Mr TARZIA ( Hartley ) ( 15:34 :15 ): I rise today to speak about fighting to secure funding for more parking facilities at the Paradise Interchange in and around the electorate of Hartley, which is of great concern to my constituents, particularly in Paradise, Campbelltown and Felixstow, in the northern part of my electorate.
The Paradise Interchange is an essential part of the O-Bahn infrastructure that principally services Hartley and Morialta constituents but also many more across the state. Many of my constituents use the interchange every morning to commute to and from work, to and from the city and other places. The interchange currently features several hundred car parks, and it is one of the biggest in the metropolitan area in that part of the city. Its last major upgrade, believe it or not—
The Hon. S.C. Mullighan interjecting:
Mr TARZIA: I will get to that, the member for Lee. I am getting to that. If you will just wait your turn and stop interrupting me, I will get to that. It is one of the biggest in the metropolitan area, as I said. Its last major upgrade was an extension in the 1980s. Unfortunately, in recent decades, though, the park-and-ride spaces at the interchange have reached capacity, and it is in desperate need of expansion. Congestion is a problem coming to and from the interchange, and it has been a source of growing concern for commuters and the Campbelltown council for some years now.
In 2013, a proposal to upgrade the southern car park of the interchange by developing new parks along Walker Avenue adjacent to the interchange was rejected. It was rejected while I was a hardworking candidate for the Liberal Party in the area, before the member for Lee was a member of parliament. Before he was parachuted into his safe seat, I was fighting tooth and nail, side by side with these poor people who did not have adequate parking facilities. The proposal was rejected at the time because the government was planning to get rid of open space, Walker Avenue Reserve, and it was rejected at the time.
I put to the government that if there is a plan down the track please put it to local residents. Do not just make decisions without consultation with local communities, without consultation with local families. Do not build things at the expense of open space in an area where there are young families who take their children to play in this residential area. Please create a solution that is acceptable to residents, council and the community, and let's take the community with us.
In 2012, the member for Morialta and I distributed a petition calling on the government to provide funds to upgrade the car parking facilities at Paradise for people who regularly use the interchange. I am pleased to say that we received more than 1,000 signatures, which I note the member tabled in the last parliament. I would like to acknowledge the efforts he has made over the last four years to lobby the government to improve public transport for these electorates. If we can succeed, I will certainly pay tribute to him in due course, and I am sure that it would be largely due to the community and the council who have worked together with myself and the member for Morialta.
In addition, I want to acknowledge the hard work of the people who have supported us during this time to help find public land that could also be used for a potential upgrade. I will continue to rely on the support of these people as I go about seeking funds and public land that can be utilised to potentially build and upgrade the existing parking infrastructure.
It was a feature of the Appropriation Bill, as the member for Lee points out, that there is $7.5 million in new funding for upgrades for park-and-ride spaces at interchanges across the city. I welcome this, and it is my goal—and I am sure it is the member for Morialta's goal—to work with the government now, to work with council, to work with the local community to ensure that the upgrade goes ahead for parking in the right area.
I hope that over the next four years of this parliament the member for Morialta, myself and the government can work together to deliver better transport services to all residents who use this facility at the Paradise Interchange as part of their daily routine. I call on the government to support me and the member for Morialta and give our constituents the public transport services and parking facilities that they deserve.