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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 601 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

recently we did get a court order to help clean up a site in Conder that had been causing difficulty for some time. It was quite a boost to the rangers and the others who work in this area that they now have that precedent. That is the first time that it has happened. We will certainly make sure that, where incidents are reported, the compliance units and the rangers take them up with the leaseholders and make sure that they do keep their blocks clean.

MR SPEAKER: Is there a supplementary question?

MS TUCKER: I am not sure whether the minister answered my question. What will you do to ensure that this problem stops?

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, where any problem is reported to the rangers, to Urban Services or to any of the authorities, we act on it. This one will be taken up with the lessees to make sure that they undertake their obligations to keep their lease clean and, if appropriate, penalties will be levied.

Parking meters at Woden

MR WOOD: Mr Speaker, my question is to Mr Smyth. I raise a problem about parking meters in one part of Canberra that is fairly well known. Indeed, in the last week the minister would have received at least one letter on this subject, so I expect that he can give a pretty sympathetic and rapid response today.

Minister, immediately adjacent to the ACT government shopfront at Woden is an area of parking meters which are set to run for only 15 minutes; there is no provision for anything longer. I know that this has been an ongoing concern for the counter staff at the shopfront and certainly the clients of the shopfront as there are frequent delays there which mean that the clients are in a queue for longer than 15 minutes. What do you do? Do you go back and feed a meter, do you ask someone to hold your spot or do you just cross your fingers and hope that the parking attendants aren't about? In fact, they are around there pretty regularly because they know that it is a good spot, so clients get booked.

The shopfront is used by many people on a regular basis, not just a once a year visit for something as part of their job. I am told that even the counter staff have requested that the meters be replaced by meters which indicate a maximum of 30 minutes. That is not too much to ask. Can it be done; it is as simple as that?

MR SMYTH: Of course it can be done where complaints are received. We review the parking arrangements in any given area to make sure that we meet the needs of the blend of users of areas. There is a case for some short-stay parking and there is a case for medium and long-stay parking. Where areas are brought to our attention, we will investigate. I will do so.

MR WOOD: I understand that it has been raised more than once. I understand that it is a well-known problem and there have been formal approaches to fix it. Could you give us a deadline by which time you will come back with an answer, a week or something like that? Would you be able to tell us in a week's time what your answer is?

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