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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 5 May 2015) . . Page.. 1334 ..

well be able to say that it has been shoved well and truly under the carpet by the current government. A quick search of the ACTPLA website unearths that the last mention of the Tharwa master plan and the planning process is from minutes of a planning and development forum from February 2014. Those notes state:

The scoping phase of the Tharwa master plan is being finalised. There is limited land available and there is not a lot of development pressures for the area. Opportunities to be investigated include heritage and tourism, as well the best use of existing resources in the area such as the school building.

The further information that was provided at the conclusion of question time today illustrates that this process has stalled.

My colleague Nicole Lawder put a question on notice about the status of the master plan. I note that Ms Lawder has a continuing interest in Tharwa and Canberra’s rural villages, most notably the water security of Tharwa. The answer she received says:

The Tharwa master plan will provide a long-term strategic planning framework for Tharwa that will protect the village’s unique character, whilst directing and managing future growth.

An infrastructure study for Tharwa has been initiated by the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate (ESDD). The first component of the infrastructure study is complete. It has assessed the existing service infrastructure and associated capacities, including water supply systems for the Tharwa village.

The second component of the infrastructure study will investigate options and preliminary costings for upgrading the infrastructure supply systems, including water. However, it should be noted that this does not constitute any commitment in relation to infrastructure supply at this stage.

That answer was provided in June 2014. Nearly a year later we are still no further along the road towards a master plan or sorting out the water security issues for Tharwa.

As I touched on briefly before, Minister Gentleman, at the conclusion of question time today, came back to answer questions he was unable to answer during question time. The explanation he gave clearly illustrates that the process of master planning for Tharwa has well and truly been shelved for quite a considerable time.

In March this year residents of Tharwa raised with me a number of concerns about a development application that has been lodged relating to the Cuppacumbalong Homestead. The concerns are valid and again bring Tharwa back into the spotlight. There is a long history of issues relating to development at this site. On 25 March I wrote to Minister Gentleman, who I note is also one of the Labor members for Brindabella responsible for the Tharwa area. I sought a briefing on the status of the development application and any background information relating to the issue. After no response was received by my office, I followed up just last week with a phone call to the minister’s office. It is no surprise that here I am again, still waiting to hear from the minister or his office. This is yet another example of the disdain in which Tharwa is held by the current ACT Labor government, and Mr Gentleman is no different.

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