This is the only way we’re going to be able to move beyond lockdowns and see life return to some sense of normality.

“I, for one, am fully vaccinated with AstraZeneca and I encourage everyone else to get their vaccinations booked. By doing so, you not only look after yourself and your loved ones, but support everyone else in our community.

“I hope the incentive of two hours free parking will encourage more people to get vaccinated sooner.’’

The first two hours free parking opportunity will remain in place until December 31 2021. Drivers will still need to place a ticket issued by the meter on their car dash or, if they use the CellOPark app, start the app when parking. Parking is free before 8.30am and after 4.30pm weekdays and weekends. Time limits do apply on Saturdays between 8.30am and 12.30pm.

“Our compliance officers will still be out and ensuring drivers are doing the right thing and I want to be clear – you will need to display your parking meter ticket in this car park,’’ Cr Bradbery said.

“You won’t be charged for the first two hours by the parking meter or the app, but you do need to follow the usual practices, or you will risk a parking ticket.

“We know there is always debate in our community about parking in the city centre,’’ he said.

“While many of the large multi-storey car parks are privately owned, we operate and maintain  the MacCabe car park near the intersection of Church and Stewart streets. We made the decision allow people to park for free for the first two hours as a way to support accessibility to the vaccination centre and ensure turnover of parking opportunities. Plus, of course, there’s always the opportunity to use public transport to the city centre including the free Gong Shuttle.’’

Details of parking and public transport options are outlined on Council’s website. The pages include information about city centre on and off-street parking opportunities, as well as public transport options.

Essential information: To park free for up to two hours at MacCabe Park car park:

  • Park within a marked space
  • Go to the parking meter within the car park, and adjust the time up to two hours
  • Print a ticket and place it on your dashboard so it can be clearly seen from outside the car
  • If you’re using the CellOPark app, you can park as normal in this car park, open the app and start the parking time as you usually would. You won’t be charged for the first two hours.
  • Normal parking conditions, including fees and time limits for Monday to Friday apply at all other locations.

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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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