I have received a number of representations and complaints from people who work in the vicinity of O’Riordan Street, Mascot regarding the use – or misuse – of the car park at Mascot Oval. The suggestion, indeed the complaint, is that this car park is not being made available for the use of people who work nearby. In short, they want to use the Mascot Oval car park as a free day time car park.
Mascot Oval and Mascot Park have been reserved for public recreation purposes. In other words, the land is for the recreational needs of our community and the wider region. The classification of the site under the Local Government Act 1993 as “community land” also reflects its importance to the local and wider community. It is land for the community and for recreation.
The prominent focus of community land such as Mascot Oval and the adjacent car park is not for use as a public car park for commercial purposes. The car park itself is to be used as a public car park for those who use the Mascot Oval and Mascot Park.
Recent attempts to regularise the parking of vehicles in the car park has been successful. However, we’ve found it necessary to manage the car park during the week so that it is available for those using the adjoining park land. To ensure that the car park is always available for its intended purpose, Council is firm that the parking of vehicles by employees of any nearby businesses during normal working hours will not be permitted. Indeed, there is no area in this region that is better serviced by access to an efficient rail line and rail network and buses.
Developments Consents granted by Council require provision to be made for employee parking. One recent complaint I’ve had was from a person who worked in the immediate area. This person felt he and his fellow work colleagues should be permitted to use the car park at Mascot Oval. When I checked the consent for the building in which he worked I found that his employer was required to provide parking for employees. Indeed, You would be surprised to know that the allocation for the company for which he worked was 208 spaces, more than enough to satisfy the needs of both employees and customers. If employers renege on providing employee parking, it is not up to Council to step in and meet those demands to the detriment of our residents.
Council acknowledges the importance of local employment and seeks to assist new job creation in our City. But we have to balance the needs of the daily influx of people to our City with those of our residents. And, alienating parkland for commuter car parks is not something we’ll be doing.