Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 12 May 2021) . . Page.. 1391 ..
Mr Byles explained that the specific issue of parking is a priority, but that it is a priority along with many other priorities—the minister will make the decision. It is a bit like a Yes Minister episode. The issue has also been raised several times by the Gungahlin Community Council, which identified it as a priority in its 2013-14 budget submission. As they say, the greatest force in politics is inertia. We see that often in the ACT in this tired old Labor-Greens government. And we see that again with this example of parking, which was planned to support businesses at Yerrabi Pond foreshore eight years ago, but which never emerged.
The Canberra Liberals wait in hope. Yerrabi businesses wait in hope. The Canberra Liberals get small business. We respect and applaud our business warriors across the ACT, who feel completely shut out by this Labor-Greens government. While the government continues procrastinating with its task forces and discovery phases, the Liberals will keep raising important issues on behalf of our small business sector which remain in the government’s blind spot. We all know that issues like parking and toilets in local shopping centres are vital for small business. For whatever reason—completely foreign to me and the Canberra Liberals—this government does not get it or chooses not to.
MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee—Minister for Skills, Minister for Transport and City Services and Special Minister of State) (3.56): The ACT government recognises the importance of parking for residents and businesses, including the need to maximise efficiency in the usage of existing parking in particular. We understand the importance that Yerrabi Pond is as a recreational precinct, as well as a dining and hospitality area for the businesses around it. Managing parking supply and demand effectively is a key consideration for an efficient and sustainable transport system.
It is important to encourage people who are able to make the switch from driving to take up public transport and active travel. I have already outlined to the Assembly what we are doing in relation to active travel connections in Gungahlin by looking at a feasibility study about how we can make sure that there are improvements in connections, particularly between Gungahlin town centre and Yerrabi Pond.
Other mechanisms to manage the supply and demand include the ACT government’s significant and ongoing investment in the administration and enforcement of parking arrangements that are in place. As Ms Castley notes in her motion, the ACT government commissioned a report to investigate the feasibility of additional parking, specifically in the median on Nellie Hamilton Avenue. I am aware of the previous study and that observations on site in 2020 suggest that there is limited availability, with parking areas occupied for the majority of the day in the area. Parking along Phyllis Ashton Circuit and Strayleaf Crescent is time restricted to two hours from 7.30 am to 6.00 pm Monday to Friday. Recently TCCS has implemented no stopping signage at various locations on Phyllis Ashton Circuit to prevent parking outside of the marked bays and allow for the free flow of traffic.
As members would be aware, a recent petition brought to the Assembly titled Yerrabi Pond Recreational Area received 1,109 signatures. Whilst car parking is not specifically sought as part of that petition, it certainly came up as part of the debate in