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Extra commuter car parking promises too little, too late

You can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear, say critics of announcements by Liberal MPs to deliver a lot more car parking spots at Leppington and Edmondson park stations than was promised at the start of the year.

First cab off the rank was Holsworthy MP Melanie Gibbons, who used her Facebook page for an “update on Edmondson Park station car parking’’.

“We’ll be delivering even more parking – from 700 to around 2,000 more spots,’’ Ms Gibbons wrote.

Camden MP Peter Sidgreaves revealed revised plans for additional commuter car parking at Leppington station.

Around 1,000 extra spaces will be created – 650 more than the Berejklian Government promised during the March election. Work on the new spaces is planned to start around mid-2020 and finish mid-2021.

Which leaves a big gap between now and then, assuming the government actually delivers the new spots some time in 2021, at least 18 months away.

As the federal member for Werriwa, Anne Stanley (pictured), points out, commuters are hurting bad now and just can’t wait that long.

“I think the big issue is that this is the second time they’ve promised it and we still haven’t got it on the ground,’’ she told the South West Voice on Friday.

“The first promise was in January 28 this year, and there was no money in the budget, even though they promised the $40 million as part of the [March] state election.

“Now, at Christmas, they’re saying we’re going to get 2,000 extra spots – there’s no clear indication where that’s going to be, how they’re going to provide that,’’ Ms Stanley said.

‘We had someone there the other day who was fined six times in the last month; it basically means he works for nothing for a week and a half.

“And while I understand they’re parking illegally, these people also need to get to work.

“So they need to do it now because if we ever get rain it’s going to put it back and we could be looking at two years before we get any new car parking spots.

“I would have been happy if they actually said on the 30th of March or pick a date, whatever, we’re going to start building it. But it’s another announcement with no substance and nothing else behind it.’’

Ms Stanley said that every two months, along with Anoulack Chanthivong, the state MP for Macquarie Fields, she drops in at railway stations for a chat with commuters.

“That’s maybe the number one subject they talk to us about, lack of parking at Edmondson Park and at Macquarie Fields station the need for a lift,’’ said the Werriwa MP.

“But the issue is all along the south west line – Campbelltown doesn’t have enough spaces, because people from Wollondilly need to come up, Leppington has 800 spaces and it’s full by 6am.

‘They’ve spent billions on a tram system slower than a bus, plus a $100 million for a football stadium in the inner city; All these things compound and mean that people in our area don’t get what we deserve,’’ Ms Stanley said.

“The other issue is they bring on all these new housing out here – there’s 100 families moving into the Liverpool LGA every week alone, so there won’t be much fat in those 2,000 extra spaces they have promised.’’

Local commuter campaigner Michael Andjelkovic, pictured above, also took a dim view of this week’s announcements, accusing the government of simply buying time via a band-aid solution.

“Providing additional car parking at Edmondson Park and Leppington Stations is a band aid solution to the stuff up made by the NSW Liberal Government in 2015,’’ says Mr Andjelkovic.”

 “An additional 2,000 spaces at Edmondson Park should be enough – if the south west rail link continues through to the Western Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek.’’

As well as crediting One Nation MP Mark Latham for the latest extra car parking spots, Mr Andjelkovic says the announcements are an effort to try and make this issue disappear before the next council elections which are due in September 2020.

“All the government is doing is kicking the can down the road, buying more time, while the South Western Sydney community continues to suffer as a result of poor planning decisions.’’

State Member for Macquarie Fields, Anoulack Chanthivong, said while commuters would welcome the extra 2,000 spaces announced, they would be pulling their hair out in frustration for having to wait even longer for parking relief.

“This announcement is an admission that they’ve derailed their original promise to start construction this year. The Liberal Government continues to delay building simple infrastructure for our community whilst collecting millions in stamp duty from local residents,” he said.

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