Private Vehicle Sales on Public Roads - Verbal Question

(Parliament House)

Ms CLOVER MOORE: My question is directed to the Premier. Will the Government amend the Local Government Act to enable councils to ban vehicle sales on public roads to prevent backpackers turning roads like Victoria and Brougham streets, Potts Point, into car sales yards, limiting road space for residents, businesses and visitors?

Mr BARRY O'FARRELL: I recognise the problem. As a much younger person a quarter of a century ago I lived in one of those two streets. In those days they were not campervans they were kombi vans, which some of the older members of this House will remember, and I understand the frustration. I noted the private member's statement last week of the member for Sydney and the frustration this causes to local residents who are parked out. I know the cost it causes to council ratepayers, given I think the member for Sydney said last week that something like two council inspectors are employed almost full-time. Often it is backpackers who are engaged in these deals and they are smart enough to know to move the car when the inspector is on the way. The member for Sydney has done her best. I have to say that my memory is that Byron council has had more success in this area and I think also Clovelly council has had success.

Ms Kristina Keneally: It is Randwick council. What has Randwick done?

Mr BARRY O'FARRELL: Not a lot of good for themselves on 26 March. It appears as though some councils have managed to use existing Roads and Traffic Authority legislation to stamp out the problem. I understand that the member for Sydney has written to the Minister for Local Government who is looking at the whole issue. It is interesting that a couple of councils have managed to deal with the problem but the City of Sydney has not yet found a way through a problem that has been there as I know for at least two and a half decades. I will ignore the interjections from those opposite who suggest that the member for Sydney only wants these vehicles removed to put in another bike lane. I do understand the discomfort, discourtesy and the lack of parking that it causes residents. I know in a suburban council area, when these sorts of issues, particularly around commuters, have occurred well away from railway stations, that the introduction of three or four-hours timed parking restrictions which do not inconvenience residents quite as much has also been trialled. I am happy for the Minister for Local Government to provide the member for Sydney with a substantive reply. I understand that some councils have dealt with the issue. We are happy to work with the City of Sydney to try to find a solution.