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TasWater – Risdon Brook Dam

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Tags: TasWater

Dr WOODRUFF - Continuing with Risdon Brook Dam. We have also had correspondence with TasWater and from a number of residents who use that as a very important area for them. My understanding was that the six month closure last year was used as an opportunity for upgrades and works. We keep getting more closures. What is the issue here? Councils regularly upgrade roads and cars continue on the roads at the same time. Footpaths have bits sectioned off. We do not understand why TasWater is not capable of undertaking a lot of the activities there while keeping the majority of the area open for people.

The track is presumably washing out. Can you please tell me how often drains are cleared? I think there is a drain on only one side of Risdon Brook Dam, not on the other side. Are there any plans to make it flush more easily so that both things can occur at the same time - TasWater's needs and the local resident's needs?

Mr BREWSTER - About a month ago we had an executive meeting to look at what else can we do about drainage. Can we improve the drainage? I don't have an answer to that. I think it was about a month ago?

Mr PIGDEN - Yes, about that.

Mr BREWSTER - It is the same question we're asking of ourselves: have we done enough? That's the question we're trying to get to the bottom of.

There's no alternative to shutting down and flocculating the dam when we get too much sediment in there, because then we reduce the available water into the Hobart system, which causes a shutdown - but could we do more? We are looking at that. Have we done enough around the drainage? We take that on as a fair question, because it is the same question we're asking ourselves.

Dr WOODRUFF - Chair, I just have one final follow-up question on Risdon Brook.

Some pedestrian gates that were used for bushwalking tracks have been blocked off recently, and also they are not accessible to people with accessibility issues when they have been open. Can you please explain what's happening with those gates? My understanding is that they are for access of Parks land, including for bushwalkers who are going to Mount Direction.

Mr BREWSTER - My understanding is that a number of those are fire trails and we have blocked them off. We have had issues with small motorbikes, et cetera, getting on there, so for safety reasons we have shut them off. We put a turnstile in and, yes, it has been raised with us that there are challenges with that for people with a disability, so we will have a look at it. Again, we're trying to balance all of these things. There's a safety issue with people running trail bikes all over the site. That's not a great outcome for anyone.

Dr WOODRUFF - There are also people who have used it, who now have mobility issues, and would still like to use it.

Mr BREWSTER - I acknowledge that.

Dr WOODRUFF - I am passing that on.

Mr BREWSTER - I have letters to that effect and we're having a look at it. I can't say what the outcome will be, because we're trading off for safety and access, but we will see if there is something else we need to do.

Dr WOODRUFF - Thank you.