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Transcript: Chief Minister’s talkback, ABC 666

Alex Sloan: Kate is our next caller this morning. Kate, hello.

Kate: Oh Good morning

Jon Stanhope: Good morning Kate.

Kate: I’ld just like to talk to you about the security at Flynn Primary School and say thank you for switching the lights back on, on the 11th of August.

Jon Stanhope: Well thanks Kate. We’re … Thanks for the call, and actually you know it does again of course acknowledge some of issues we face in relation to Flynn, and we’re aware of those issues, and I have to say that I and officers of TaMS in relation to issues around security and attempts to maintain the school are enormously conscious of the security issues that the school has suffered: the vandalism, the illegal entries, the graffiti and we are determined to protect the school and the environs to the greatest extent possible. We’re applying resources. You know we have 24-hour coverage, we have constant visits. We’re doing all that we believe we are doing all is reasonably appropriate for us to do. That doesn’t mean we don’t understand how frustrating it must be for residents of Flynn. But we are anxiously looking for a fast and agreed consensual resolution to the future of the school. And, you know, we’re working as hard, as hard as we can on resolving it in consultation with the community.

Alex: All right Kate …

Kate: Right, so does that mean there’s, um, sorry … does that mean there’s a commitment to keep the building and grounds now?

Jon Stanhope: Well I don’t think there’s …, I don’t think it’s ever been in doubt. You know, we accept, and as I said, and I have absolutely no doubt, and I can’t pre-empt of course the decisions of the Heritage Council; but I would be stunned if it doesn’t receive heritage listing. And even if it didn’t receive heritage listing—formal recognition by the Heritage Council of its heritage value—the government recognises its heritage significance; and we will protect it.

Jon Stanhope: But, I’m not aware Kate. I know, people when they’re worried and anxious, there’s a whole range of scenarios that are put about and develop a truth that really isn’t a truth. The government has made no decisions about the potential future use. Certainly, ideas would have been floated from time to time; but none have been formally put to the government, and the goverment doesn’t have a preferred position or outcome. We accept that the school will and should be maintained for community uses and purposes. And we’re looking for a community purpose or continuing use that provides, you know, long-term occupancy of the school. And, I have no doubt, Kate, as we negotiate our way through this, that the school will, into the future, be used for community purposes, and we’re looking for a community purpose that we hope we can receive the agreement through a taskforce which has been established with the people of Flynn. And that’s our intention, our hope, and that’s what we’re driving for, and I do hope for a resolution, as I’ve said, within the next two months to the future of the school.

Kate: That’s very good news for the community, because we’ve been panicking about the grounds being turned over to housing and the building being demolished and if you’re saying now that’s not going to happen, I think you’ll have Flynn jumping up and down with excitement

Jon Stanhope: I can say to you Kate, it’s never been put to me or in my contemplation for one minute that the Flynn school would be knocked over, not once, in all the time since the decision was taken to close schooling at Flynn school. It’s not ever been in my contemplation, it’s never been put to me, not even in discussion, as a reasonable possible outcome.

Kate: Other than the Purdon’s process.

Jon Stanhope: Well, the Purdon process didn’t deal with Flynn and its future because of the legal action. It was, well, that’s my understanding Kate, as a result of the legal action Flynn P&C instituted against the government in relation to Flynn: a legal action that was initiated to have the school re-opened and a legal action of course which the government resisted or opposed but which was then terminated and which made it difficult for us to include Flynn in the blanket consideration of future uses that was applied to the other schools.

Kate: Well, that sounds like great news for the whole community.

Jon Stanhope: Thanks a lot Kate.

Broadcast: 9:46am, 16 October 2009

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