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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 17 August 2011) . . Page.. 3406 ..

Time was obviously pressing. They had to get cracking on the final version right away. Here we are four years, three months and 10 days later and we still have not got the final version. Not only is it an insult to Canberrans that are desperate for a genuine approach to the parking needs of Canberrans but it is a direct insult to the Canberrans that went to the effort of contributing to the draft in the hope that their contribution would actually have an impact on the final version of the strategy.

In 2010 the Chief Minister at the time said in an answer to a question on notice:

The Transport for Canberra policies—including the Parking Strategy—are expected to be released following Time to Talk and alongside the Government’s new climate change and spatial planning policies in 2011.

We are now heading into the latter part of 2011 and there is still no sign of any updates or any policies. We must also now question the relevance of the data used to form the basis of the draft strategy over four years ago—that is, without making the assumption that the data was already a little out of date by the time it got to the point of being used in the draft paper.

The Property Council submission to the strategy dated April 2007 also made the observation that the figures used to identify the modal split as per the sustainable transport plan and used in the draft strategy was highly optimistic. For example the plan states that the proportion of people driving to work would have dropped from 74 per cent down to 70 per cent in the years between 2007 and 2012. Anyone who has driven along the gridlocked GDE or tried in vain to find a car park in the city at 8.30 am will know that this is not the case.

As MLAs, we are often out campaigning and canvassing the views of constituents and often this involves going to shopping centres. One need only spend a few minutes at Jamison, Kippax, Charnwood, Nicholls, Dickson, Cooleman Court, Calwell, Erindale or Tuggeranong, in addition to many other places, to realise that there is a parking shortage and that the government is failing to address these issues.

In fact, the government even admitted that they had failed to address parking concerns in Erindale in a recent mail-out to surrounding residents. The problem was repeated from a series of events in Hawker where the government had no grasp of the parking needs of shoppers and business operators.

At a public meeting that was convened by me and Mrs Dunne in July last year to address parking concerns in Hawker, one resident expressed the following view:

Car parking is an issue across Canberra. There needs to be a plan for the whole city to ensure that flow and convenience enable business to prosper. We cannot collapse into gridlock and expect businesses to survive.

The fact is that the government’s lack of strategy is having a real impact on businesses. It is having a real impact on the quality of life for many Canberrans. As shadow transport and urban services minister, I regularly get feedback from constituents about the problems they are having parking. One such email I received last month is as follows:

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