Page 3533 - Week 11 - Thursday, 19 September 2013
The second thing I want to talk about tonight is parking in Belconnen. On Tuesday I headed out during the sitting break to join the Belconnen Community Council in their community consultation regarding parking arrangements in Belconnen town centre. Whilst the weather was certainly not on our side, there was a lot of enthusiasm from everyone present for talking about a whole range of transport solutions. Anyone who lives and works in Belconnen knows that the high rate of development and the growing number of people who live and work within the centre are creating a gap between the supply of parking and the current demand.
It was great to hear from the Belconnen Community Council that the surveys they had already received showed support for a wide range of transport options to supplement parking needs. Amongst those that have already contributed are both car drivers and bicycle riders. As I have said before in this place, it is my belief there is more to consider in the decision about how we get to work than simply convenience. I do not know anyone in Belconnen who wants to see our town centres turned into giant multi-storey car parks, but I also know there are mornings when we have the double drop off or a midday appointment at school when driving is the only option. We need to find a way to balance these priorities.
As the Belconnen Community Council knows, part of that solution is ensuring that, on those days when we need it, parking is available in our town centres. It is not only a matter of convenience but one of fairness for members of our community with caring responsibilities and mobility issues.
I was also happy to hear the council have received responses from people who know that, if we want good public spaces, we need to ensure that we have public transport infrastructure and public amenities that encourage active travel and reduce reliance on cars. It is great to see one of our fantastic community councils reaching out to the community and engaging new people, both in the process of feeding that back to this place and also in building and supporting the unique communities that form around our town centres.
I look forward to seeing the ideas for Belconnen that people in the community have come up with out of this consultation. I also look forward to having more conversations about how we strike a balance between access and amenity. In our growing city, flexibility and a concern for the access of others to this limited resource is the only way we will be able to ensure that there is a park on the days when we really need it and truly liveable centres to enjoy on the days when we are able to have a more active trip to work.
Chisholm Health Cooperative
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (5.16): I rise tonight to talk about an event I attended on 21 September with Minister Burch—the Chisholm health co-op opening. The National health co-op has been developing a health co-operative and health wellbeing centre on Canberra’s northern fringe since 2004. The energy from this co-operative came from the community following persistent concerns raised by residents about the lack of affordable GPs and health services. Using a membership-based bulk