Page 2273 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 3 August 2022
MS DAVIDSON: The plan for exactly how long it will take to build the eating disorder residential centre will be determined in the process of going through that detailed design stage and going out to tender, which has not been completed yet. We are on track to deliver that piece of work within the original time line that was agreed with the commonwealth. I look forward to that service being open when that work is completed.
A number of construction projects have experienced delays as a result of supply issues during the pandemic. What we are building here is a residential centre that is non-clinical. We are not building an entirely new hospital; we are building something that is a little bit like the step up, step down centres, which we delivered one of last year, again during that period of the pandemic. I am not expecting any major delays.
MR MILLIGAN: My question is to the Minister for Planning. Minister, yesterday you said that the people of Tharwa would need to continue to live without potable or piped water because they are in a rural village. Tharwa residents pay over $2,000 in rates to the ACT government, equivalent to Banks, Dunlop, Jacka and Uriarra Village; yet yesterday in the budget the government promised the people of Uriarra Village piped potable water. They are approximately seven kilometres from the Cotter pumping station and 20 kilometres from the nearest Canberra suburb, but they pay the same rates. Minister, why not pipe water, for fire and water security, to Tharwa, which is only five kilometres from Banks?
MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mr Milligan for the question. When I answered the question yesterday, I went into some detail about the location of Tharwa as a village and its history of using water from rainfall. I did not mention at the time, but I should have, that it has also continuously been using water from the Murrumbidgee River—pumping up to its supply system for the town. The work that was done back in 2020 by the Standing Committee on Environment and Transport and City Services in its inquiry into the water supply for the Tharwa community, in advising the government response, talked about the emergency response, which was what they were mostly concerned about, that is water to fight fires. My advice to this time is that there is sufficient water and sufficient appliances from Fire and Rescue and the Rural Fire Service. In fact, there is a fire shed at Tharwa that is well supported.
With regard to potable water, that would have to be a government decision. It has been discussed before—with former Minister Hargreaves—and my understanding is that at the time the cost to transport potable water for the small number of people who lived at the village would be quite expensive. So there was no decision to provide that at that time.
MR MILLIGAN: Minister, why are Tharwa residents, who pay the same rates as many other suburbs in the ACT, including Uriarra Village, not entitled to piped water?
MR GENTLEMAN: I think I have been through the history of it. There has been no decision from government to supply potable water to that rural village. I do not know whether the government would consider revisiting that, but we would be happy to