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Tuesday, 26 November 1985
Page: 2232

Senator WATSON —My question is also directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Local Government and Administrative Services. I refer to a recent report in the Launceston Examiner in which a former Deputy Prime Minister, Alderman Lance Barnard, informed the Launceston City Council that the Minister for Local Government and Administrative Services had promised that his Department would be looking at allocating funds for a study of Launceston's sewerage problems on the basis that this could be a pilot project for a national scheme. Given that the City Engineer has warned that Launceston's old trunk sewers are in continuous danger of collapse and that the cost of replacement is estimated at $20m, can the Minister give an indication of, firstly, when Launceston residents can expect to see such a study initiated; secondly, whether the Tasmanian Government will be approached to contribute to the cost of such a study; and thirdly, once the study is completed, whether the Federal Government will be assisting the City Council and the State Government in meeting the costs of rehabilitating Launceston's sewers?

Senator GIETZELT —It is true that the Minister for Local Government and Administrative Services, Mr Uren, has commenced negotiations with a number of State governments with respect to improving community facilities. I am aware that some negotiations are fairly advanced in respect of New South Wales. I am not specifically aware of how far negotiations have advanced in respect of Launceston which was the issue raised by Senator Watson. As a general principle, the Government is interested in providing funds and encouragement to various cities for the purpose of improving their amenities. Just how far those negotiations have developed I am not aware, although I am aware, from the briefing the Minister has provided me, that advances have been made in some capital and other major cities. I will certainly draw this matter to the attention of the Minister to seek a more up to date explanation of how far the negotiations have reached.