Page 3057 - Week 09 - Thursday, 13 October 2022
MR STEEL: I think we were able to respond much quicker than what we had advised and we were able to open that road. The reality is that that road has been in place for many decades and it does flood. It is a crossing that is very close to the level of the river and, when there are large rainfall events, it can cause flooding over the road, which is why there are those risk mitigation measures in place if needed. And there are other ways to get in and out of the Molonglo Valley, like John Gorton Drive.
We are in the process of procuring a contractor to build the new bridge, which will extend John Gorton Drive 500 metres on a new bridge over the Molonglo River and will connect the northern part of Molonglo with the southern part. That work is well underway and we are getting on with that job.
We are also looking at what the opportunities are, knowing that there will be major construction happening adjacent to Coppins Crossing. The construction delivery partner, in addition to public traffic, will need to use Coppins Crossing, and we are looking at how we can work into the contract and discuss with them them making sure that Coppins Crossing remains open as much as it can be directly after those flooding events so that it can be accessible by the broader community and for the construction workforce that will need to use it to deliver the build of that bridge.
MR HANSON: Minister, what do you say to Molonglo Valley residents who have expressed concerns that the completion date for the bridge will be delayed yet again?
MR STEEL: It is on track, and we are still expecting it to be delivered in 2025. We are in procurement at the moment, and we will get on with the job of design and construction once that procurement has been finalised.
MR PARTON: My question is to the Minister for Homelessness and Housing Services. Minister, I refer to the recent Australian Institute of Health and Welfare specialist homelessness services 2020-21 report which was mentioned in question time yesterday, and which found that the number of people experiencing repeat homelessness was rising in the ACT. The report also found that the number of people experiencing repeat instances of homelessness was falling across Australia as a whole. I note that yesterday you answered what the government was doing to eliminate homelessness, but what I want to know today is the reason for the increase. Minister, why is the number of people experiencing repeat episodes of homelessness rising steadily in the ACT when it is steadily falling across Australia as a whole?
MS VASSAROTTI: Thank you, Mr Parton, for the question. It is a really good question. Certainly, with respect to this data that was provided to the ACT government, it is concerning data, particularly given the level of investment that we have been putting into the homelessness sector. We talked yesterday about the significant investment that is being put into the area of homelessness and housing services.
We are trying to understand what is going on and we are working closely with our community partners, particularly in the specialist homelessness sector. We have seen increased pressure on our homelessness services. We know that pressure across the homelessness sector—