Page 2789 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 16 August 2017

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management plans are reviewed by a multi-stakeholder forum on a weekly basis, with safety for pedestrians, cyclists, road users and construction workers a primary consideration.

The impact on the road network is minimised as much as possible, although there will be some impact on travel times during these periods. Time restrictions are applied to full closures at major intersections to mitigate impacts on the road and the bus network. Again, I would like to thank all residents, road users and local businesses for their patience while these important works continue. I can assure them that the wait will be worth it.

Googong Dam—access

MR WALL: My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage. Minister, in this year’s budget it was revealed that your government was planning to permanently lock the southern gate at Googong Dam foreshore near the London Bridge and Burra end, a popular recreation spot for fishing, bushwalking, bird watching and kayaking. Given that a large number of recreational users enjoy the use of this area and will be severely impacted by this decision, do you stand by your policy as outlined in this year’s budget to permanently lock the gate, or has common sense prevailed?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mr Wall for his question. The decision to change the operation for the gate on Googong was to ensure that we still have access for those particular users but ensure that our rangers’ time is well used in response to the sustainability of that area. We are ensuring that we still have access for people to go to the lake to do fishing or kayaking as needed, but at this point the gate will be closed.

There are two reasons for that: one is, as I said, for the operation of our rangers and the sustainability of their control of the environment in the area; and the second is to ensure that we do not have access for recreational four-wheel drive users of an evening where we have found damage occurring to the area.

MR WALL: Minister, when will the gate be shut, or has that already occurred? If so, when will a solution be in place that will allow appropriate daytime access to the recreation precinct of the southern end of Googong?

MR GENTLEMAN: The rangers normally look at the availability of times for recreational users in the summer months; not so much in the winter months. I do not have the actual dates and times for the locking of the gate in front of me here. I am happy to take that on notice and come back to Mr Wall.

MR MILLIGAN: Did you consult with fishing clubs before making this decision to close the gate?

MR GENTLEMAN: My understanding is that EPSD has consulted with a number of stakeholder groups across the area. I am not sure if they have specifically consulted with fishing clubs belonging to the ACT or New South Wales, but I am happy to come back with that detail.

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