Tharwa residents to blame for no bridge

Thumper 29 January 2008 44

In a breathtakingly arrogant statement reminiscent of the bushfires and associated responsibility, Chief Minister Jon Stanhope has blamed Tharwa residents for the debacle about their bridge and accused them of exaggerating how bad the detour is.

The canberra Times article is here.

This government goes beyond parody at times.

However, the bridge looks as if it will be fixed. This is a good and sensible outcome.

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44 Responses to Tharwa residents to blame for no bridge
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Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 3:32 pm 29 Jan 08

He did come back in the next day’s CT saying he said no such thing. Can’t find a link to that though sorry.

neanderthalsis neanderthalsis 3:42 pm 29 Jan 08

Of course Tharwa people are to blame, if they didn’t live there, they would not need to build a bridge.

Government would be so easy if you didn’t have to contend with people who actually expect you to do things beneficial to them and the general populace.

hingo hingo 3:50 pm 29 Jan 08

Mr Stanhope also urged Tharwa residents to “be calm and objective”.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 3:51 pm 29 Jan 08

Haha, like the old episode of “Yes Minister” where Humphrey is explaining to Jim how smoothly the new hospital is working and the 800 newly employed staff are completely happy.

There are no patients.

Humphrey declares that having patients would simply mess things up and the hospital would no longer be as effective.

GregW GregW 4:20 pm 29 Jan 08

Forgive my ignorance, I am not following this debate at all, but… regardless of whether Stanhope did or didn’t make these comments, I agree with them.

There are not enough tax payers in Tharwa to justify paying an extra $5 million so they can have their old bridge restored when a concrete bridge would suffice. Not to mention the irresponsibility for future governments who will have to pay to maintain the aging bridge… Theres also the issue of the inherent vulnerability of the bridge to flooding and its inability to carry heavy loads.

Whats more Stanhope is right to blame the Tharwa community for the time taken to get a new bridge, the concrete bridge could have been completed by September even despite the several months of consultation that has transpired. If the residents had endorsed the new bridge instead of delaying moves to begin construction that timeframe would have been even shorter..

hingo hingo 4:34 pm 29 Jan 08

In that case GregW, Stanhope should have dismantled the old bridge before the town had a chance to change their mind. The bridge is a piece of crap and you would have to be a tard to want to preserve it, but living in the ACT, you have to allow for nutjob ideas. If I was him, I would have hired some blokes, gone there in the middle of the night, knocked the thing down, disappear then claim it “broke” the next day.

Thumper Thumper 4:38 pm 29 Jan 08

Oh, what does this from the article say?

Mr Hargreaves told a meeting soon after the bridge was closed that the old bridge was “completely and utterly stuffed”

In other words, he either lied, or had very bad advice.

And I’m not going to get back into the heritage aspects of it all.

Thumper Thumper 4:40 pm 29 Jan 08

I should add that, if regular maintenance was kept up to the bridge, just like every other bridge, then it probably wouldn’t have come to this.

GregW GregW 4:49 pm 29 Jan 08

But at what point does it become infeasible to continue maintaining the bridge? The cheapest solution doesn’t necessarily involve the lowest initial cost, everyone knows that..

Unfortunately theres an election coming soon and Canberrans tend to be irrational and populist when it comes to bridges, schools, water recycling etc..

Thumper Thumper 4:55 pm 29 Jan 08

What price heritage?

I guess we should have flattened all the old Sydney buildings as well, what about OPH, Blundell’s school house, Duntroon House (surely a nice new office would be better than maintaining that old thing?)

The list goes on.

Once it’s gone you can never get it back.

Or perhaps the government could have fixed it properly the first time rather than going for the cheapest, nastiest quote.

If so, then again, this mess wouldn’t have arisen.

All in all, badly managed with even worse communication and consultation all for what is clearly an ACT government responsibility.

Mr Evil Mr Evil 5:00 pm 29 Jan 08

It all comes down to doing the job properly in the first place when the bridge was last ‘restored’.

If this had been the case, then we wouldn’t be going through this saga now.

For a city that is supposedly so full of intelligent people, why do we have such fricken morons running the place – both at Legislative Assembly level and ACT PS level?

Pandy Pandy 6:05 pm 29 Jan 08

Wrong Thumper,

The bridge will be rebuilt, yes rebuilt, incorporting steel elements that will complement the wood-work so that it will look like the old bridge.

I blame this all on Tharwa residents and loud mouth Jeffries, who should retire to the coast.

Ingeegoodbee Ingeegoodbee 6:32 pm 29 Jan 08

“There are not enough tax payers in Tharwa to justify paying an extra $5 million so they can have their old bridge restored when a concrete bridge would suffice …”

Absolutely true GregW and don’t get me started on cancer patients who – as a proportion of overall tax payers – don’t even come close to justifying the cost of oncology units in hospitals, and then there’s those bludging kids with leukaemia that don’t even pay tax!

Doctor Evil Doctor Evil 6:42 pm 29 Jan 08

“The bridge will be rebuilt, yes rebuilt, incorporting steel elements that will complement the wood-work so that it will look like the old bridge.”

Correct, and given that a large proportion of the existing bridge has been replaced over the last 20 years, Tharwa will effectively get a “new” bridge anyway that takes way longer and costs more. Good news for the successful contractors.

MelonHead MelonHead 8:45 pm 29 Jan 08

I am lead to believe that there is a department within the NSW RTA that only maintain wooden bridges (old wooden bridges). If you look at how many old wooden bridges there are in NSW, and how many in the ACT, you would have thought that these people would be a good bet for a bit of advice.

Minister for Potholes and his circus have ignored every suggestion that has been put to them. Especially calls to seek useful advice.

If your front door of your house is destroyed by whatever, the consultation process is: “Yep fix the door.” If your bridge is condemned through your own stupidity, then it is the nearest persons’ fault.

And as for the crap about “not enough taxpayers..” What a moron comment. It could be anyone of us, eg GregW, lost in Namadgi National Park waiting for a rescue party to take the Point Hut detour to find your sorry arse.

The Bridge is for all residents of the PLANET to use. Especially those who live and work in the village, and the surrounding district, and their visitors.

It’s well known that the Stanhope government fears anything that is not the norm. eg urban development, road extensions, natural disaster management. So the Village, and district of Tharwa with their unique circumstances, frighten the crap out of them. It is lucky that Hall doesn’t need a bridge.

Did anyone read/complete the survey? If so you would know that this Government has no idea, and is taking BAD advice.

Now it is back to paying my rates and taxes.

GregW GregW 9:27 pm 29 Jan 08

The point was not that Tharwa residents should not be entitled to a bridge because there are few Tharwa residents, you will find that I never stated anything to this effect. Of course it will be used by people from outside Tharwa, and of course a bridge should be provided, a concrete bridge. As for the cancer comment, most people will easily pay for the costs of their treatment, but thats an aside, a comparison that would actually relate to this situation would be to pull the oldest most experienced doctors from Australia in to treat the people who got cancer from working in the old library building, or whatever it was, because they feel entitled to it.. If your going to make a counter argument at least make it factual instead of emotional. A past governments mistakes (not maintaining the bridge) hardly means that the current government is obliged to make the most expensive repair now.

The bridge is barely architecturally notable, and is certainly not as culturally notable as OPH, so again a terrible comparison.

The ‘survey’ was largely completed by Tharwa residents, yes their view should carry a high weight since they are the most like users of the bridge, but the survey can hardly be called representative of all users who will pay for the bridge.

Pandy Pandy 10:02 pm 29 Jan 08

From the TAMS website on the history of the bridge:

“In 1945 the timber approach spans were replaced by steel beams and a new concrete deck.

Load restrictions were imposed in 1965 to 25 tonne and then again in 1977 to 5 tonne.”

1977 FFS!!!!!! everyone

And please note that the Bailey bridge support that one sees today was NOT part of the original design:

1967 folks, 1967

And there is an image on Google images that shows the bridge in 1994 covered in scaffolding being repaired. I do not think that the Government has been sitting on their hands on this at all.

The rebuilt bridge will be:
Option 3 – Conserve existing bridge and increase load capacity to 44 tonne (all traffic).

and note that the survey included as part of the decision to go with Option 3, involved a random telephone survey of 1,000 ACT and region residents. WE are all to blame.

Doctor Evil Doctor Evil 10:05 pm 29 Jan 08

Yep, 1994 was a pretty cold winter, and the old bridge timber burnt nicely in a lot of fireplaces about town…….

Thumper Thumper 11:05 pm 29 Jan 08


the bridge is not for Tharwa residents.

It is for everyone.

And it is the responsibility of the government, who through there mismanagement have ensured it cost a lot more than it should.

You obviously dispute this?

However, whatever you may think, it is a government responsibility

Even Mr Hargreaves couldn’t argue against that.

Ingeegoodbee Ingeegoodbee 11:23 pm 29 Jan 08

how old a structure or its constituent elements are is only one aspect of its heritage significance. Naturally, that aspect carries no more or less weight in assessing a places heritage value.

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