A LAND deal was struck on Monday for the second stage of the Cardiff railway station upgrade, amid concern about paid parking and a poor financial return for Lake Macquarie City Council. Councillors voted on Monday to approve the deal, which involves the council selling a car park for $1 to the state government. ALP councillor Brian Adamthwaite questioned whether there was ‘‘any way to ensure this doesn’t become paid parking’’, to which council strategy director Tony Farrell replied ‘‘not once it’s in the hands of the state government’’. ALP councillor Daniel Wallace said the state government had said it would ‘‘look at every opportunity to derive income from rail corridors’’. ALP mayor Jodie Harrison agreed to write to the government that the council would ‘‘not like to see’’ paid parking at the site. Liberal councillor Rob Denton said ‘‘quite a few people in the room are politicking’’. ‘‘I could start a rumour tonight that Lake Macquarie council should look at paid parking at Fassifern [railway station] and look at all revenue opportunities,’’ Cr Denton said, suggesting there was no basis to the prospect of paid parking at Cardiff. Liberal Charlestown MP Andrew Cornwell said every commuter car park in the state was free. Liberal councillor Ken Paxinos said the council ‘‘could have done better’’ than selling the land for $1, adding it could have developed the site for commercial purposes. Mr Farrell said the council had sought to ‘‘’do the right thing in the interests of the community’’. The council was hoping to get some ‘‘goodwill’’ in return for this deal by acquiring land cheaply from the state government for the planned Glendale transport interchange. Cr Paxinos said ‘‘negotiation 101’’ suggested the council should not rely on such goodwill. The Cardiff station land deal also involves the council receiving $22,000 from the state government for land in Main Road to allow a bus shelter to be relocated to a safer spot and ‘‘kiss and ride’’ parking spaces. Additionally, a ramp will be built between the station’s two car parks, leading to the upper car park reopening. The plan follows last year’s $14 million upgrade of the station, which included lifts and platform extensions. Residents oppose childcare centre GARDEN Suburb residents voiced opposition on Monday to a 96-place childcare centre planned in a residential area. Resident Gary Mulhearn told Lake Macquarie City Council the Prospect Road plan would be the largest child-care centre in the city in an area zoned for housing. ‘‘This is a large commercial enterprise,’’ Mr Mulhearn said, adding 150 opponents had signed a petition against the plan. Shane Blue, speaking for the developer, said a child-care centre was allowed in the zoning. ‘‘We’ve spaced it off the boundaries where possible,’’ Mr Blue said. Council staff recommended approval, but councillors voted to inspect the site before making a decision. Land purchase LAKE Macquarie City Council has agreed to pay $1.3 million to buy two prime sites in Morisset as part of a plan to establish a civic hub in the town. A town square, new library and community services are planned on the land, which fronts Dora and Yambo streets and is opposite Coles.