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Friday, 6 December 1985
Page: 3176

Senator GIETZELT —Senator Watson asked me a question on 26 November in respect of sewerage problems in Launceston and I undertook to get an answer for him. I am advised that Mr Uren recently attended the International Malls Conference at Launceston and had discussions with the Mayor, the City Council officers and Alderman Barnard. Alderman Barnard later visited Mr Uren in Canberra. In discussions with Mr Barnard, Mr Uren has indicated that he is sympathetic to Launceston's sewerage problems and would give consideration to providing some Commonwealth assistance for a survey to determine the extent of upgrading required in the Launceston sewerage system. Consideration would be given under the local government development program, a program intended to develop the capacity and capability of local government, and it would be necessary for the proposal to fall within the program's guidelines. At this stage, however, no formal application for funds for the project under the program has been received by either Mr Uren or his Department of Local Government and Administrative Services.

Under the local government development program it is normal practice with projects of this nature for consultations to occur with State officials before decisions are taken on allocation of funds. In the course of such consultations, the degree and nature of the Tasmanian Government's support for the proposal would of course be discussed. Nevertheless, the question of initiating an approach to the Tasmanian Government on this issue is a matter for the Launceston City Council. There is no program under which the Commonwealth can provide capital assistance for the rehabilitation of sewerage systems in the States.