Page 1738 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 8 May 2013

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(d) that the Capital Edge Community Church has expressed a desire to utilise the unleased territory land adjacent to their facility for parking; and

(2) calls on the ACT Government:

(a) to examine the options for use of the adjacent unleased territory land with the aim of providing more parking for people using the group centre and visiting the Church; and

(b) to report back to the Assembly by 8 August 2013 on the options that have been examined.

This motion I am moving today looks to take some of the pressure off parking on the northern side of Erindale centre, particularly on weekends. The issues of car parking and traffic have been long contested debates in the Assembly. Over a number of years we have seen a shift forced by the Labor Party and the Greens which has been nothing more than an attack on those who choose to utilise private transport in their daily lives. As a result of this shift, we have seen a reduction in car parking availability in town centres, along with increases in the costs associated with parking in these areas as a direct result of government policy, a policy which appears designed simply to cause inconvenience to the vast bulk of Canberrans in the vain hope of artificially boosting public transport patronage.

For the vast majority of people, bus transport is not viable to their circumstances, and neither is walking or cycling. It is sad that those who sit opposite are making uninformed policy decisions on this issue, forgetting that the majority of Canberrans utilise private transport to travel to work, to drop the kids off at school, sport and community and church functions and to do the shopping, amongst other things.

But this issue is not limited to the city centre; car park availability, or lack thereof, has been an ongoing issue for the Erindale group centre. This affects all users, including churches and community groups, which I will address in a moment. This is why the Canberra Liberals took a policy to the ACT election for an immediate increase in the number of car parks in the Erindale group centre as part of general improvements to the area. And while the government has been forced by the Assembly to undertake a master planning process, there are a number of simple improvements which can be made in the short term to deal with parking issues.

This motion calls for a simple change to take some short-term pressure off parking on the northern side of Erindale. Churches, such as the Capital Edge Community Church, provide places of worship and a community hub for a significant part of our community in Wanniassa and the surrounding areas. They bring vibrancy into local areas and work to bind the community together. Yet, in the case of the Capital Edge Community Church, its ability and potential to operate as a community hub is hindered by the parking situation around Erindale.

Importantly to the church community, the lack of available car parking places surrounding the church has also unfortunately meant that considerable pressure is being exerted upon the local area, including local businesses in the Erindale group

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