Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 November 2007) . . Page.. 3578 ..
to the great work and research that has changed the lives of people who suffer from cystic fibrosis over the years.
As I said on Saturday, when my eldest child was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis some 26 years ago we were told that she would not live beyond her 15th birthday. As a result of the fantastic research and treatment these days, no parent is told that any more. My experience of visiting children with cystic fibrosis in hospital these days is that they go to hospital much less frequently and are much “weller” than they were 20 years ago. That is because of organisations like LJ Hooker, who have nationally been supporters of cystic fibrosis associations for as many years as I can count—I do not know how many, but it must be nearly 20 years these days—and the work of individual organisations.
Today I would like to pay tribute to all the staff of LJ Hooker Kippax—to their manager, Michael Elton; to Melissa Keenan, who was principally involved in the setting up for the day; and to all of the staff and tenants associated with LJ Hooker in Kippax who donated significantly to the day and made it such a huge success.
MR PRATT (Brindabella) (4.26): I rise to talk briefly about the Tharwa community and the Tharwa bridge saga. I refer to an answer that I got last week to a question without notice to the minister, Mr Hargreaves, about the decisions taken regarding the existing Tharwa bridge and the decision taken to build a new concrete bridge. Last week, in his response to my question, Mr Hargreaves indicated that the Tharwa community were quite happy, quite pleased, with his recommendation in the October 2006 meeting—that the government had decided that it would be building a new concrete bridge. I want to stress a couple of the points Mr Hargreaves made in his response to my question. He said:
When I was talking to the people at Tharwa, I talked about the state that the old bridge was in and put before them a number of options. We discussed those options.
The Tharwa community certainly recall a number of options being discussed. I might add that the primary reason I am standing here today is that the members of the community who have read Hansard have taken umbrage at what the minister said. They are deeply concerned that the minister has basically stated that in October 2006 he advised the community what he was going to do and they were quite happy to proceed with the concrete bridge option. The community is upset by that simply because of this: in the advice that the minister gave the Tharwa community, he indicated that there was no option but to build a concrete bridge. I will speak a bit more about that shortly. But, as I said, quoting from Hansard, the minister said: “We discussed the options available.” He then went on to say:
We also discussed how the old bridge had deteriorated and what we needed to do to try and rescue it. But there was one overwhelming sentiment expressed at those meetings—and there were a number of them—and that was that the people at Tharwa needed a bridge across that river because that crossing was going to, and did, affect the viability of the village. I make no apologies for moving ahead as quickly as is absolutely possible in getting a bridge across that river.