Page 2995 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 6 August 2008

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7 May, and the Civil Partnerships Amendment Bill 2008, which was introduced into the Assembly on 2 July. I will address the concerns raised in the scrutiny of bills reports if and when the bills are debated.

Cotter Road caretaker’s cottage

MRS BURKE (Molonglo) (6.00): I thought I would give members an update on the friends of the Cotter Road caretaker’s cottage. Their meeting held on 28 July 2008 saw a small but keen group gathered at the Weston Creek community centre. Jenni Farrell and Margaret McKay reported on the meeting that they had with Mr Hargreaves on 22 July, which they said was fairly positive overall. It really is good that at least we have seen that relationship brought together and that the Farrells, the former residents of the caretaker’s cottage, are now in a position where, under the friends of the caretaker’s cottage group, they are going to be able to work with the government on the future of the cottage.

They reported that the meeting was positive. Mr Hargreaves said he was keen to see the cottage heritage listed, which is good to hear. But he did stress that the procedure is completely independent of government control. He did confirm he did not want to see the cottage come under public housing, as the preservation of the cottage could then not be guaranteed. That makes sense. He called on the friends of the caretaker’s cottage for their ideas, which I really appreciate the minister doing. He talked with them about things that the Friends of the Albert Hall had done and asked the caretaker’s cottage friends to do the same thing.

He also talked about security arrangements at the cottage. I had actually asked the minister questions on notice about this and he was reluctant to answer them, and he did not want to answer inquires from the media. He was saying something about possible vandalism at times when the security was not in place. He went on to mention that a tenant in place was really the best security; however, it later appeared that he meant a day-time tenant, and he confirmed that. He also said that it was possible that a short-term tenant could be in place soon, for example, for the site office for the Molonglo development. I think that might be in question now, but we will see how that develops. Particularly with the north-western development, there may still be some short-term plan that could go through there. Unfortunately, the meeting did feel that, all up, Mr Hargreaves was avoiding the issue of the cost of security and the fact that security was being scaled down.

Grave concerns were raised about the number of trail bikes in the area and the problems of keeping out intruders. Apparently there was a plague of rabbits as well, but I think the minister, to his credit, has tried to address it and has got people in to try and deal with that. As for the use of the building, I think it is important that as many people in the community as possible can have their say about that. I flag with people that the next meeting of the group will be on 25 August, that is a Monday, at 6.30 pm. It is to be held at the school room of the Lions Westwood Farm in Kambah, Kambah Pool Road.

There is a list of objectives that the friends of the caretaker’s cottage came up with, mostly around protecting and preserving the federal capital commissioned cottage;

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