Page 512 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 13 February 2013

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My story illustrates that there were simply not the options available that there are in other Australian cities where international and major sporting events are held. The sheer lack of options available for those attending the cricket that day should have been a foremost thought for the government and other options should have been considered. International cricket and other major sporting events of this calibre bring many things to our great city, not least the extra tourism. Many of the out-of-town visitors who attended last week’s event would not have been familiar with the lack of options for getting to the ground or parking around that facility. They may have naturally assumed that there were more frequent transport options, as there are in other cities.

It is important that the government addresses the issues of parking, transport and other matters of urgency. We cannot realistically expect to continue to attract events of this calibre nor expect people to continue to attend these events if these issues are not addressed. We cannot expect to attract the crowds and visitors to this great city if getting to the ground is an onerous experience.

We are now also aware that the revenue gleaned from this was a mammoth $17,000. I am personally aware that parking inspectors were instructed to pay particular attention to parking in the Manuka vicinity on that day. Are we then able to assume that this was a result of the government’s knowing that it had failed in providing adequate parking facilities in the area?

MR SESELJA (Brindabella) (4.34): I add my voice to support Mr Doszpot’s motion and oppose the amendment. What we are talking about is a very straightforward, simple, inoffensive motion. Mr Doszpot has not put in all sorts of political invective in the motion; what he has simply done is state some facts in relation to events in and around Manuka Oval and to call on the government to have a parking strategy.

I would have thought most people in this place would think that is a sensible course of action, and certainly those of us who have travelled to Manuka Oval for events in recent times, as I have, have experienced significant issues with parking. I think it is quite reasonable that we call on the government to do better, to actually say, “Well, if we want to make Manuka Oval a great place to be”—and, yes, the opposition certainly supports Manuka Oval being an important place for gatherings, for cricket, for Australian Rules Football in the future and, no doubt, for other sports—“we need to do some planning because this is going to become more and more of an issue.”

It is great when it sells out; it is a great thing to be at Manuka Oval when it is full. But that comes with associated traffic and parking issues. For the Prime Minister’s XI game we parked at Kingston. That is not within a kilometre; that is a pretty reasonable walk. It is not a massive deal, I suppose, when you have got lots of time. But it is reasonable that, in a place where public transport is not convenient—and the member for Brindabella Andrew Wall very clearly set out the challenges for people getting there with public transport—most Canberrans will continue to rely on their cars for these types of events.

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