PARADISE INTERCHANGE - Motion in House of Assembly, Parliament on 6 July 2017
Mr TARZIA ( Hartley ) ( 11:30 ): I move:
That this house—
(a) condemns the South Australian Labor government for breaking its promise to the people of Paradise and surrounding areas to upgrade park-and-ride facilities at the Paradise I nterchange;
(b) condemns the government for abandoning this pre-election commitment and stripping essential services from the residents of the north-eastern suburbs;
(c) notes that the Liberal Party will restore funding to upgrade Paradise I nterchange; and
(d) calls on the government to fulfil its election commitment and immediately restore the funding to upgrade the Paradise Interchange.
Users of the Paradise Interchange and nearby residents are sick and tired of being duped by the lies of this state Labor government. Travelling down Sudholz and Darley roads in the morning commute, it is clear that there is a parking issue at the Paradise Interchange. Cars are often stacked up along the sides of the busy main road. It is an issue that has particularly worsened in recent times, with overflows of parking going into residential side streets. The Paradise Interchange provides an efficient transport service to the north-eastern area, but it has been hindered greatly by a lack of parking.
It is all too common for commuters to feel the tension and anxiety in the morning commute. They drive to the interchange in the morning, hoping to make use of the O-Bahn service, only to find that the parking lots are often full. Unfortunately for them, the common solution is to park along the previously mentioned Darley and Sudholz roads or in the side streets. It puts commuters at risk as they exit their vehicles during peak-hour traffic and it creates congestion in neighbouring streets. One concerned resident who works nearby recently told me of his fears that it may only be a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt when they try to cross the road from the overflow of car parking across that road.
Many years ago, in the May 2011 budget, the state government announced funding for increased parking and bike storage, and they have continued to ignore this area. No additional parking spaces since then have actually been delivered at the interchange. Along with the member for Morialta, I was involved in lobbying the government through the collection of over 1,000 signatures, and over 300 in a recent petition, one of which was tabled, calling for a solution to the issue. I have also delivered a number of speeches to this place following years of community discussion on the matter. I have been out to the interchange and spoken to commuters, as well as mailing residents who live in the area. I have even launched an online campaign that has enabled many residents to join the conversation.
Even in the 2013-14 state budget papers, it seemed that there may have been an actual solution that this government may have delivered, that it would only be around the corner. Looking at Budget Paper 5, Capital Investment Statement, in the 2013-14 budget, I note that the state Labor government at the time committed $18.1 million for additional park-and-ride parking spaces at Mount Barker, Tonsley and Paradise interchanges, as well as upgraded passenger facilities in the City of Adelaide. Also included in the budget and on the same page was funding for upgrades to the O-Bahn interchange. This included proposed expenditure of $10 million to increase the capacity of existing park-and-ride facilities and provide more efficient and customer-focused passenger services and facilities.
Clearly, Paradise Interchange is yet to receive additional parking spaces. It is noted in the Annual Report Card 2012-13 of the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure's planning strategy for South Australia that a significant major infrastructure project would include planning for new park-and-ride facilities at Mount Barker, Clovelly Park, St Clair, Tea Tree Plaza and Paradise Interchange. That is on page 14 of the DPTI Annual Report Card 2012-13.
On page 29, the document further states that there would be 330 car parks added at Paradise Interchange. Parking at the interchange remains a huge issue, yet the state Labor government this year committed to building park-and-ride facilities at Klemzig and Tea Tree Plaza, choosing instead to snub Paradise Interchange. It is almost like they did it on purpose.
I am continuously badgered by the Minister for Transport, and also the Treasurer, for voting down a toxic car park tax, which I am told was the reason for funding being pulled initially. We saw in the budget papers that money was allocated to Paradise Interchange for car parking before the car park tax was proposed. It is curious that funds were allocated before the car park tax birth in the 2012, 2013 and 2014 budgets. It is even more curious that now, without the aid of a car park tax, the Klemzig and Tea Tree Plaza interchanges have been allocated funds for additional park-and-ride facilities.
I quote one nearby resident's comments from an article in the East Torrens Messenger on 28 June 2017:
It doesn't make sense to me that Klemzig got funding and Paradise didn't … This is a much bigger [challenge].
I could not agree more. In the lead-up to the last election, the previous member for Hartley also gave false hope to the residents, and I quote an excerpt from his letter:
I would like to thank you for the significant investment being made to improve the O-Bahn especially the car parking at Paradise Interchange.
He goes on that they have campaigned for many years for these improvements and that they are pleased that the state government has responded with an investment of $17 million, yet we still see the pressing need for more car parking at Paradise Interchange.
While the state Labor government promised to fund improved car parking at the interchange prior to the last election, they have failed to deliver. The community deserves better and we will not stop until our community gets its fair share. I am here today to remind our local people that it is only under a Liberal Party that the people of Paradise and surrounding areas will get the extra car parking facilities they want and need. We will bring the community with us and we will get this car parking done.