Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 31 October 2018) . . Page.. 4539 ..
the regulations around place names in the ACT and the advice from those in that space run contrary to the concept of renaming the bridge, so we will see how we go with that aspect of the debate.
Despite that advice I still hope that consideration could be given for the bridge itself to become the Val Jeffery Bridge, but I await to hear more from Mr Gentleman. The connections between Val and the bridge are compelling, enduring and emblematic, and there is no more fitting tribute we could pay Val and the memory of his community service than to name the Tharwa bridge in his honour and memory. I commend the motion to the Assembly.
MRS JONES (Murrumbidgee) (12.18): Mr Val Jeffery was an iconic part of our city, to use the words of Mr Barr. He bridged the gap between old Canberra—a country town—and modern Canberra. He was an MLA, a firefighter, a community advocate, a husband, a father and a grandfather.
We have had some discussion in the media, and no doubt will have in this place, about the importance of placenames. Placenames traditionally tell a story about a geographical area. There is no doubt that Mr Val Jeffery is part of the story of this place and, in particular, of the south of Canberra. His tireless lobbying played a part in dragging a sluggish government to repair the Tharwa bridge linking that village to the south of our city, which had been allowed to fall into very significant disrepair, not to mention his very long association with tackling bushfires, how and when to tackle them in and around the ACT, and, as Mr Parton has mentioned, his many committee works.
It would be appropriate for the bridge which he fought for to be named for him. His legacy is something which, upon his passing, was reflected on by all in this place. The Chief Minister said that he was a lifelong Canberran, an iconic part of our city, a man who stood up for what he believed was right. The Chief Minister also said he was Tharwa’s unofficial mayor for decades and owned and operated the Tharwa general store, and that he had a passion and enthusiasm for the community and for rural life. The Chief Minister also said:
Over the decades he fought for his community, leading the campaign to reopen the Tharwa bridge, and he was instrumental in bringing the community together after the 2003 bushfire recovery effort.
Mr Rattenbury in this place said that although he was a short-time member of the Assembly he was well known to many of us not so much as a political candidate or MLA but as someone who had campaigned for his local community for many decades. Mr Rattenbury also said he was:
… a well-known Canberran who was passionate about Tharwa and regularly advocated successfully on behalf of the Tharwa community. He was always doing his best to make sure that the rural village was not forgotten, and I am certain that the Tharwa community will ensure that he is well commemorated …
Mr Wall, when he came into this place after the passing of Mr Jeffery, said: