Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 11 November 2021) . . Page.. 3381 ..
catch the bus home after a dinner or a night out in the city—maybe with a group of friends, yes, but it is not always a good option.
I think we all enjoy the night-time economy. It is fair to say, though, that I would probably go to slightly different places from my colleague Mr Davis. And I would probably even go to very different places from my colleague Ms Castley. That is how we keep our economy going—we all like different things. When I go out to dinner with my friends, we enjoy a bit of finer dining and we like quieter places. It is not that we are getting old or anything, but we like to have a conversation and we like to able to hear each other. Between all of us here, we support so many different types of venues in our night-time economy, and that is exactly the way that it should be. Introducing free night-time parking in the CBD—and even in Braddon and some other areas—may incentivise Canberrans who do not live in or very close to the city to visit it.
I will briefly comment on something that Mr Steel said about people with reduced mobility in Braddon. As someone who has recently experienced reduced mobility, I can tell you that I do not go to Braddon at all. It is too congested there for me, even with this paid parking, which is meant to free up parking spaces. It does not work, in my experience.
Ms Cheyne: We might as well make it free.
MS LAWDER: Once again, we have an interjection from Ms Cheyne, who seems unable to contain herself when anyone else is speaking but who gets upset if someone else speaks while she is speaking. She does not like it at all when anyone else interjects, but here she is.
Ms Cheyne: Bring it on!
MS LAWDER: I am sorry to be speaking while you are interjecting! If Ms Cheyne would just let me finish—if she would try to control herself for just two more minutes—it would be appreciated. We have seen the Chief Minister in front of the media encouraging Canberrans to get out and spend in our city. I encourage that too; I think we all do. We encourage Canberrans to spend local and buy local, but people have many other options, including buying some of their goods online, so whatever we can do is a positive step, and waiving the cost of parking could be a positive.
I have been quite shocked by some of the comments about Ms Castley’s motion, including very churlish—in fact, childish—comments from some opposite that it is about political point-scoring. I read this as a very straight, positive motion, contributing some ideas and suggestions, and I cannot, for the life of me, see where there is political point-scoring. The motion is asking for something positive. It is really depressing that the government wants to try to categorise it as political point-scoring when it is a positive motion about something that could be done to encourage patronisation of our businesses.
Finally, as shadow minister for the arts, it would be remiss of me not to mention our struggling arts community and how it has suffered over the past two years, with many