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Flynn residents gagged and not welcome in own backyard

Government officials sent the strongest message yet that Flynn residents are not welcome at their former school and community centre when they banned Flynn community members from speaking at an event to which they were invited on Wednesday 11 May.

The latest snub of the Flynn community took place at function with various groups involved in the proposed future use of the site.

Disability, Housing and Community Services Minister Joy Burch imposed the gag and violation of freedom of speech principles at the event that was supposed to be a celebration of the development application lodgement.

Ms Burch made it clear that Flynn community members were not welcome and refused them permission to speak to the gathering, saying that the event was just for the childcare centre.

When Ms Burch found out that Flynn community members were indeed invited she expressed surprise.

“This incident confirmed that the government’s vision for the future use of Flynn Primary School has little if any regard for the Flynn community but is focused on imposing a regional centre in what is a neighbourhood hub and Flynn’s only community facility,” according to Flynn community spokesperson, Roger Nicoll.

“The gagging was also further evidence that the DHCS department has been withholding key information from its Minister and pressing ahead with demolition works without an approved development application and while heritage matters are still before the ACT Supreme Court.”

The actions and behaviour of DHCS officers is now the subject of two independent investigations including one by the ACT Ombudsman’s office.

Following the failure of DHCS to act reasonably in consultations about the site, a commitment to start the process over was made last month by then ACT Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope. Flynn community members hope that incoming Chief Minister Katy Gallagher will honour this commitment and the longstanding government commitment to negotiate the Flynn community proposal for future use.

Images from Flynn

Angles on the textured concrete walls


Flynn grounds

Landscape setting & grounds

Enrico Taglietti visting the school he designed

History and design

Memorial to John Flynn

Memorial to John Flynn