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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 9 Hansard (23 August) . . Page.. 3266..


MR HUMPHRIES: I am advised they swapped from handgrips to hugs occasionally, Mr Kaine. Mr Speaker, they may not have learnt anything necessarily, although I would be surprised if my ministers would go anywhere without learning some things of value for this territory because they are the sort of people who learn everywhere they go; but sometimes there is value in being represented at occasions and being seen on occasions, and actually sending a message about the ACT and not just taking some information back on behalf of the ACT.

I might make the observation, Mr Speaker, that this information is on the table in a form which members can see and have perused, and in a form which was not available previously under the former government. For that matter, information about what other members of this Assembly do by way of travel is still not available in that form. Believe it or not, Mr Speaker, we are not the only members of this place who travel. The travel arrangements and expenses of other members of this place are not on the public record.

Williamsdale quarry

MR BERRY: My question is to the Chief Minister and is about the Williamsdale quarry. Members may recall reports about the failure of the conveyor at Williamsdale quarry. The conveyor might not mean a lot to many people, but it is like a large bridge with a roof over it and a very wide belt which carries tonnes and tonnes of rock from the quarry face to crushers and those sorts of things. The conveyor at Williamsdale quarry ruptured, haemorrhaged or exploded in a very dangerous way, showering some shrapnel into nearby paddocks. That was a very serious incident. It was potentially life threatening if people had been around it.

Information that has come to me suggests that there has been a report prepared on the incident and that the report has been supplied to the Williamsdale quarry. Has the government seen that report? If so, will the government release the report to the Assembly? If the government has not seen the report, will the government procure it and release it for public scrutiny?

MR HUMPHRIES: There was an incident at the quarry on 30 May where the thruster brake disintegrated during commissioning of the decline conveyor. No-one was injured and the incident is being investigated by the relevant New South Wales authorities in accordance with normal practice. Of course, this incident took place in New South Wales.

The conveyor has been quarantined pending the development of a suitable recovery plan and formal investigation. The investigation will focus on identifying all the factors that contributed to this incident and the strategies needed to prevent a recurrence. In the meantime, quarrying operations are continuing and trucks are being used to move materials between the primary and secondary crushers.

If there is a report, it has not yet been supplied to the ACT government. I will make inquiries about whether the report is available and whether it is suitable for publication.


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