PARKING IN NEWCASTLE: More Hunger Games than parking lotto

I’m currently taking applications for a Katniss Everdeen lookalike to train me in the subtle art of war. Please inquire within.

Has anyone seen the Walking Dead? I’ve seen snippets. Bits and pieces here and there and lately I just can’t help but draw some comparisons between the eerie stillness the Walking Dead is known for and say… Hunter Street. The irony is, in the Walking Dead universe, the eerie stillness only comes right before a hoard of zombies come over the hill, but on Hunter Street, there are no hoards, zombie or otherwise.

My sense of optimism is slowly fading. Mostly because I’m starting to feel like a bit of a fool every time I try and back the new developments in the city. I mean, how can I not when announcements such as the blow we were dealt this week come across my desk (news feed). It just seems like every positive development carries a flip side with it. A big ol’ but that keeps us from really getting behind the redevelopments. Don’t get me wrong I love big butts and I cannot lie but I’m not about that kind of but life. Take the new Honeysuckle campus for example. It’s a great addition to the city and something that is set to draw a lot of bright young minds into the epicentre of the city. But… where oh where are they meant to park? It was announced that a space built for 6500 students, (and yes it’s going to be built and designed for that exact purpose) will only include 12 parking spaces.

Oh sure, here we go again, another story about parking. But since none of the higher-ups seems to be listening, maybe it’s time we did something about it. I for one don’t intend on simply sitting back and/or setting my car on fire. Because it’s the principle of the thing, and it’s about accessibility! What’s the point of an amazing city if we have no way of getting there or staying there?

I saw someone on Facebook compare the possible fight for the 12 parking spaces to the Hunger Games, but I see it as more of a psychological experiment. The way you choose to approach the parking situation in the city I’m sure says a lot about the person you are. Are you the optimist who tries, tries and tries again hoping that today will be your day? Do you sit and wait in the parking lot, stubborn as all hell waiting for someone to leave? Do you boycott uni and the city altogether and go and live in a shack in Greece instead? Whatever your approach, you only have a 0.18 % chance of finding a park remotely close to campus. And for those of us who aren’t students, since the students will be taking up the few other parking spots that were ‘available’ to us, oh the places we’ll go (looking for a park).

Yes, the light rail. Yes, the (strange and complicated) bus system. Yes, the transport interchange. But actions speak louder than words. I am all for leaving the car at home, but only if backed up by a reliable, inclusive and functioning public transport system. The light rail won’t solve all our problems because I, we, you, me, need more. Either that or I’m currently taking applications for a Katniss Everdeen lookalike to train me in the subtle art of war. Please inquire within.

Written by Laura Kebby

I write words about talented people doing talented things, and translate chatter by putting pen to paper.


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  1. When changes to a city are driven by Developers, you need to realise just what ‘developers’ are. They are the predators of cities and suburbs. They ruined newcastle in the sixties and I guess it’s their offspring that have succeeded in swinging the corrupt nsw gov’t into this disgusting 20 year event that will see the city in the shade of hi rise.. no open land along the wharf. ”You’re going to reap what you sow” sings Lou Reed . Thinking with your Wallet… does no good for you or me. And breaking up an intercity rail line is the pinnacle of stupidity.

  2. The semi privatization of the public transport recently will only add to the acrimony of the eventual daily 6500 sheeple infiltrating what will be a cesspool of underplanning, overtaxation and misguided eventualities.

    5pm will never be worse in Newcastle as it will be when the inner-city buses are cut to arbitrarily force people to ride the white elephant. King St bus stop @ UoN currently is awash with people awaiting to offer themselves as tribute waiting for the now less-regular stale blue/white whales to whisk them back to their fringe suburb. Are the white elephant stations big enough though?! From the King St example – having all businesses/employees finish at or around 5pm will become a dangerous outdated model if, like you say Lauren Kebby, there is no interest from those who can to bring about change and harmony to these transport issues that have been left to fester. Will criticism from non-Uni commuters be deafened by rhetoric such as “the 6500 is bringing business into the city therefore claim unfounded” which is a regular go-to for those out-of-touch dinosaurs who actually do have their own car park and therefore cannot and definitely won’t empathise!

    How ironic is it though that Newcastle Interchange was to be built next to a whole row of car dealerships!!!!

    Jimmy envisions chaos will eventually ensue due to developers getting total control over Newcastle that jeopardises the quality of life of those living or commuting here.

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