General parking FAQs
- Is there free parking on campus?
Yes, there are 450 free parking spaces available in Car Park 15 located off Claymore Road. This site is located approximately 1 kilometre from the centre of the campus, which equates to less than 15 minutes walking distance. Car Park 15 is linked to the campus via lit footpaths. Security will provide an after-dark escort to the car park on request.
- Does parking revert to being free during the semester breaks and summer holidays?
No, paid parking is in place all year round with the exception of weekends and public holidays.
- Who is required to pay?
Staff, students and visitors between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday, throughout the year, with the exception of public holidays.
- Are disabled students and staff required to pay?
No, anyone who has a Disability Parking Permit is permitted to park in designated disabled parking spaces at no cost. Vehicles must display a valid Australian Disability Parking Permit or Queensland Disability Parking Permit.
- Are there enough disability bays on campus?
The Building Code of Australia recommends that 1-2% of parking bays be allocated for disabled parking. The University currently has approximately 1.7% of its parking bays reserved as disabled parking, with 42 disabled bays on campus. An audit has also recently been conducted over the use of these disabled bays and at least 20, out of the 42, are available at any point during the teaching day.
- Are motorcyclists expected to pay for parking?
Yes, a 4 hours or less eTicket will be A$2, and more than 4 hours will be A$3. Motorcyclists can also purchase ePermits at A$50 for half year, and A$80 for a full year. ePermits for motorcyclists can be purchased online.
- Where can I park my motorbike?
Motorbike users have the option of a designated motorcycle parking area in car park 4 or other motorcycle parking bays found around the rest of the campus including car park 7 (multi-level car park). Motorcycles parking in car bays will need to have paid the appropriate rate for a car eTicket.
- Are staff and students allowed to park in Car Park 1 (adjacent to the Innovation Centre)?
Yes, all staff and students in possession of a valid ePermit or eTicket can park in Car Park 1.
- Why doesn't USC just create more parking spaces instead of charging for car parking?
The environment has been a primary consideration throughout the University's development and the campus has won several awards for its environmental approach.
The University's location, adjacent to the ecologically sensitive Mooloolah River National Park, has placed importance on managed development of the site, including the need for structural, landscaping and waste management strategies to minimise impact on the National Park.
As development of residential and commercial areas adjacent to the campus continues, USC wants to protect the campus and the habitat it provides for flora and fauna. Although the creation of more on-grade car-parking might be seen as a quick, easy solution, it will destroy much of the unique campus environment.
Instead USC intend to improve the current parking situation with the formalisation of existing car parks eg. line-marking, resurfacing, etc, while also providing more car parks on the periphery of the main campus (Claymore Road) to ease congestion and preserve the University green space.
USC has also set sustainability targets to reduce its environmental footprint.
- Do other universities charge students and staff for parking?
Yes, it is more common for universities to charge for parking than not with most Brisbane-based universities having paid parking.
- How am I benefitting from the introduction of paid parking?
Revenue raised from the implementation of paid parking will be isolated from other University funds and re-invested in improving existing parking on campus, increasing the public transport subsidy through the U-Pass Scheme, investing in sustainable transport initiatives and the construction of a multi-level car park.
There will be digital displays installed at the entrances of car parks and at other key points, which will notify drivers of how many spaces are available in each car park and where the nearest space is located.
- What other options are there for me to travel to and from University and what is USC doing to improve these options?
The campus is serviced by public transport, with a Translink transit centre located on campus. However, we appreciate that current services are inadequate for many of our students and staff. More information about transport and parking.
The University provides express shuttle services, available to all staff and students during teaching semesters, between the campus and Caloundra (via Currimundi and Little Mountain; Noosa Junction (via Noosa Civic and Coolum); Gympie (via Cooroy) and North Lakes (via Caboolture).
USC has increased its investment in alternative forms of transport, for example, provision of additional bike hubs and improvements to campus walkways and cycleways and there are now a number of cycle and pedestrian access points onto the campus.
The Alumni Way bicycle and pedestrian path links the eastern and western accesses of the campus and a network of paths connects the University to Sippy Downs, Buderim and Mooloolaba. The University provides secure bike storage, showers and other facilities for cyclists on campus – refer to the cycling map.
- How does the cost of driving to the University compare with travelling by public transport?
In most cases, it will be cheaper for students and staff to use public transport than to travel to the University alone in their cars. For example, the daily cost of driving to the University from Nambour (18 kilometres away) would be around A$26 (not including the cost of purchasing a yearly parking permit), compared with a daily cost, for the same journey by bus (4 zones in total for a return trip), of A$4.14 for students (with go card – concession) and A$8.28 for staff (with go card – adult).
Further savings can also apply. For example, once the number of journeys taken by a go card holder in one week exceeds nine, all travel for the remainder of the week is free.
Using the following information, students and staff are encouraged to weigh up the costs for themselves and consider using public transport as an alternative to driving to the University, if practicable.
Calculating the cost of travelling to USC
By car: the cost of running a car (according to the ATO) is 74 cents per kilometre (ordinary size 1601c–2600cc or rotary engine car 801–1300cc). You will need to factor in the cost of parking at the University, unless of course, you wish to park in one of the free spaces at the Claymore Road car park.
By public transport: to calculate the cost of travelling to the University by public transport, you should work out how many zones you would travel through to get to USC and back and look up the relevant fare on the Translink Journey Planner.
- I cannot afford to pay for parking, I am not classified as disabled, but I cannot walk as far as Claymore Road, do I need to pay for parking?
- I believe my private special circumstances entitle me to be exempt from paying for parking. Who do I contact to put forward my case?
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance.
- How much does parking cost?
eTickets (cars) — daily, on campus
4 hours or less More than 4 hours A$3 A$5
eTickets (motorcycles) — daily, on campus
4 hours or less More than 4 hours A$2 A$3
Ticketless parking meters will accept payment by coins, Mastercard or Visa and will be installed at various points on campus.
ePermits (cars) — 6-month or 12-month, online
Students—6 month Staff and community—6 month Students—12 month Staff and community—12 month A$100 A$180 A$200 A$360
ePermits (motorcycles) — 6-month or 12-month, online
Students—6 month Staff and community—6 month Students—12 month Staff and community—12 month A$50 A$50 A$80 A$80
Staff salary sacrifice option
The cost of parking ePermits for staff may be salary-sacrificed at a cost of A$500 per year over 26 fortnightly pre-tax salary deductions.
- Do I have to pay for the whole day if I plan on only attending for an hour lecture?
No, you are able to purchase a half-day eTicket (4 hours or less) for A$3.
- Why isn't the cost of parking subsidised by the Student Services Amenities Fee (SSAF)?
Legislatively the SSAF pool of funds cannot be used to subsidise student parking. The Student Guild organises a number of services and activities for students using funds derived from the SSAF. For more information on how the SSAF is spent refer to the USC Student Guild's website.
- What are the methods of payment for parking?
- Anyone, including students and staff, can pay daily or half-daily at the ticketless parking meters located around campus.
- Students can pay for a yearly or half-yearly ePermit online.
- Full-time and fractional staff can pay for a yearly or half-yearly ePermit either via Payroll, or online.
- Sessional and casual staff can pay daily or half-daily at a ticketless parking meter, yearly or half-yearly online.
- Why will I be fined for not parking in an allocated bay?
Vehicles parked outside of a marked bay may block other cars in, obstruct a driver’s line of sight which could cause an accident, impede an emergency vehicle’s path, or block pedestrian access. It is for the safety and consideration of others that people must park only in marked bays.
- What is in place to stop students just parking in the streets surrounding USC?
The Sunshine Coast Council is monitoring the impact of parking in these areas and has introduced restricted parking to ensure that residents and businesses in surrounding streets are not adversely affected by paid parking at USC.
- Who do I contact if I receive a parking infringement notice?
You will need to contact Sunshine Coast Council via the details given on the back of the infringement notice.
- Under what circumstances will I be fined for parking at the University?
Fines will be issued by the Sunshine Coast Council for parking outside of the marked bays, on grassed areas, on or near yellow lines, in disabled bays without a valid disability permit, in taxi ranks, at bus stops and other areas not set aside for parking.
Fines will also be issued to drivers who park in the University’s car parks without paying the parking fee applicable.
What options do I have if I receive an infringement notice?
- Pay the fine within 28 days, late payments will attract additional fees to cover vehicle registration searches and legal costs.
- Nominate another person who was driving the vehicle at the time by statutory declaration.
- Ask for a payment plan if the fine exceeds $200.
- Request the matter be referred to a magistrates court if you believe you are not at fault.
- Ask the Sunshine Coast Council to review the ticket if you believe it has been issued incorrectly. You may wish to ensure the ticket complies with the law, identifies the correct offence and has the correct date, registration number, location, etc.
Parking tickets are not reviewable for matters such as you not seeing the signs, you didn't know the meaning of the yellow line or other road rules, or you were running late for class.
You are required to complete an application form to have your infringement notice reviewed.
Application forms are available via Council’s website or in person at any Council Customer Service Centre.
The University is not able to intervene in disputed infringement notices.
- What happens if I don’t pay my infringement notice?
If you don't take up any of the options outlined on the back of the Sunshine Coast Council’s infringement notice, and the fine remains outstanding, it will be referred to the State Penalties Enforcement Register (SPER) for collection.
Additional charges will be incurred through the SPER process that could result in your driver’s licence not being renewed due to outstanding fines.
Remember parking fines are voluntary so before you park always check that:
- you have parked lawfully,
- you comply by the conditions to park at that location, including time limits,
- you pay any fees for parking at that location either at the ticketless parking machines or via the secure online payment gateway.
By following these simple rules you will avoid any infringement notices.
- Some car parks seem to have space for more bays. Why were the car parks not designed to fit the maximum amount of bays in?
The car parks have been designed by the University’s civil engineers and drawn to the Australian Standard AS/NZS 2890, 1:2004. There are guidelines for space requirements that allow vehicles to manoeuvre safely.
- How do I purchase an ePermit?
- Am I guaranteed to get a parking space if I purchase an ePermit or eTicket?
The number of students and staff visiting USC each day may exceed the number of spaces available so it cannot be guaranteed that you will find a space.
However, the introduction of digital displays will help you to identify where the empty spaces are located, which should save a lot of time and angst.
- Will I be fined if I don't have a current ePermit or eTicket?
Yes, to ensure that the system is fair and equitable paid parking at USC is being managed by the Sunshine Coast Council and failure to purchase a current eTicket or ePermit will result in an infringement notice being issued.
- If I sometimes drive different cars to campus, can they all be listed on my ePermit?
Yes, but only one nominated car can be on campus at any one time. If more than one nominated car is on campus it will receive an infringement notice unless you purchase a daily eTicket for any additional nominated vehicle. To register multiple vehicles against your ePermit fill out the online form.
- If I leave the University before my ePermit expires, can I on-sell the ePermit?
No, the permit is issued to the person and their nominated cars.
- Should I decide to leave the University before my yearly or half-yearly ePermit expires will any part of the ePermit fee be refundable?
Yes, students are eligible for a full or partial refund of their ePermit under the following conditions:
- if you have paid for an ePermit before Week 1 of the semester and withdraw before the end of Week 1 of the same semester, you can apply for a full refund.
- if you have paid for an ePermit and withdraw before the census date of the semester you bought the ePermit, you can apply for a 50% refund.
If you have paid for an ePermit and withdraw after the census date of the semester you bought the ePermit, you will not be eligible for a refund.
- What happens to my ePermit if I take extended leave during its period?
Leave periods of greater than 12 weeks will be considered for refund.
- Is the yearly or half-yearly ePermit based on the calendar year or from date of purchase?
All permits are based on date of purchase.
- I have paid for parking but sometimes I cannot find an empty car park bay. Why is the University not providing enough car parks on campus?
The addition of 515 parking bays in the multi-level car park (CP7) and the offset car park (CP11a) is expected to meet most of our parking requirements however there will be peak times when a vacant space will be difficult to find. There are also around 200 empty bays at the free Claymore Road car park (Car Park 15) and car park 12b is often underutilised.
- Why are there no covers over the ticketless parking machines to protect me from the weather?
The machines are solar-powered although we are trialing shelters on some of our ticketless parking machines.
- Why do the ticketless parking machines not accept notes?
This is a security measure for cash handling.
- If I enter the wrong vehicle registration number into a ticketless parking machine, can this be altered or can I get a refund?
No. Immediate changes to the system are not possible. You will need to purchase another eTicket to record your correct registration and avoid receiving an infringement notice. Alternatively you can move your car to the free Claymore Road car park. Refunds will not be given.
Other FAQs - for visitors and tenants
- I am a parent of a school student from an adjoining school, do I need to pay for parking to drop off or pick up my child?
No, there are 15 minute pick up/drop off zones adjacent to Car Park 13.
- I am a tenant of the University and need to park close to the University's main campus, do I need to pay for parking?
- As a tenant, am I eligible to purchase an ePermit?
Yes, tenants are able to purchase a 6 month ePermit for A$180 or a 12 month ePermit for A$360 via the USC website.