Parking at Cardiff Railway Station

27th September 2018

Mr GREG PIPER (Lake Macquarie) (12:50): By leave: I participate in debate on the motion moved by the member for Wallsend to urge the Government to provide adequate parking at the Cardiff railway station. I will participate in the debate from a slightly different perspective than has been expressed so far. I acknowledge that the State Government has done a lot of upgrading work—as pointed out by the member for Drummoyne and Parliamentary Secretary to Cabinet—particularly through the Transport Access Program. I also acknowledge that the Government has provided improvements to access at Wyee, which is a really important area. However, I have noticed that much of the debate advanced by Government members has not actually dealt with the facts that have been conveyed directly to the members for Wallsend and Charlestown by the people of Cardiff and surrounds.

I support the member for Wallsend bringing to the attention of the House issues that have been raised by people who live in her electorate. Those issues also have been raised in the electorate of Charlestown and in the electorate of Lake Macquarie. Cardiff station is in an area where the three electorates of Wallsend, Charlestown and Lake Macquarie almost merge, so the member for Wallsend and the member for Charlestown and I are interested in the very same issues. While it is all well and good to speak about what has happened at Cardiff—there has been investment in improved access, installation of lifts and upgrades to the platforms—that does not change the fact that commuters cannot easily park in the area.

While on the one hand the Cardiff station has been upgraded, on the other hand the upgrades have exacerbated the problem of the lack of car parking space. The Government should always do upgrade project holistically. It is not just a matter of attracting people to use public transport; we have to give them places in which to park at the interchange. Perhaps the members of Parliament to whom I have referred and members of the community are somewhat frustrated by the issues at the Cardiff station because of a lack of ability to get traction in relation to—with apologies to the member for Wallsend—construction of the Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange at Glendale. The issue of the interchange has been considered by the Hunter Joint Organisation of Councils, local councils, the Newcastle Business Chamber and the Hunter Development Corporation that regard the interchange as one of the most significant pieces of transport infrastructure a government could provide.

We want to see people use public transport, and I am sure the Government shares that view. I suggest to the Government, though, that it would not want to invest in public transport that people do not use. I recognise that there is conflict associated with the interchange project, but it is also creating frustration that we all share. It has been stated that the Lake Macquarie Transport Interchange would take away so much of the demand for public transport in the Lower Hunter area that Cardiff would be able to return to a throughput of passengers more appropriate for a local station. Cardiff station is somewhat compromised by the topography of the area. As the member for Charlestown mentioned, the Lake Macquarie City Council has made land available for additional parking to be provided. I would really like to see the Government come on board. The lack of car parking space should be addressed in a number of areas of the Hunter.

I acknowledge that consideration has been given to the provision of increased car parking spaces. In the most recent budget the Government increased the allocation for the Transport Access Program. While I acknowledge that the Government is addressing some problems, that does not take away from the fact that people in our areas are frustrated, as has been properly articulated by the member for Wallsend and the member for Charlestown. I am pleased to support both members because we share so many issues that should be addressed. We are all in this together. I want to see more people using public transport, as I am sure does the Government.

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