Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 14 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 6185..
(3) No, the Cuppacumbalong Gardens is currently managed under an agreement between the lessee of Cuppacumbalong Homestead and TAMS.
(4) The ACT Government has not considered purchasing the Cuppacumbalong Homestead as it is on a 99 year lease, and privately managed.
Cuppacumbalong—opening hours (Question No 1210)
Ms Bresnan asked the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation, upon notice, on 27 October 2010 (redirected to the Minister for Transport):
(1) Why was the ACT Tourist Drive System at Tharwa withdrawn in 2003.
(2) Are there plans to reinstate the public opening hours for Cuppacumbalong; if not, why not.
Mr Stanhope: The answer to the member's question is as follows:
1. Tourist Drive 5, which includes parts of Tharwa, was affected by the extended closure of the Tharwa Bridge in 2005. This has now been reopened to the public and the Tourist Drive re-instated through this area. Roads ACT is unaware of any withdrawal of the system at Tharwa in 2003 other than when the bridge was closed as a result of fire damage for a short period of time.
2. Cuppacumbalong Homestead is operated under a private lease.
The lessee recently applied for a variation which would broaden the purpose clause of the lease. It is understood that the variation was intended assist with viability and therefore increase the potential for public access.
The ACT Planning and Land Authority approved the variation. However, there was a third-party appeal. The Administrative and Civil Appeals Tribunal decision on the appeal supported ACTPLA's approval of the variation, subject to some minor variations. The Tribunal also ordered that the public access clause in the lease be reinstated.
The decision does not take effect, and the lease cannot be varied, until a number of environmental studies, a Conservation Management Plan and a Master Plan have been completed.
Once these studies are completed and the lease is varied, I expect appropriate opening hours will be imposed on the Lessee to ensure that the public has regular access to Cuppacumbalong. It is important that these studies are completed prior to any new works being undertaken. New works have the potential to increase opportunities for public access but need to be considered in the context of any likely impacts on the heritage values of the place.