Page 369 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 12 February 2013

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MR COE: Given that the increase now means that it costs a Civic office worker almost $70 per week to park their car, will parking now be included in the budget’s cost of living statement?

MR CORBELL: I would refer Mr Coe to the Treasurer in relation to matters around cost of living assessments, as those are his responsibility. I would, however, make the observation that parking fees in the city centre in Canberra are cheaper than every other state capital in the country and are also cheaper than equivalent-size cities such as Wollongong and Newcastle.

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Corbell! The question was about the cost of living assessment. Can you be directly relevant to the question.

MR CORBELL: I have answered that.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Attorney-General, what is the estimated increase in revenue that the ACT government will gain from the increase in parking and is it your intention to force people onto public transport?

MR CORBELL: The use of pay parking fee increases is a normal parking demand management tool used by municipal administrations and city administrations around the world. There is nothing unusual in the government’s moves to use pricing to help manage demand, and demand for surplus car parking in particular. In relation to your question about revenue, I would draw your attention to the relevant budget papers or, if you need further clarification, you can ask those questions of the Treasurer.

In relation to public transport use, yes, the government believes that ultimately there will need to be, and must be, an increase in the mode share of public transport to allow our transport system to continue to operate efficiently. It is simply unrealistic, and indeed naive, to believe that all of the future capacity of managing the number of journeys in our city can be met by the private motor vehicle and that we must endeavour to continue to improve the level of mode share achieved by public transit, walking and cycling.

It is not about forcing people out of their cars. It is not about that at all. It is about saying that there is a scarcity value. First of all, there is a scarcity value in relation to land when it comes to surplus car parking provision and, secondly, there is a need to manage that demand through pricing signals. That is a legitimate and appropriate transport planning response to the challenges of car parking in the city centre. There is no city centre in Australia or in the world which does not seek to manage parking demand through pricing and there is not a city centre in the world which has unlimited supply.

MADAM SPEAKER: The member’s time has expired.

Mr Corbell: Supply is scarce and it needs to be managed.

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