Grievance Debate: Morialta Conservation Park Traffic and Parking Issues

Mr GARDNER (Morialta) (15:04): I rise for the second time today to talk about issues at the Morialta Conservation Park, particularly in relation to the parking and traffic chaos and loss of amenity to local constituents and residents caused by the vast amount of increased traffic to the area thanks to the new nature play space and the government's heavy promotion of the same. It has caused significant safety concerns. There is inconvenience to residents, traffic chaos and loss of amenity, as I have spoken about before.

To put this into context, this area is surrounded by the Adelaide Hills Council area of Rostrevor, the Campbelltown City Council area of Rostrevor and the Adelaide Hills Council area of Woodforde. The Morialta Residents' Association wrote this a couple of weeks ago:

Morialta Park's so-called 'nature play space' has delivered the parking nightmare most of us feared.

Last weekend's traffic chaos on Stradbroke Road, Wandilla Drive, parts of Baroota and all of the Campbelltown Council streets on the western side, is set to continue.

Both Adelaide Hills Council and Campbelltown will have temporary no-parking signs…on one side of our many narrow roads from this weekend, after Wandilla Drive became impassable.

Not only were some residents unable to reach their own homes but [Adelaide Hills Council] has serious concerns about the lack of access for emergency services vehicles.

This circus is a direct result of the failure of DEWNR to budget or plan for additional on-site parking within the Conservation Park, despite senior ranger David Heard assuring [the Morialta Residents' Association] over a year ago that he had identified the need for substantial extra on-site parking and was considering appropriate areas for this.

I note that Campbelltown City Council and, I believe, the Adelaide Hills Council as well also brought this to the attention of the department during the consultation phase. After the petition that I brought into the house for the first time last week, I am pleased that we have hundreds of responses, over a hundred anyway, from local residents and petitioners to my office. Indeed, the campaign has had some progress through the media, my conversations with the minister and my speech in the house.

I note that the department has installed an extra 28 spaces in addition to the 35 new spaces, so we have 63 new car parking spaces on the site of the Morialta picnic area, which is helpful. The department has also put on a new free shuttle bus from Black Hill, a 33-seater shuttle bus that goes every half an hour. That has been in place for the last two weekends.

What I thought would be useful today is to give the house some information from residents about the impact it is having on their lives. I have heard stories about the shuttle bus being double-parked in the road, creating further traffic chaos with people not being able to see past it. I have told the minister this, and I am hopeful that the department will find a solution for that aspect. A Rostrevor resident writes:

[It is] not acceptable for us as owners of our properties and limits us for our…family and friends visiting…over any weekends into the future…[she] witnessed…people trying to access our street, driving over gardens and blocking us from accessing our own houses. We are also having to clean up rubbish that they are leaving from [exiting] the park that should…not be our responsibility.

…the amount of traffic with young families on Stradbroke road. As residents we have witnessed on occasions drivers using that…stretch of road to speed up…and with young children being in this [vicinity]…it's an accident waiting to happen.

I have a resident from Baroota Avenue saying:

As an update to us signing the petition, last weekend…I was again unable to access my property with my trailer.

I contacted Council who did act quickly, but when I opened my gate I was confronted by an angry and abusive visitor because he had received a parking ticket.

This person also threatened me and my property.

This was…reported to Council who issued a ticket. I did speak to the police who seemed reluctant to act.

It is sad that it has [come to the fact that we are] living in fear in our property.

I am shocked to hear that police were reluctant to act, and I hope that the minister will take up their concerns with the local police and ensure that those issues are dealt with. Another constituent writes:

I live in Redden court opposite the park and on the weekend we were unable to enter or exit our street due to the volume of visitors overflowing and parking off street. This is of high concern if we cannot get in and out how [do] emergency service vehicles?

Further to this Stradbroke road is an accident waiting to happen with the volume of cars…on the residential side of the road, safe passage into stradbroke is obscured as we cannot see the traffic flow due to the vehicles parked…

This situation is going to become worse as the weather warms up and Christmas draws nearer… with the impending school holidays.

There are dozens of other personal reflections that I will pass directly to the minister. This is an issue on which the government has come some way. They have admitted that there is a problem, and I commend them for that. That is always a good first step, but there is more to be done. We need to have more car parks on the site at Morialta Conservation Park. Maybe it is, as the minister and some people have suggested, only a temporary problem while this is a new issue, but it is a very serious safety issue and a very serious lifestyle issue for my constituents. I urge the government to act immediately and urgently. They are the ones promoting it heavily on social media. They need to take action on this now.