The lord giveth and the lord taketh away.
Except when it comes to options for free parking in central Newcastle: then it's all just take.
Marketown is installing boom gates to clamp down on office workers using the shopping centre's indoor parking station for free.
Centre management said on Thursday that the ticket-less boom gates would start operating on Monday, August 26, limiting motorists to two hours of free parking.
Charges will apply after two hours.
The Newcastle Herald reported in September that City of Newcastle parking rangers had started patrolling the Marketown car park after complaints from customers and retailers that office workers were over-staying its three-hour limit. The council also patrols the centre's outdoor parking lot on the other side of Steel Street.
The centre said the indoor car park's boom gates and new time limit would increase parking availability for customers and retailers "given the increased pressure on parking availability within the Newcastle CBD".
"We've worked closely with traffic management consultants to ensure these changes improve parking availability for those who are shopping at the centre," manager Jenna Corcoran said in a written statement.
The centre said customers, who visited Marketown for less than 30 minutes on average, sometimes could not find a park due to the "increasing use" of the car park by commuters.
The Newcastle Herald reported on Thursday that City of Newcastle had raised the cost of parking at the nearby No.2 Sportsground parking lot by $2 a day, from $6 to $8, last month.
Meanwhile, one of the inner-city's few remaining free parking spots has appeared and disappeared twice in recent years.
Motorists were using a large expanse of bitumen next to the light rail line near Steel Street until it was fenced off several weeks ago.
It was also a secret refuge from parking metres and council rangers before work started on the light rail line two years ago.
Hunter Central Coast Development Corporation is now installing metered parking and an access road, to be known as Steel Lane. It is due to open in October.
HCCDC said the nearby 275-space Throsby car park on Honeysuckle Drive would stay open until the site was redeveloped.
"The temporary Throsby car park is located on future development parcels in the western end of Honeysuckle, and, as the final stage of Honeysuckle evolves, HCCDC will manage the orderly sale of these lands to help generate more jobs and more housing choice," the agency said in a statement.
"The temporary car park is intended to remain available for the community to use until any future development is ready to commence."