Page 4940 - Week 15 - Thursday, 15 December 2005

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .

MR SPEAKER: Mr Corbell, I know you moved the motion earlier but you may have been restricted by time after you had sought leave. So would you move that it be noted again.


That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Dunne) adjourned to the next sitting.

Adapting a car-based city to a declining oil supply and climate change

Discussion of matter of public importance

MR SPEAKER: I have received letters from Mrs Burke, Dr Foskey, Mr Gentleman, Ms MacDonald, Mr Mulcahy, Mr Seselja and Mr Smyth, proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with Standing Order 79, I have determined that the matter proposed by Dr Foskey be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The challenge of adapting a car-based city to a declining oil supply and climate change.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (3.59): This MPI has been at least seven weeks in the waiting but, unfortunately, it is an MPI that is as relevant now as it was seven or eight weeks ago. Although Chicago-based architect and town planners Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahoney envisaged Canberra as a small, vibrant city connected to Sydney and Melbourne by train, with light rail connecting the town internally, most of Canberra’s infrastructure was set in place at a time when the car was seen as the most convenient way to get around. Consequently, Canberra has plenty of dual carriageways, clover leaf junctions and ample parking compared to most cities, although you would not know it from the complaints of city business interests. While Melbourne and Sydney people travel to the central district on trams, trains and buses, many Canberra people complain if they cannot park their cars a few metres from their destination. We take parking for granted.

Canberra’s retail structure was based around the concept of the car as a large shopping trolley. That is taken direct from NCDC material of the time. This led to neighbourhood, group and city centres surrounded by parking lots and a retail structure which has not stood the test of time. Why would you buy your groceries at your slightly more expensive local shops when you can buy everything you need in one trip to the town centre? Thus we have seen the decline of many neighbourhood centres. The Y-plan discarded the traditional radial layout of all major roads leading to the city and set in place a multicentred city without good public transport systems within and between them. Again, the long intertown roads through rural and bush settings mean that, without access to a car, you cannot experience the whole of this lovely city.

In Australia, family life is arguably most intimately, although not necessarily harmoniously, experienced in the car—on the way to shopping expeditions, visits to

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .