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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (24 November) . . Page.. 2799 ..

Tuggeranong Town Centre - Car Park

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, my question, through you, is to the Minister for Urban Services. Some time ago, Minister, we raised the issue - and we had an exchange of letters and articles in the press - of the provision of lighting in car park areas in Tuggeranong Town Centre, notably in the car park areas on the side of the lake. I recall that responses to newspaper articles from a spokeswoman of yours - and indeed the letter that you sent to me, for which I was grateful - indicated that those areas would not be looked at for the moment because they had low priority. Given that there has been a spate of vehicle damage over the period - and, I might say, not in the last couple of weeks; so, if you want to check with Alan Castle, that will not reveal that - I have had renewed representations from businesses, clubs and people who frequent the area. It is regarded as dangerous. The point that you made in your responses was that it was a low priority area. Do you still agree with that tag, and could you tell me what is the difference between an area of low priority attention and a high priority one?

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I thank Mr Hargreaves for his question. We take the issue of streetlighting very seriously. Streetlighting is something that contributes to the safety of the public at night. In this regard, my department often liaises with the Federal Police to look for hot spots that seem to be causing us trouble. When Mr Hargreaves raised the issue of this specific car park in Tuggeranong, we checked with the police to ascertain whether or not it was an area that was prone to crime. My memory of it is that we were told that it was not. Certainly, the police had concerns with different areas from this one. In that regard, further assessment by the department, taken in conjunction with our limited budgets that we all must live within on this side of the house, determined that specific car park to be a low priority car park. If Mr Hargreaves has evidence of an increase in crime in that area, we would be most happy to reassess that car park, and we would certainly liaise with the police to ensure that, if there is something untoward going on there, we do our best to stop it.

MR HARGREAVES: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Can the Minister advise what is the difference between a low priority and a high priority car park?

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, quite clearly, it is based on things like usage, the size of the car park, the sort of area that the car park services, whether it is a car park used by day or by night, whether it is a car park used at all hours. They will always contribute to the assessment of whether a car park is a high priority or a low priority one. I am advised by the department that, based on the usage and the area that this car park services, there are other suitable car parks in the area that are fully lit and that, with that in mind, it is assessed at this stage as a low priority car park in terms of the provision of lighting.

Ms Carnell: Mr Speaker, I ask that any further questions be placed on the notice paper.

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