Grizzled old fire fighting veteran and Tharwa good guy Val Jeffery has given our beloved and obviously misunderstood minister a right bollocking in the letters section of the Canberra Times.
[Ed – with a bit of hunting around i’ve found the original comments hidden away on the CTs website but copied below for ease of reference]
” I am saddened by the cavalier attitude of Minister Hargreaves to the death and distress caused by the closure of the Tharwa Bridge. The transcript of the minister’s “exchange” with Steve Pratt is distressing reading, to say the least.
Not only Tharwa but the whole of the ACT community has suffered by the failure of Hargreaves’ department to maintain and deal with the Tharwa bridge. Two lives lost, one critical injury, and more deaths and injuries to come; meanwhile Hargreaves rants on instead of ordering his “experts” to get the bridge opened immediately.
Leadership on behalf of his constituents instead of raving under the load of his failed department would be a welcome change. The heat is on Hargreaves and his departmental “experts” to properly address the management of the Tharwa bridge. The Tharwa bridge has in this episode been shut for nine months and not one maintenance blow struck to reopen it.
It is a sad reflection on Hargreaves’ roads and bridges section when you consider that it only took 10 months to build the bridge 112 years ago.
I expect Hargreaves will attack me as he has attacked Pratt because he expects the community to embrace him for giving us a new bridge, already five months behind schedule, at double the cost and at least two years away.
How many more of us must die before Hargreaves and his “experts” grow up?
A public inquiry into the last 10 years of failed maintenance and the closure of this essential icon is urgent and overdue. The Chief Minister should initiate that inquiry now.
Val Jeffery, Tharwa”
Canberra Times online