Page 617 - Week 02 - Thursday, 16 February 2017

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Tuggeranong—cemetery facilities

MS LAWDER: My question is to the minister for planning. In 2008 the ACT government set aside a site on Mugga Lane for a new cemetery. In 2013 the ACT Public Cemeteries Authority Chief Executive was quoted in the Canberra Times as saying that a multi-million dollar cemetery and crematorium would be operating in the city’s south by 2017, yet in Monday’s Canberra Times there was a report stating that “the government was reluctant to state whether plans had been scrapped”. Minister, has the government scrapped plans for a new cemetery and/or crematorium in Tuggeranong?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Lawder for her question. Whilst I am not the minister with responsibility for cemeteries, Planning and Land Management is my portfolio. We have looked at the opportunity for a new cemetery on the south side. Those investigations continue. However, in the meantime, before providing certainty on a cemetery site for the south side, we are looking for other opportunities across the ACT to take up that role, if you like. It is important, particularly for the people of Tuggeranong and those living on the south side, to have an opportunity for end-of-life options in that form, and we will continue to work along that process.

MS LAWDER: Thank you to the non-minister for cemeteries. Minister, when will Tuggeranong have a cemetery and crematorium?

MR GENTLEMAN: It is a matter of timing, looking at the availability of the land and, of course, looking at the other options. We have announced that we are expanding the Woden Cemetery. There is an opportunity there for some take-up before we provide a cemetery for Tuggeranong. It is a concept we have discussed with the community, and we intend to do that further down the line.

Ms Lawder: On a point of order, Madam Speaker, the question quite clearly asked when. I did not hear a particular time frame in the minister’s response.

MADAM SPEAKER: The minister has time to respond to your question. Minister.

MR GENTLEMAN: Yes, I said further down the line.

MS LE COUTEUR: Minister, can I just clarify. Are you still talking about the Mugga Lane site? You have knocked back a variety of opportunities. I should possibly declare that I was previously a member—

MADAM SPEAKER: No preamble, Ms Le Couteur.

MS LE COUTEUR: Are you still committed to the Mugga Lane site? It was not clear from your answer.

MR GENTLEMAN: At this stage we have looked at the Mugga Lane site. We are also looking at other opportunities on the south side.

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