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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 2901 ..

MRS DUNNE (continuing):

continue. They have nothing to offer. This Chief Minister and this Minister for Planning have nothing to offer. The people of Canberra will see through them. They already know that we know that they do not know, and it is just a matter of time before the laziness of their thinking gets out to the people of Canberra.

MS TUCKER (9.22): The most controversial issues in the Urban Services part of the budget are the introduction of pay parking in the town centres and the government's road spending and in particular the Gungahlin Drive extension and the government's changes to the planning system and the resumption of land development. There are also some parts of the Urban Services budget that have particular importance to the Greens, such as spending on the environment and waste management programs.

The introduction of pay parking in the town centres has been Greens policy for some time. It is part of our broader desire to make motorists more aware of the real cost of providing transport infrastructure and to shift the transport balance towards public transport. There is also, of course, the straight equity issue that it is unfair that people who drive from the city to Woden have to pay for their parking, whereas people going to Belconnen or Tuggeranong town centres do not. There needs to be consistency in the application of pay parking across Canberra.

I can recall that the Greens were criticised by Belconnen voters and some other parties' candidates in the 1998 election for daring to suggest that pay parking should be introduced in Belconnen. However, I want to make the points-as I made then-that it was misrepresented by political combatants, that the introduction of pay parking in Belconnen and Tuggeranong needs to be well managed to ensure that there is not a disproportionate impact on low income earners and, in particular, that the different needs and policy objectives relating to long-stay commuter parking and short-stay parking for shoppers need to be addressed. Also, there is a need to coordinate with the private providers of parking-for example, the shopping malls.

Unfortunately the government's spending on other transport measures is quite inconsistent. The extra funding for ACTION and the abolition of the zonal fare system and the funding of cycle path and on-road cycling upgrades are very welcome, but these are far outweighed by the government's blind adherence to the previous government's road-building program.

The planning minister has recently been caught out in his failed attempt to meet the previous government's cost and timing estimates for the Gungahlin Drive extension. If only the minister had spent more time questioning the whole rationale for this road rather than trying to defend his party's ill-considered election promise to build the western route at Gungahlin Drive to the same cost and time as the eastern route.

There is still the issue of what will be the final cost of this road. I recently found out from the minister that the cost of building replacement car parks at the AIS has not been incorporated into the road budget. I note this issue was also raised in the Estimates Committee. There have also been media reports that there may be a need for extra connections to Ginninderra Drive, with a $1 million price tag.

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