Camden Council approve Oxley Street car park upgrade

Going ahead: The old Oxley Street car park will be demolished to make way for a decked car park. Camden councillors voted to approve the construction of the new amenity. Picture: Simon Bennett
Going ahead: The old Oxley Street car park will be demolished to make way for a decked car park. Camden councillors voted to approve the construction of the new amenity. Picture: Simon Bennett

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A controversial two-decked car park in Oxley Street, Camden will go ahead after councillors approved the project at a council meeting last week.

Every councillor spoke on the proposal which, after more than half an hour of discussion, carried five to three with councillors Penny Fischer, Eva Campbell and David Bligh voting against the application.

Mayor Lara Symkowiak, councillors Debby Dewbery, Greg Copeland, Therese Fedeli and Peter Sidgreaves voted for the car park.

The council will call for tenders in October with construction expected to start in February 2017.

The new decked car park will replace the existing bitumen car park at the Camden Civic Centre at a cost of $3.6 million. Once complete, the car park will accommodate 150 vehicles.

Mayor Lara Symkowiak said the council had a social obligation to provide car parking for the businesses in Camden.

“With 500 new residents moving into the area every month, we need to support businesses by making Camden an attractive place to shop,” she said.

“This car park will benefit businesses and the community.”

Camden’s Symphony's on Argyle shop owner Marina Mikulic congratulated the council and mayor for listening to the needs of businesses and residents.

“The town has needed more car parking for many years,” Ms Mikulic said.

“Those who oppose the car park or don’t want it because they don’t want the historical feel of the town to be lost, probably do not own a business in Camden.

“People are moving into the area and not everyone wants to shop at a big centre and people want parking that is close.

“Let’s get it done. When the car park is complete no one will be complaining.”

Members of the Camden Community Alliance and Camden Residents Action Group united to try and stop a two decked car park being built in Oxley Street. Picture: Simon Bennett

Members of the Camden Community Alliance and Camden Residents Action Group united to try and stop a two decked car park being built in Oxley Street. Picture: Simon Bennett

The Camden Chamber of Commerce previously agreed there was a need for a car park but it did not support the proposed location because of the cost.

Camden Community Alliance vice president Lorraine Iddon said she was disappointed with the council’s decision.

“”Not all is lost. There are still avenues we can pursue,” she said.

“The Camden Residents Action Group has applied for Camden to receive state heritage listing and we can look into getting national heritage listing for the town.

“We hope with that recognition then the car park won’t go ahead.”