Page 1338 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 25 March 2009

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(c) that the current plans do not reflect the needs and desires of Nicholls residents and businesses; and

(2) calls on the Government to ensure the plans for the upgrade of the Nicholls shops carpark take the needs of the community into account by:

(a) conducting genuine community consultation;

(b) considering widening the carpark to provide for safer use of the carpark;

(c) ensuring two way traffic can continue through the main entrance to the shop at the Kelleway Avenue and Lexcen Avenue intersection; and

(d) not directing all traffic through Paisley Street.

The Nicholls shops car park is another example of this government’s litany of infrastructure failures. I move this motion today because the continuing delay in upgrading the car park is of considerable concern and the cause of significant frustration amongst the businesses and residents of Nicholls. It is also clear that the consultation process was a complete sham.

Unsurprisingly, Madam Assistant Speaker, like so many times before, the current plans for the upgrade of the car park do not reflect the needs and desires of Nicholls residents and businesses. This Stanhope-Gallagher government does seem to have a problem with Gungahlin, whether it is the Gungahlin drive extension, traffic in the town centre, bus services, suburban planning, block sizes or community infrastructure. It is one thing after another. There is one thing that we can say about this government with regard to Gungahlin, and that is “absolute failure”.

The Stanhope-Gallagher government have been consistent on infrastructure. Like every other project the government have failed on, we have seen the same ingredients. They promise something will be done; they announce consultation will begin; inevitably, they fail to consult properly; there are further delays to the work when they realise the community will not accept their bungled attempts to cover up; and there is a re-announcement in an election campaign.

In December last year I placed a question on the notice paper regarding the Nicholls shops and in January I was advised that work would commence by the end of February. In March I raised the fact that the work had not started and was advised that it would be further delayed. The problem with the Nicholls shops car park is simple: it does not have enough capacity for the size of the shops, there are no loading zones, and the car park is too narrow, which creates safety issues and causing many accidents.

The government’s plan is to make the traffic through the car park move one way, have all traffic diverted through Paisley Street to exit the shops, make parking 45-degree-angle rather than 90 degree and construct a footpath to the adjacent Gold Creek school car park. This plan creates more problems than it solves. The Gold Creek school car park is about 100 metres walk from the shops and walking that distance is not practical for a suburban shopping centre. People go to suburban shops to get in and out quickly. Such a walk would quite literally drive people away.

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