Page 767 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 26 February 2013
to government. The government has then used this money to provide parking outside the city that is serviced by frequent and rapid buses. It is a bit like an advanced version of the park-and-rides we are starting to use here in Canberra. But it has also contributed to keeping their city centre less congested and more pedestrian friendly.
I would lastly like to note that developing a transit-oriented city in preference to a car-dominated city is important for social equity. There are a lot of members of our community who are not well serviced by cars. There are people who do not drive—the young, the elderly, some people with a disability. These communities can suffer from exclusion and social isolation when a transport system is designed for and congested with private cars.
Let me simply conclude by emphasising again how important it is that we get our car parking policy right so that our city develops sustainably and equitably as it grows. This is the focus of the ACT Greens. It is about providing our city with choice. It is about providing our city with a capacity to grow in a way that does not end up in gridlock. And it is about making sure that our city is one that balances all of the needs out there—those people who do need to drive, those people who wish to take public transport, those people who can take public transport—while also being mindful of ensuring that we preserve open space, have a clean environment and are doing our bit to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.
MS BERRY (Ginninderra) (4.51): I think it is worth taking the time in this debate to highlight some of the ACT government’s priorities in our transport and parking plans, as I believe it is worth considering parking within the broader context of our transport and planning policies. I also would like to dispute Mr Hanson’s suggestion that the people on this side do not love their cars. I come from a family who are quite passionate about their vehicles. Indeed, I occasionally supervised my father’s refurbishment of his 1936 roadster and 1950 custom Ford. I also have a shared passion, whilst the model and make might be slightly different.
It is simply not true that the government wants to force people out of their cars. That is why parking is an important element of the overall integrated planning and transport system. The government’s policies such as the ACT planning strategy and transport for Canberra plan work together to present a sustainable future for the ACT by taking a holistic look at the way we live, work and move around our city.
One of the major areas that the government is tackling in terms of parking is the area of demand. The ACT government is being proactive in managing demand for parking in our city. Some of the programs that are being proposed in the transport for Canberra plan include the review and release of parking plans for the city and town centres, a parking offset fund for Civic, continued 30 per cent or more territory ownership of public parking, and reductions in parking requirements for areas adjacent to public transport corridors.
We believe that these proposals encourage more sustainable development and more sustainable transport options. Managing demand is only part of our plan. As I said earlier, it is worth talking about parking in the broader context of the ACT government’s planning and transport policies. That is why you cannot talk about parking unless you also talk about our plan for public transport.