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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 9 Hansard (20 September) . . Page.. 2950..

MR PRATT: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Minister, what are you doing to immediately ensure that a temporary low-level crossing is built across the Murrumbidgee River into Tharwa, given that Point Hut Crossing is somewhat distant and considered to be somewhat dangerous for commuters when using that road in a general commuting fashion? What are your plans?

MR HARGREAVES: There are two things. Firstly, Mr Pratt clearly does not listen when Mr Gentleman talks to this. In terms of inconvenience to the people of Tharwa, of course the government regret the inconvenience caused, as we did the last time it was closed. There are a number of issues. I will go to the low-level crossing in a minute.

Firstly, Mr Gentleman actually did a road test using those particular parts of the road which the people of Tharwa would be using and which the people going to Tharwa would be using. He found, without breaking the law or the speed limit, that there was in fact a three-minute time difference. The disruption to the people of Tharwa is a three-minute one. We acknowledge that the road between Tharwa and Tuggeranong-Lanyon Valley via Point Hut Crossing is not the best road under the sun—we accept that—so we proceed with the development of proposals to continue access across the Murrumbidgee where the current bridge is.

In respect of the low-level crossing, Mr Pratt would have us believe that all you have to do is rock up there with a cement truck, put a couple of pipes down, whack the cement across the top, and away you go. It just shows that Mr Pratt has to do a fair amount of work on his ignorance. He has done a superb job. He has done a wonderful job. If he had not, he would know that such a low-level crossing would cost somewhere in the order of $800,000 to a million dollars.

Mr Pratt: That is rubbish.

MR HARGREAVES: Do your homework, sunshine. Mr Speaker, the other thing he would know is that to put anything across the Murrumbidgee at that particular point requires an environmental impact statement, it requires heritage council approval and it requires a development application.

Mr Pratt: Here we go: red tape, bureaucracy, expenditure, road funds.

MR HARGREAVES: Now Mr Pratt is encouraging the government to break the law. I do not propose to break the law, Mr Speaker. It takes an enormous amount of time to get those impact statements done and those development applications through.

Mr Pratt: It seems you do not need encouragement!

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Pratt treats the plight of the people of Tharwa with some frivolity. Obviously he is quite amused at their plight. We, on the other hand, have been working on a number of proposals for quite some time in conversation with the people there. I also make the point that, when I had my conversations some months ago at a public meeting with the people of Tharwa, Mr Pratt was not there. He would not know what was actually undertaken. He would not know what the feeling of the people of the

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