Greens candidates, Sue Etheridge (Nicklin) and Anna Sri (Kawana) have welcomed their party's plan for free hospital parking across Queensland, including Nambour Hospital and Sunshine Coast University Hospital, as bringing much-needed relief for the community.
The Greens will buy back every privately-owned carpark at a public hospital and establish a $500 million fund to upgrade and expand public hospital parking in areas of need.
Patients will be able to allocate their free parking to a friend or family member, with parking tickets validated by hospital reception. This would include anyone seeking treatment at a public hospital, including outpatients.
The total cost of introducing free hospital parking for patients and staff in all public hospitals will be $323 million over four years, including $268 million to buy back the seven privatised carparks and $54 million covering lost revenue from hospital car parking fees and rent.
The plan will be funded by the Greens' plan to raise royalties on mining corporations, which will raise $55 billion over four years.
Small business owner Sue Etheridge says the plan will go a long way to easing cost of living pressures for everyday people.
"Whenever you need to go to hospital because you're sick or visiting a family member or friend, the last thing you need to worry about is how big your parking bill is going to be," Ms Etheridge said.
"Hospital parking fees place a massive burden on patients and their families and friends, with some people being forced to sleep in their cars rather than fork out money for parking.
"We'll reverse Labor and the LNP's privatisation of our public hospital assets, put money back into the pockets of hardworking healthcare workers and ensure sick people aren't taxed just for having to go to hospital."
Veterinarian and health advocate Anna Sri said the plan was one of several Greens' policies designed to make healthcare more accessible and affordable for ordinary people.
"Our plan will create up to 200 more jobs for doctors and nurses, and build 16 community health clinics to take pressure off our hospital system," Ms Sri said.
"We will invest in our under-funded health system and ensure that healthcare is a universal right.
"We will pay for our plans by making big mining corporations, banks and developers pay their fair share in taxes."