Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 18 October 2022) . . Page.. 3161 ..
Similarly, with the carriers on the back of a car, if you are standing behind your car, unloading bikes, and so is the car immediately behind you, there needs to be enough room in the aisle for cars to safely pass by. So people are concerned about the size there, especially when there are children around or the car park is very busy. And there are times when the car park is extremely busy.
It seems, according to people I have spoken with, that this is a solution desperately looking for a problem. People who use the park frequently believe that it works perfectly well as it is with the dirt car park, and people make the aisles that they need. That way if you have got a long vehicle or a wide vehicle, you can park where best suits you.
With regard to paid parking, if you are a trail runner you might be out on the trail for six hours at a time—if you are an ultramarathon runner—and they are concerned about the introduction of paid parking during that time while they are out on the trail for six hours. We do have a beautiful facility there at Stromlo Forest Park, but we fear that people will find other solutions if paid parking comes in.
There is also a fear people have expressed to me that it may have a negative impact on the business there, the Handlebar. If you are already out for a couple of hours in the park and you are thinking about whether to have a beer or two before you go home, the possibility of paid parking may impact on your decision.
We know the positive health benefits from outdoor activities such as this, trail running and mountain bike riding, and we believe we should be encouraging these healthy lifestyle behaviours. Some people have also expressed to me that they would prefer that the money that is going to be spent on paving the car park would be better spent on the trails themselves in the Stromlo Forest Park—the whole park is a beautiful space, so why do we now need green space in and around the car park as well, when the whole idea of the park is that there is plenty of space?
Another concern expressed to me is that if there were paid parking, it may mean that people going to the park will park in nearby suburbs, and that is going to really annoy nearby residents. If you are going mountain bike riding, if you park further out in a nearby suburb and you have got a kilometre to bike in, that is nothing to you as a mountain biker—it is a good warm up before going out on the trails.
I would like to thank the petitioner who started off this petition, which received nearly 700 signatures. I hope the EGEE committee will consider whether to have an enquiry into it. I look forward to the government working collaboratively with Stromlo Forest Park users to make sure that the car park is best suited to the users. It is not a shopping centre car park; it is for a specific audience with specific needs, and the car park design must be fit for that purpose. Thank you.
MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (10.07): I would like to thank Ms Lawder for bringing forward this petition. It is really good to see community voices coming directly into the Assembly. That is what our petitions are for. There has been a lot of conversation in the community about our facilities at Stromlo, about that car park in particular and our general facilities, and I am really looking forward to bringing a motion later in the week that will deal with some of those matters.