COMMUTER CAR PARKING FEES
Ms GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN
(Willoughby) [12.16 p.m.]: I move:
That this House opposes the introduction of any new fees, charges and taxes on commuter car parking.
I gave notice of this motion a year ago because at that time the Government was touting that it would charge commuters for parking their cars at commuter stations in order to jump on public transport. That was of concern to me—I am still concerned about this—because the announcement a year ago followed a report released by the NRMA in February last year, which was reported in major metropolitan news outlets. The NRMA report confirmed that there is a critical shortage of commuter car parking which is forcing thousands of people who would otherwise use public transport onto our roads, thereby critically congesting the roads even further.
The report demonstrated that more than 40 per cent of motorists who would otherwise drive all the way to work would rather park at a station, but those facilities simply do not exist. Less than six months after the report was released the Government announced that it intended to charge people for commuter car parking. That was an extremely poor decision to make, and it is poor for a number of reasons. We should be encouraging people to use the public transport network. More importantly, the State Government has failed to provide adequate commuter car parking to ensure that people have the option to leave their cars in a safe and reasonable place.
As one travels around parts of this city it is concerning to see cars parked on both sides of residential streets because people have nowhere else to park when they catch public transport. I have noted that phenomena when I have driven through some of the electorates of members opposite. The impact of not having adequate car parking has an enormous detrimental effect on residential amenity, our environment, road congestion and air quality. Yet, rather than encouraging people to have an option to leave their cars at a parking station, the Government has been not only negligent by not providing those facilities but also extremely short-sighted and disappointing by foreshadowing that it intends to charge commuters for car parking.
The NRMA report to which I alluded that was released in February 2008 identified areas that needed commuter parking. An article in the Sydney Morning Herald
by Linton Besser identified a number of suburbs that had a very small number of car spaces yet thousands of commuters. They were: Strathfield, 23 car spaces, more than 10,000 commuters; Bankstown, 170 car spaces, nearly 5,000 commuters; Kogarah, 330 car spaces, more than 6,000 commuters; Hornsby, 350 car spaces, more than 7,000 commuters; Sutherland, 500 car spaces, nearly 5,000 commuters; Parramatta, 780 car spaces, more than 15,000 commuters, and the list goes on. This demonstrates a State Government that is out of touch with what is needed in the best interest of public transport in our State. The Government chooses to ignore reports conducted by highly reputable and regarded organisations like the NRMA, which provide invaluable information to the community about driver behaviour and public transport user behaviour.
This report clearly identified a huge demand for more appropriate and safer commuter parking options to ensure that people have an option to leave their car at home and jump onto public transport. The Government not only ignored that report but also chose to rub salt into the wound by saying to the few commuters who gain access to a car space that they may be charged for it in the future. That demonstrates that the Government does not have a plan for public transport and also lacks the vision that would encourage people to drive to commuter and transport hubs, or ride a bike, or use alternative transport that would get them off the road.
The positive thing that came out of that report in February last year is that the public is willing to leave their cars at a safe location and jump on public transport, but the problem is that the Government has failed to acknowledge and meet that demand. As a result, there is inadequate public transport and thousands of drivers congest the roads because they have no other option. The report stated that adequate car spaces are necessary and that lighting and safety, which I find are major issues as I travel to parts of New South Wales, such as the Central Coast, should be drastically improved. There are not enough commuter car parks, and those that do exist have safety and lighting problems.
Ms GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN:
Mr David Harris: That's why we are doing them all up.
We have been hearing that for a long time. A shortage of spaces also forces people to park illegally and causes enormous grief for residents when street parking is taken up by people who would otherwise park in a commuter space if it were available. The residential amenity is impacted because the Government has not provided enough spaces. The Government is actually double dipping because in 2008 it proposed up to a 30 per cent increase in public transport fares over the next four years across New South Wales and at the same time is planning to slug commuters for parking their cars at a commuter car park. The Government's double dipping is not only increasing public transport fares, without improving services, but also planning to hit commuters who park their cars in car parks.
That is why the Opposition raised these concerns at the time and why we are raising them in the House today. This demonstrates the Government's absolute lack of planning and appreciation of what motivates people and what people want to do. People want to use public transport more frequently but the Government has failed to support them. The Government announced in this year's budget that 28 new commuter car parks were being planned but when I dig down I find that some of those 28 car parks were promised as far back as 2004. What the Government considered a new car park announcement had already been announced but not commenced. Some car parks announced more than 12 months before the last budget included Blacktown, Seven Hills, St Marys, Werrington, Windsor, Glenfield, Macarthur and Holsworthy. A number of so-called new announcements of car parks were up to four years old.
The Government favours spin over substance. There was a huge fanfare when the Premier opened the Wentworthville car park earlier this year. It is interesting because it took the Government three years to build one car park. The Government is again putting spin ahead of substance and a media headline ahead of the best interests of commuters and the travelling public of New South Wales. I am very concerned that there is no strategy to encourage people to leave their cars at home. The Government is full of hot air and rhetoric but when one travels to places such as the Central Coast, as the member for Wyong knows, and the Blue Mountains, they do not even have a proper car park.
Mr David Harris:
All car parks on the Central Coast are free.
Ms GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN:
Yes, but that is not what the Government is doing. The member for Wyong should read what the Government announced in September last year. I notice that members opposite are not even aware of what their Government announced, but that is the whole point of my motion: the Government announced a year ago that it would charge people for commuter parking in the future. The Opposition has moved this motion because it does not support that decision, and I note that members opposite agree with me. On that basis I look forward to their supporting the motion.
Mr Steve Whan:
The motion is unnecessary so we will not vote for it.
Ms GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN:
No, the Government is on the record a year ago as saying that it planned to receive a consultant's report and it would act on charging commuters in the future, and that is why the Opposition is worried. The Opposition wants to make sure that does not happen. I have moved this motion to ensure that the Government reneges on its earlier announcement about charging commuters for car parking and ask those opposite to put pressure on the Minister for Transport and the Premier to get their act together, given their abominable record in relation to commuter parking.
Mr DAVID HARRIS
(Wyong—Parliamentary Secretary) [12.26 p.m.]: The Government is delivering on its commitment to expand commuter car parking across Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and the Illawarra. The Government has allocated $170.6 million to new commuter car parks in the 2009-2010 State Budget. This represents a major step in the Government's commitment to provide an extra 7,000 car spaces across the rail network over the next two years. I believe that adds to the already available 25,000 car parks, making 32,000 car parks, and to the best of my knowledge they are all free. This motion confuses me because all of the existing commuter car parks, and the extra ones, are free. It is an excellent program and progress is being made in the delivery of these projects.
The opening of a 160-space commuter car park at Wentworthville in May 2009 marked the completion of the first project of the Government's commuter car park program. This month a $2.2 million expansion of the Helensburgh commuter car park, about which the member for Heathcote is very pleased, will be completed, providing an additional 70 all-day commuter parking spaces. Construction is also well underway on new car parks at Tuggerah in my electorate, including a bus interchange, improved lighting and improved security through closed-circuit television cameras, and once the project was underway we got more car parking spaces than the number originally promised. Similar work is also underway at Morisset, Holsworthy, Campbelltown, Windsor, and Glenfield at Seddon Park—all of which are due for completion in the 2009-10 financial year. Construction is also anticipated to start on additional commuter car parking at Werrington and Katoomba later this year with completion scheduled in the first half of 2010.
In the 2010-11 financial year, commuter car parks will be completed at Woonona, Ourimbah, Berowra, Glenfield, which is multistorey, Waterfall, Emu Plains, Macarthur, Wyong, Quakers Hill, St Marys, Seven Hills, Wollongong, Revesby, Woy Woy, Blacktown, Penrith and Warwick Farm. A new commuter car park at Schofields will also be opened to the public in late 2011 in conjunction with the commissioning of stage one of the Richmond line duplication project. The Government is getting on with the job of delivering these critical facilities for local communities and I am very pleased to say that commuters in my area are great beneficiaries of these projects and certainly welcome the expansion of car parks in our local area across basically all of our stations. They know that they are getting better security, better lighting and more spaces.
In stark contrast, those opposite have nothing better to do than waste the time of the House by passing confused, ill-informed and misconceived motions. We are pushing towards 32,000 places that are totally free. The motion is wrong because they are free. You cannot get any clearer than that. People do not have to pay to park there. You would think that the member for Willoughby—supposedly the spokesperson on Transport for those opposite—would have at least some idea of what is going on in Transport across New South Wales. As I have mentioned, the Government's commuter car parking program is delivering 7,000 extra places free. We keep saying it and we will say it over and over: it is free. It does not cost anything. "Free" means you do not have to pay.
Ms Gladys Berejiklian:
For how long?
Mr DAVID HARRIS:
That applies to commuter car parking spaces across Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Illawarra. As I mentioned earlier, these 7,000 spaces build on the more than 25,000 free commuter car parking spaces already in place and in use across Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Illawarra regions. The Government is committed to increasing accessibility to public transport, which is the idea of having expanded commuter car parking, so people can use public transport and they do not have to drive to Sydney. The commuter car parking program is a key element in improving the accessibility of the transport network, allowing people to take short journeys to their local stations and continue the rest of their journey by train.
New South Wales Government policy is, and will remain, that government car parking is free. No fees, charges or taxes apply. It would be appreciated if one of those opposite could take the time to point this out to the member for Willoughby if it is still not clear after what I have said. We will oppose the motion on the basis that the wording is ill conceived and not right. All these spaces are free. The car park at Tuggerah is under construction. A local construction group is providing local jobs, which helps stimulate the local economy.
Mr Steve Whan:
How many jobs?
Mr DAVID HARRIS:
I do not know exactly, but I went with the Minister and met the local contractors who said how pleased they were with the State Government that they were getting this extra work. What they actually said was that they were getting so much work they were finding it difficult to cope. In the middle of a global financial recession, that has to be great news—great news that they were employing extra apprentices as part of the program as well. Commuters were getting a good deal too. I drove past the other day to have a look at progress.
Mr Steve Whan:
You are a good local member.
Mr DAVID HARRIS:
Yes, I go there all the time and talk to the station staff. They have not been sacked, they are still there—in fact we have extra staff. Some of them had to move up and down the line a little, but nobody lost their job. In response to those who were a little concerned, we followed it up, and they did not lose their jobs, so that is another furphy being put around by Opposition members. How they twist the truth! They do not like the good news that the Government is delivering. They do not like the fact that we are creating jobs, they do not like the fact that we are creating new programs and looking after commuters—they do not like that—so they go out, make up stories and try to worry and scare people, which is very irresponsible.
Part of the work at Tuggerah is building a new bus interchange in the middle of the car park, so there is actually extra car parking space to the east and to the north. The existing car park has been totally resurfaced. What will also be added is a kiss and drop zone, which I think is very important: People can drop off loved ones at the station and they do not have to leave their car. They can be dropped right at the door of the station, and that is done in such a way that the traffic works really well. I know that people of Wyong and Tuggerah who use Tuggerah railway station will be very pleased when the project is complete and they have these improved facilities.
Just up the road, work is currently being done to find a location for new parking at Wyong station. I think we originally promised about 100 spots and I am told that that might increase to 150. The Government is making sure that it is listening to local people and improving facilities across the coast. At Woy Woy and Gosford there is already multi-storey car parking and even more will be added at Woy Woy. I grew up in Woy Woy and I know that that is very much commuter country. It is a very busy station. It was a Labor Government that put the first commuter car park there and it is the Labor Government that continues to put more commuter car parking there.
On the Central Coast, which is one of the key areas along with the Illawarra and parts of Sydney, we are putting in place necessary commuter car parking. I reiterate that we are not supporting the motion because it is technically wrong. Commuter parking is free. As I said earlier, there are no plans or policies to introduce any charges or taxes. This is a scare tactic by the Opposition, which is trying to throw things out there to worry people unnecessarily. The Government is doing a good job providing more spaces, better facilities and new trains. New OSCar trains will be operating on the Central Coast, offering better commuter comfort. They are comfortable intercity trains that have toilet facilities. People really love them. A new timetable is coming in soon, which will increase the number of carriages in operation.
In terms of commuting, the Government is delivering. We are providing more services and better facilities. We are spending huge amounts of money. In the north of my electorate we have spent $10 million upgrading tracks, putting in concrete sleepers, making it safer for people. Planning is still taking place for the North Warnervale railway station. I meet regularly with RailCorp. The development application is taking a long time to get through the council, but it is with the council and the last few issues are being resolved. The people of the northern Central Coast will have a brand new station in about 2012. Not only will there be more car parking, better services and more trains there will also be more stations.
Mr RAY WILLIAMS
(Hawkesbury) [12.36 p.m.]: It gives me great pleasure to support this motion moved by the extremely hardworking shadow Minister for Transport and the member for Willoughby, Ms Gladys Berejiklian, who would know more about the needs of commuters of New South Wales than many or all Government members, as she travels around New South Wales consistently and catches public transport wherever she goes, visiting electorates. Most importantly, she is listening to commuters and to their concerns.
The first thing that commuters raise is parking around stations. I represent an electorate that encapsulates the rapidly growing area of Rouse Hill, and you would know, Mr Acting-Speaker (Mr Matthew Morris)—and certainly members of the Government would know—of the lies that people in my electorate have been told for the past 12 years in relation to the north-west rail link. I wish I could stand here and argue that we do not have a commuter car park, but I cannot because the fact is that we do not even have a rail line. The north-west rail link has been cancelled and lied about so many times.
The one thing I can say is that just across the road in the neighbouring electorate of Riverstone there is an extremely busy station, at Quakers Hill. Quakers Hill commuters will tell you every morning of the week of the need for increased parking facilities around the station; indeed, they contact my office. My constituents travel to Quakers Hill station, Schofields station and Riverstone station because we are not lucky enough to have a north-west rail link to our area. When they travel to Quakers Hill they have to park miles away from the station because the New South Wales Government has neglected them by not providing a decent commuter car park.
Last year the member for Riverstone and the Minister for Transport got their faces in the paper and promised people that the commuter car park for Quakers Hill was coming. They said, "We will have the commuter car park for Quakers Hill very soon." A very hardworking councillor in that area, councillor Nick Tyrrell from Blacktown Council, took it upon himself to do something because he was getting the same messages from people complaining about the lack of car parking. He asked questions in Blacktown Council, as it is the authority that owns the land where the supposed commuter car park was to be built. Surprise, surprise, Blacktown Council has not been notified of anything in relation to the land. The land has not been designated for a commuter car park. The articles say it all. It is just more lies about the Quakers Hill car park.
Quakers Hill station is one of the busiest stations in north-west Sydney. If Government members or the Minister for Transport were to travel out there as I do, as councillor Nick Tyrrell does, and as the shadow Minister for Transport, Gladys Berejiklian, does, on a regular basis, to listen to the needs of these commuters, the first thing they would hear people say is, "Where is the car park we have been promised? We're parking miles away. We would catch the train more regularly but we don't have car parking facilities. It won't be built." We hear the same thing from Windsor residents. They have been saying it for years. It is fair to say that, after years of promises, the Windsor car park is now under construction. The problem now is that a mass of contamination under the car park is affecting the adjoining landowner, Tom Lonsdale. He is fighting the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water, the Minister and the contractors because of the leaching of disgusting contaminated material onto his site. This is how the Government does business. It lies. It is a disgrace and it must change.
Mr PAUL McLEAY
(Heathcote) [12.41 p.m.]: I do not support the motion. I think the motion is misguided. Either the member for Willoughby is confused or she is deliberately and wilfully misleading the commuting public and trying to generate a scare campaign about taxes and charges at Government-run car parks because she wants to change the behaviour of all those who are using commuter car parks. The member for Willoughby is possibly trying to tell them not to bring their car to the train station but to drive all the way to work because she does not like public transport. Maybe that is her agenda and she is trying to whip up a scare campaign. However, I do not think that could be the case. I will address the reasons I do not support the motion.
The New South Wales Government is delivering on its commitment to expand commuter car parking across Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and, in particular, the Illawarra. There will be 7,000 extra car spaces across the rail network over the next two years, including 70 new spaces that will be opened tomorrow, all being well, in my electorate at Helensburgh. This is on top of the recent extensions to commuter car parking in the area. Significant work is being done at Helensburgh train station where we have adopted level access, kiss and ride facilities, commuter turning circles and a new bus turning circle for Greens Coaches and other bus providers in the area. The new access and entrance to Helensburgh station is much safer and easier to use for most residents.
Obviously there are some that used to be able to come from the north-east of Helensburgh and just walk down one set of stairs. Now they have to go down a set of stairs and use the lift or go up and down another set of stairs. For some there is a bit of inconvenience but for most the improvements are far and away quite significant. There is also work going on at Waterfall. Many commuters in the Illawarra drive to Waterfall station because they can catch the city network trains, which are more frequent. They do it at a time to suit themselves, so we are extending Waterfall car park as well. The thing about these spaces is they will all be free of charge, which is consistent with New South Wales Government policy for commuter car parking: no fees, no charges, no taxes.
I am advised that, consistent with commitments in the Urban Transport Statement, NSW Transport and Infrastructure engaged consultants to undertake a review of opportunities for private sector involvement in the provision and management of commuter car parks. It would be remiss of the Government not to investigate these options and to pursue suitable opportunities. Public-private partnerships provide an effective and cost-efficient way of delivering critical public infrastructure and the Government will continue to pursue partnership opportunities with the private sector in appropriate circumstances. The Government will take into account the options canvassed in the study when assessing opportunities for private sector involvement in future commuter car parks. But let me be clear: New South Wales Government policy is, and will remain, that commuter car parking is free.
I hope the member for Willoughby is not confusing commuter car parking with commercial parking, which is subject to the public parking space levy. The parking space levy is to offset commercial and office parking in Sydney CBD and North Sydney-Milsons Point, which are category one areas, and Bondi Junction, Chatswood, Parramatta and St Leonards, which are category two areas. The levy seeks to reduce congestion and promote the use of public transport in business areas well serviced by public transport. Revenue raised from the scheme is put back into public transport infrastructure, such as commuter car parks and transport interchanges, to support the urban transport network. Approximately $100 million in parking space levy revenue is expected to be raised in 2009-10. The commercial car parking spaces in Parliament House are paying for commuter car parking spaces in Helensburgh that will open tomorrow.
Let me be clear: the parking space levy does not apply to the Government's commuter car parks. It seems all a bit too confusing for some people. The House can be assured that notwithstanding the confusion of members opposite, the New South Wales Government is getting on with the job of delivering these new facilities for local residents, all for free. We must not forget that the commuter car park program means not just benefits for local commuters but also local jobs for residents, with new jobs across the entire commuter car park program estimated to employ around 2,000 people, a double bonus for local communities.
Mr GREG SMITH
(Epping) [12.46 p.m.]: It is interesting to hear the member for Heathcote talk about commuter car parks because on the northern line there is only one, at Thornleigh. It was built under the auspices of the former Minister for Transport in the Greiner and Fahey governments, Bruce Baird. Along the whole northern line the areas around stations are clogged with cars, particularly Epping. The Government has made a big fuss about opening the Epping to Chatswood link, and it is a good rail service. I agree with that. I have travelled on it and I have paid the fare since we lost our passes. I am pleased to pay.
The problem is that the service does not go to Parramatta when it should. Every day about 3,000 to 4,000 commuters park their cars around the streets of Epping. The situation is getting worse. Cars are being parked in driveways and on footpaths, and occasionally items are stolen from people's houses—probably by commuters who park in those locations. Epping will soon be inundated with many more cars, as the Government's new timetable will result in about three-quarters of the trains running through the Epping to Chatswood tunnel. The number of services available in peak hours, in particular, for people in Eastwood, West Ryde, Meadowbank and Denistone, will be cut and those people will be forced to go to Epping if they want a proper choice of trains. They will get a good choice of trains at Epping—although naturally they will be crowded, but that is something with which commuters are familiar—and that will result in more cars being parked in the Epping area.
People in my community have been pleading for car parking spaces. There is no point in building transport hubs unless we have sufficient buses to get everybody there, and we certainly do not have that as 3,000 to 4,000 cars are being parked in Epping every day. The Government does not listen to us. It could put parking stations over the railway line. It has done similar things at places such as Hurstville and Chatswood—for example, it has put commercial office blocks over the railway lines—but we have not been privy to any of those initiatives. Our requests fall on deaf ears and we are told to catch buses when there are an insufficient number of them. The Government is now pushing councils to allow certain residential 2A areas. In the Hornsby municipality ordinary homes are to be pushed aside to put in more home units, which will result in more cars being parked at Epping station. You can bet your boots that the Government will not provide more buses!
There is enormous discrimination by the Government—discrimination that the Liberal-Nationals Coalition will cut out. The Government is offering discounts for people who come from the west. They pay only 10 per cent of their travel expenses and they receive a GST rebate. People in my electorate pay the full amount. It costs them at least $4.40—and I think that amount has gone up—to go from Beecroft to Marsfield, which is about three to four kilometres. That is how people in my electorate are being taxed. We are being pushed through the tunnel as roads in my electorate have been ruined. People out west have the M4, the Great Western Highway, the M5 and the Hume Highway. The bushrangers opposite have destroyed Epping Road, one of the best roads in Sydney. Everybody has to travel through the tunnel, which is running at a loss.
Ms Angela D'Amore:
Do you use the tunnel?
Mr GREG SMITH
: I use the tunnel as it is a great service but it no longer affords people an opportunity to travel along Epping Road to the industrial park at Lane Cove, to Lane Cove, to Greenwich, or to places such as that. At peak hours traffic queues up for miles to filter into one lane where there used to be three lanes. The Government has failed the people of this State. Recently it announced that it would tax people who parked in commuter stations that it built but people in my electorate do not even have commuter stations. The Government is not building commuter stations in my electorate. I fully support the motion. The best transport Minister we will ever have—the battlers' hero—is about to take over the Transport portfolio. Despite the fact that she drives a black Honda, she travels a great deal on public transport.
Ms GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN
(Willoughby) [12.51 p.m.], in reply: I thank those members who contributed to this important debate, in particular, the member for Hawkesbury and the member for Epping, both of whom do an outstanding job for their communities on issues across the board and on public transport issues. The contribution of the member for Hawkesbury reminded me that I have been to Quakers Hill on several occasions.
Mr Ray Williams:
What bus did you catch?
Ms GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN:
I caught the train.
Mr Paul McLeay:
Ms GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN:
To Quakers Hill. I do not think the member for Heathcote knows where that is; he would not have a clue. I have been to Quakers Hill on several occasions and I have noted the concerns of residents in that area. I thank the member for Wyong and the member for Heathcote for contributing to debate on this important motion. However, I was disappointed with their contributions. The member for Heathcote would be aware that huge numbers of cars park all along the road in suburban areas in Engadine as they do not have adequate commuter car parks. When I have travelled on the train or I have driven through that area I have noticed a great many cars parked on residential streets on either side of the highway. The Government's failure to address commuter parking in Wyong similarly is disgraceful.
The member for Wyong believes that the Government is doing enough on the Central Coast, which demonstrates how out of touch Government members are with their communities. I placed this motion on the Business Paper
last year because of an article that appeared in the 10 December edition of the Sydney Morning Herald
. That article stated:
The Government is preparing to charge commuters to park at railway stations. It is awaiting a consultants report outlining how to use private money to build car parks, opening the way for user pay charges.
That was the reason I moved this motion today. At around that time the State Government noted that it was raising commuter fares by up to 30 per cent over four years. It was charging people more to catch public transport and it was considering charging people to park their cars at commuter car parks. The member for Wyong referred earlier to the Wentworthville commuter car park. The concerning thing about the Wentworthville commuter car park is that it took three years to build. Premier Morris Iemma first announced the Wentworthville commuter car park on 30 May 2006 as part of the State infrastructure strategy. Premier Morris Iemma re-announced it on 20 November 2006 as part of the urban transport statement. Two years later, on 12 November 2008, Premier Nathan Rees re-announced that project.
Premier Nathan Rees was quoted as saying that the Wentworthville car park was being fast-tracked two years after it was announced. What a bizarre statement! Unfortunately, the Wentworthville car park demonstrates classic Labor spin. The Government thinks it is acceptable to take three years to build a car park but the Liberal-Nationals Coalition thinks it is unacceptable. Those standards do not exist anywhere else in Australia. I am sure it would take far less time in Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia to get these services to the community. I also note the long list of prospective commuter car parks to which members of the Labor Party like to refer. Every year those car parks are listed in the budget papers. When we drill down and try to work out when they were announced and when they will be delivered, we find that it is a huge disservice to the community.
The Government has failed to capture the willingness of 40 per cent of the drivers in this State to use public transport if they had somewhere to park their cars. That is what up to 40 per cent of people and representatives from the NRMA are saying. The Government has failed to grasp a fantastic opportunity to provide relief for commuters and road users and for anyone who cares about sustainability, equality and healthier lifestyles. People who catch public transport generally enjoy better health, especially when they have to go up and down all those stairs at railway stations, as there is no easy access, which is another issue. The Government has failed to acknowledge that many people want to leave their cars in a safe place—not in someone else's street, not parked illegally, and not in a compromised position that does not have lighting and that is not safe.
People who catch public transport want to leave their cars in a safe location. The Government, which lunges from announcement to announcement, has no plans for commuter car parks. The Liberal-Nationals Coalition will address this issue and implement innovative measures to ensure that people have safe places to leave their bicycles and that they have pedestrian access. This would all come under an integrated transport authority about which the Labor Party does not have a clue. I moved this motion because this matter is important and I ask all members to support it.
Question—That the motion be agreed to—put.
The House divided.
Mr J. H. Turner
Mr R. W. Turner
Mr J. D. Williams
Mr R. C. Williams
Question resolved in the negative.