Page 1339 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 25 March 2009

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Paisley Street was not designed for such a traffic load and there is poor visibility where it meets Kelleway Avenue. Indeed, the current main entrance to the shops at Kelleway and Lexcen avenues is a roundabout designed for the high amounts of traffic that a local shopping centre generates, a much more appropriate entrance than the Paisley Street T-junction. Just yesterday, the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services gave us a sermon about the importance of road safety around shopping centres, whilst at the same time his department advocated directing all outgoing traffic through this T-intersection and through a street not designed for the load, against the wishes of the residents.

Had the government engaged with the community properly in the initial consultation, they would have realised these issues were significant issues for the Nicholls community. In a stunning admission on ABC 666 radio, Chief Minister’s talkback on Friday, 20 March, the Chief Minister admitted the consultation involved a “perhaps not overly extensive” letterbox drop. I repeat: “perhaps not overly extensive” letterbox drop. The plans that were on display at the shops were not a substitute for wide-ranging consultation.

It is my understanding now that the government has delayed works due to considerable objections of local residents and plans to conduct a meeting in April or May. We are yet to hear about this formally, though. I hope this time the government will take into account the needs of Nicholls businesses and residents by conducting this next round of consultation genuinely, by considering the width of the car park, by ensuring two-way traffic can continue at the main entrance to the shops and not directing all traffic through Paisley Street.

I would like to thank all of those in Nicholls who have contacted me regarding these issues and I look forward to the government taking into account their concerns by upgrading the car park. Indeed, the fact that such a large number of people have contacted me about this project is evidence that the consultation did not work.

I would like to circulate this motion here and this amendment to a motion that I believe will more broadly encapture the views of this Assembly. The Nicholls shops car park has been an issue for a number of years and it is extremely important that we do solve this issue as soon as possible. I call upon all people in the Assembly to accept this amendment and to move for progress for the people of Nicholls.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage) (4:57): Madam Assistant Speaker, I thank Mr Coe for raising this motion today. I think we do need to go back to taws. This car park was built in 2000. It was built under the watch of the minister then responsible for territory and municipal services, Brendan Smyth, and it was built under the watch of the then minister for planning, Gary Humphries, and his chief of staff, Vicki Dunne.

Mr Coe has just described in some detail all the deficiencies and everything that is wrong with this car park. I presume that Mr Smyth will come in here and actually

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