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Future Parramatta. Future Parramatta. Featured
12 July 2017 Posted by 


Chamber calls for moderation
PARRAMATTA Chamber of Commerce has called on Parramatta Council to put on hold its strategic planing for the city until after the September local government election.
President David Hill said decisions that would have “long term implications” and impact on the community should be left to elected councillors who could be held to account.
“Elected representatives should rightly be leading the community in the discussions and negotiations impacting on Parramatta for many years,” Mr Hill said.
He said the role of an administrator was to “ensure council does a good job in the absence of a mayor and elected council” but introducing key strategic plans like the public car parking strategy did not demonstrate a democratic process.
“These plans (should) not be made binding on an incoming council,” he said.
“Things like bike paths and maintaining roads are what we expect of our local government but pulling down a car park and doubling the price of parking is having long term impacts on the business community.
“They are issues for a democratically elected council. The great thing about an elected council is we can go along and talk to them, put a point to them, often they live in
Parramatta and want to do the right thing. They are not trying to impose a set of standards from somewhere else.”
Mr Hill said it was troubling to hear local business owners experience falling trade as a result of the city’s car parking woes. 
“Any plan that increases the cost of car parking simply makes it less attractive for people to come here,” he said.
“We want people to come to Parramatta to shop and to carry out their business but there is a high level of concern amongst our business people that their customers don’t come to Parramatta because they can’t get a car park.”
Parramatta Council administrator Amanda Chadwick said council carried out wide consultation of its draft CBD Car Parking Strategy including offering local businesses and the community the opportunity to view the strategy and ask questions of council staff.
“Community feedback is currently being reviewed and will inform future consideration of this issue,” she said.
Mr Hill said council’s draft economic plan should be do more to “make Parramatta a great place to do business” and explore opportunities to help industries prosper. 
“A key focus should be on supporting industries particularly tourism, education, elaborately transformed manufactures, health (and not just in the Westmead precinct), financial services etc expand to service Western Sydney, Australia and international markets. We love Parramatta, that is why these issues are important.”
Mr Hill said while the Chamber had found it difficult to work with council in the past, the tide had turned recently and he was “looking forward to better arrangements.”


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