Pratt on Tharwa Bridge ad nauseam – UPDATED

Kerces 19 February 2007 24

[First filed: February 16, 2007 @ 14:44]

The ACT Opposition spokesman for more police and the Tharwa bridge, Steve Pratt, has put out not one but three press releases about the small town’s bridge and lack thereof.

In the first, Mr Pratt said the government should ask the defence force to lend them a Bailey bridge to create a temporary crossing, as happened at the Cotter after the fires. Mr Pratt’s had a chat to his mate Brendan Nelson up on the big hill, who’s told him it should be possible for the ACT to borrow such an item.

“I have received an overwhelming response from the Tharwa community in complete support of this option,” Mr Pratt said. It occurs to me that the Tharwa community may well support any option that means they don’t have to travel via the supposedly treacherous Point Hut Crossing road.

Next he had a whinge about municipal services minster John Hargreaves’s reaction to Mr Pratt’s revelations earlier this week about what may or may not have happened with the bridge’s development application. (The Liberals are apparently so proud of this release they’ve published it twice.)

“Further, on the 13th of February during a Committee hearing on Planning and Environment, Mr Neil Savery, confirmed that due to the shoddy, incomplete information supplied by Mr Hargreaves on the Tharwa Bridge application, clarification was needed before ACTPLA could proceed,” Mr Pratt (or possibly Brendan Smyth) said.

To me that reads as saying that actually Mr Hargreaves did lodge an application, as he said he had, but ACTPLA needs some extra details before moving on to the next stage. I think that’s different from not lodging an application, which is what Mr Smyth previously said had happened.

Finally, Mr Pratt has welcomed (as has Mr Smyth) an ACT Heritage Council report — from last October — which says the old Tharwa bridge should be preserved and continue to have vehicles use it because it’s Canberra’s oldest bridge. The Liberals’ reading of the Council’s report is that the bridge could be restored using modern materials and techniques but retain a wooden facade and thus, the theory goes, its character.

“On balance, the Council considers that the cost of refurbishing the Bridge with modern materials will enable it to carry modern traffic loads safely while minimising on-going maintenance costs,” Mr Pratt (or Smyth) said. I wonder if the Council will pay for this, since it thinks it’s so important to retain the bridge.

UPDATE: Mr. Hargreaves is again channeling the angry voice and accusing Smyth and Pratt of defaming him. Also the Army wanted “$1.6-1.8 million for a crossing that would have a practical life of less than six months” (assuming of course the paperwork is ever satisfactorily completed).

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24 Responses to Pratt on Tharwa Bridge ad nauseam – UPDATED
simbo simbo 10:06 am 21 Feb 07

Oh, if you don’t give it a go, you’ll never learn. And considering the linky text is the first thing listed in the instructions after “leave a comment”, you may as well give it a go.

Plus, if JB doesn’t go around fixing our links, he has no purpose in life, and therefore he’s sad. You don’t want to make JB sad, do you Thumper?

Thumper Thumper 8:02 am 21 Feb 07

I’m not even going try a linkie thing…


Pandy Pandy 7:07 am 21 Feb 07

[use links if you can’t use preceding text for god’s sake]

It will take 3 years to reopen the bridge

Meconium Meconium 2:21 am 21 Feb 07

lol, after all that I realised that the photo in the link above isn’t the decrepit old bridge I was thinking of. That one was in Noojee and this one is near Nowa Nowa. Still, my point stands.

Hurrah for bridges

Meconium Meconium 2:17 am 21 Feb 07

Cool, it did it automatically.

I think it was the magic of Tharwa that did it.

Meconium Meconium 2:17 am 21 Feb 07

Good to hear Kerces.

Pandy, if they decide it’s not fit for pedestrian traffic, it can still stand – that’s no reason to tear it down. If the government can’t afford to fix it, then just let it be, it’s still a notable historic landmark. Another old bridge that isn’t open to pedestrian (or other) traffic and yet has still been allowed to stand is this famous bridge in Victoria:

Sorry I don’t know how to activate the link… help anyone?!

Pandy Pandy 9:14 pm 20 Feb 07

Oh yes keep Tharwa Bridge open for pedestrian traffic. But for how long? In these days of OH&S, compo etc it would not be long before the Guvmint would cry even too poor fix the bridge for pedestrian use.

Let me assure you that I recall seeing a main 1 foot by 1 foot wooden beam on one of the local train bridges get replaced. Where it was cut, 75% had been hollowed out by white ants. It was amazing that the bridge was still able to carry a train.

And remember hundreds of thousands if not millions was spent on Tharwa Birdge about 15 years ago. It was closed for months for restoration. Back at square one again.

Times move on. Do you still hark back to catching the punt at Nelligen? Or are you one of the ones who wants a highway built to Batemans Bay?

Kerces Kerces 9:06 pm 20 Feb 07

Meconium, that’s what they’re planning to do.

Meconium Meconium 9:02 pm 20 Feb 07

I’m with Thumper. Australia’s desperately short of structures like this, because of the thinking of people like Pandy. If people had had the foresight to restore other bridges in the past, maybe Tharwa’s wouldn’t be the oldest of its kind still surviving. All RiotACTors know that the government spends this kind of money on far more frivolous pursuits – surely restoring this significant structure would not only keep Tharwa residents happy, but also allow us to hang on to a tangible relic of Canberra’s early days?

An alternative suggestion – if it was decided that restoration of this bridge cost too much, is there any way another bridge could be built beside it – at least stemming the degradation of the Tharwa bridge caused by traffic – without having to knock it down?

Pandy Pandy 8:55 pm 20 Feb 07

Be like grandfathers axe. What exactly is original about it?

Thumper Thumper 7:57 am 20 Feb 07


that’s the idea. It’s old, knock it over, build a new shiny one.

Hell, while we are at it lets demolish Lanyon, oh, and Blundell’s schoolhouse on the lakeside. Surely that land is worth a lot of money?

The bridge should remain, not for the sake of just Tharwa, although I’m sure they would like to have a bridge, but for the whole of the ACT. It is the oldest bridge of that style in Australia and the oldest bridge in the ACT.

Just because it is old doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have values. in this case it’s aesthetic, cultural and historical value, not just economic value.

What a great place this country would be if we just started knocking over old buildings and structures and replacing them with brand new buildings just because they were economically unviable.

Pandy Pandy 11:27 pm 19 Feb 07

So five people want us to spend millions rebuilding a piece of crap that will need to be rebuilt again becasue of white-ants and wood rot, so they can save a few minutes travelling to the Lanyon shops?

Not too many years ago, the residents of Tharwa had a petition demanding that the encrouchment of the suburban sprawl be stopped before it affects the village qualities of Tharwa. But they were very glad to have day trippers from these close-by suburbs desend upon them to buy overly priced pottery and other crap not to mention cold pies from Val Jeffreys “shop” .

It seems that the residents of Tharwa want it both ways. Frack’ em.

Build a new bridge or they can go to hell.

Maelinar Maelinar 3:16 pm 19 Feb 07

All five of them are against the demolition of the Tharwa Bridge.

Pandy Pandy 3:02 pm 19 Feb 07

How many Thawra residents are there?

Thumper Thumper 12:39 pm 19 Feb 07

And in between all the political bullshit, Tharwa residents remain on the outer…

terubo terubo 7:22 am 19 Feb 07

I’d say that last post went on…er…ad nauseam.

Meconium Meconium 2:34 am 19 Feb 07

And Hasdrubahl, if I were argumentative enough (and somewhat less lazy), I’m sure I’d be able to find a linguistic reason why Nazi can be correctly spelt in English with an initial lowercase n.

However… its proper noun status and German origins aside (viz. in German all nouns, proper or otherwise, begin with capital letters), I believe in the casual nature of posts to sites like this – relaxed grammar rules and typoes are OK in my book. I’m merely pointing out that using Latin phrases in the forum vernacular is a fairly sophisticated means of conveying ideas, and I think that it deserves to be spelt correctly if one is to make one’s point most clearly.

There’s a difference between an occasional spelling error (or even less so, a lack of capitalisation where it correctly deserves one) and a widespread mistake such as this.

Hey, I just thought of a possible argument for my unforgivable lowercase spelling of the proper noun Nazi. I was using the word in the loosest of senses, as a way of comparing myself to a historically strict regime, without trying to imply that I had anything to do with this political group. By leaving the word nazi uncapitalised, I detached myself (at least visually) from the strictest sense of the word, while still utilising the casual, conversational form often seen on fora like these. Does that get me out of literative trouble Hasdrubahl?

By the way, I’ve got a bit of free time at the moment, so I think I might rock up to a few first-year Linguistics lectures at ANU this week, seeing as tomorrow marks the first day of undergrad lectures for 2007. Nothing like learning for free.

Meconium Meconium 2:15 am 19 Feb 07

My honest apologies JB. I just googled the word “nauseum” on your site, and I could only find one instance of the phrase that I could indirectly attribute to you personally. That was in the tagline ‘”I only believe in gay marriage when both chicks are hot.” – VYBerlinaV8, ad nauseum.’ I don’t know if that was your doing, so I retract my accusation.

“Ad nauseum” seems to be a commonly-used phrase by Blamemonkey, bulldog and Gertrude however.

johnboy johnboy 8:13 am 17 Feb 07

Thanks Meconium, you might note I was not the author here.

Hasdrubahl Hasdrubahl 4:25 am 17 Feb 07

(You will note, I have no time for Romans).

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