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A Dandenong support service says parking restrictions are putting staff and clients at risk.
Greater Dandenong Council accepted a letter from CatholicCare Family Services signed by 41 people at its Monday 11 September meeting.
The letter asked the council to review restricting parking for businesses around Princes Highway and for all-day paid parking to support employees, clients and local businesses.
The council forwarded the request to the relevant business unit for consideration.
The letter said parking around 33-35 Princes Highway was restricted to two hours at $1.80 per hour.
“On site we have limited parking in the building,” it said.
“Most workers and clients are forced to park as far as the end of the skate park, end of Close Avenue, Hemmings Street, and on the opposite side of the road service lane on Princes Highway between James Street and Henty Street, and sometimes at Coles.”
The letter said that given the nature of CatholicCare’s work – including counselling, family mediation and group work – staff found it difficult to move their cars every two hours.
“Two days every week … our services are open until 8pm and often some workers without parking in the building are forced to walk isolated streets to their cars,” the letter said.
“Given the external vulnerabilities around the Dandenong area, and limited lighting and safety on the side streets, we believe it is not safe for our distressed and vulnerable clients, and our staff who provide support, to be walking to isolated parking areas.
“In the last couple of months, we have had incidents in the evening that have required police involvement.
“On those occasions and following, staff and distressed clients were required to be accompanied to their cars.
“Had there been parking close by, our staff and clients would have felt safe and empowered to go their cars without the fear of looming danger.”
The letter said VicRoads roadworks on Princes Highway were exacerbating the situation, with tradesmen and women and machinery taking up spaces.
“As a community agency we would greatly appreciate your support to our request, as we endeavour to make our community safer for our staff and clients,” it concluded.
“Communities which are perceived safer encourage active participation that build relationships, increase revenue for local businesses, and support the health and wellbeing of everyone.”

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