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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 2 Hansard (1 March) . . Page.. 544 ..

Gold Creek Country Club

(Question No 326)

Mr Corbell asked the Minister for Urban Services, upon notice:

In relation to the Gold Creek Country Club:

(1) What has prompted the proposal to realign three fairways on the golf course and what is the budgeted cost of this proposal.

(2) Were other alternatives such as the location of fences around respective tees and greens explored and, if not, why not.

(3) What is the comparative cost of providing fences around the respective tees and greens as opposed to realigning each fairway.

Mr Smyth: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) The formulation of options to improve safety on parts of the Gold Creek Golf Course follows concerns expressed by a number of Harcourt Hill residents regarding golf balls being struck beyond the golf course boundary. As part of responsibly addressing these concerns, my department sought advice from three independent golf course architects on the layout of the golf course. Their advice highlights that there are areas of the course where the approved setback of residential development does not provide adequate safety.

The safety setback has largely been addressed by reclaiming areas of undeveloped land from the Harcourt Hill residential development. However, on developed areas such as holes 1, 2 and 8, other options need to be considered, including possible fairway realignments. In consultation with a golf course architect, my department has identified several options to improve safety on the affected holes. These options were discussed with residents of Harcourt Hill in December 2000, and further consultation is planned for early March 2001.

Funding ($750,000) was provided in the 1999-2000 Budget specifically to undertake remedial safety works on the golf course. Cost estimates of all options are being formulated and will be included in the discussion of options with residents. It is inappropriate at this stage to give weight to any one option over another, as feedback from residents, advice from the golf course architect, and cost will all be important criteria in selecting a preferred solution to improve safety.

(2) Several options have been identified for consideration. In addition to course modifications, feedback has also been sought from residents on the option of providing safety fencing on the affected areas of the course. Specialist advice indicates that fencing of tees and greens alone is not effective in reducing stray golf balls. To effectively reduce the danger of balls being struck into adjoining properties, fencing must also be erected along fairways. The visual impact of fences on residents will obviously need to be considered in assessing this option.

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