NOEL OXLEY, PRESIDENT
The results of our Council elections are finalised and we have long-time Pennant Hills resident Philip Ruddock as the new Hornsby Mayor together with some old friends and some exciting new faces representing Pennant Hills residents in Wards B and C. We look forward to working constructively with all Councillors over the next four years.
Each of our new Councillors expressed their support for the proposed cycle path from Pennant Hills to Epping and for the Pennant Hills Town Centre Master Plan. In a friendly way, we will hold them to this support. We need a strategic plan which avoids over development of our beautiful bushland surroundings, provides a range of housing opportunities for new families to join our community, and is implemented in a manner which avoids major disruptions to our local business community, commuters and homeowners.
So, here’s our first challenge to our Council. Please take back our community parking spaces in the Fisher Avenue public car park.
As locals know only too well, tradies working on the high-rise development in Fisher Avenue are using the Fisher Avenue car park as an all-day parking facility. Yes, we are aware council officers are fining vehicle owners for over-staying the allotted three-hour time limit, but when the development company is constructing 100 units each worth more than half a million dollars, a parking fine is a trivial issue.
The other day I counted 28 cars parked towards the edge of the carpark at 7.30 AM, and 22 of those cars were still there at 2.30 PM. Meanwhile, throughout the day residents and visitors wanting to shop or attend doctors’ surgeries are driving around the car park looking in vain for a parking space. This is inconvenient to residents and has a serious financial impact on our local businesses.
Here’s a classic example of the “curse of the commons” – where a shared resource system is grabbed by individual users acting according to their own self-interest contrary to the common good of all users. The Fisher Avenue public car park is not a construction parking lot; it is a Council owned community car part for community use.
The Trust urges our new Council to follow the examples such as North Sydney Council in controlling parking using modern technology to return parking spaces to the community. Or better still take a leaf from best practice used by NorthConnex which established staff car parks well away from congested areas and provides staff with a shuttle bus service to construction sites.
Councillors! Take the challenge -reclaim our public car parks for our local businesses and our local community.
The PHD Civic Trust is a not for profit volunteer community organization to preserve and enhance the residential amenity of Pennant Hills and West Pennant Hills.