Page 760 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 26 February 2013
I would challenge the minister to come along on a Saturday morning or come along on a busy weekday to places like Cooleman Court, to some of the local shopping centres, or instead of parking their car in their government-provided car park, 10 metres from this building, give that up to someone who is a citizen here and try and find a car park somewhere else. The reality is that then they will get a taste of what it means.
I would like to make it very clear on the record, and I think it is well understood, that the Canberra Liberals are a party that supports individual choice. That means the ability to drive your motor vehicle if you want to and use it in a variety of situations, particularly going to work, particularly going to the shops, because people live busy and complex lives.
That is in direct contrast, Mr Assistant Speaker, with those opposite, who want to control people’s lives, who want to limit their options to achieve what will be a perverse effect, because it will not drive people onto buses. That is because the bus system just is not flexible enough, is not efficient enough, is not effective enough. All it is going to do is drive further complexity into people’s lives and put up the cost of living.
As I said in my speech, that may be their desire—to reap more money for the budget. I am not sure which is their greater motive, whether it is the budgetary impact or their ideology. Regardless, the consequence on people’s lives is a negative one. Let us be very clear that this is a clear ideological difference. I think over the next four years we will see this play out further in this place.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations and Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development) (4.26): I thank Mr Hanson for bringing this matter of public importance before the Assembly this afternoon. I am very happy to talk about the government’s policy in relation to managing parking demand and the marked difference between those on the other side of this place and those on this side. It is a choice between demand management and predict and provide.
Let us talk about what the consequences are of predict and provide in the context of cost of living, the expenses it is placing on families and what the long-term consequences of policies like those outlined by Mr Hanson actually mean. Let us start at the beginning in terms of congestion. The key issue here is managing the growth of congestion in our city over time. None of us like to be caught in traffic jams. It is a drag on the economy and it is a waste of people’s time. We can see the most severe effects of the impacts of congestion if you go to a place like western Sydney. Go to a place like western Sydney and ask people there about commuting times and congestion, and they will tell you it is their number one problem, their number one concern, because they have no choice. Even though they have got four or eight-lane freeways, they have no choice but to get stuck in traffic as they commute to and from work. They know the enormous impact of wasted time and wasted productivity as a result of the lack of transport choices.