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Media statements

Flynn calls for action following tree-cutting vandalism

Sawn-off Plane tree at Flynn Primary School

Flynn residents have called on the ACT Government to fast-track Flynn’s proposal for a multi-use community centre at Flynn following the latest spate of vandalism at the site – the felling of large and significant trees over recent days.

The Flynn Parents and Citizens Association joined with the John Flynn Community Group in condemning the environmental vandalism and calling on the government to expedite protection of the building and grounds through the proposed early childhood centre, school and multi-use community centre.

“The felling of two large trees so close to Flynn Primary School is a serious criminal act, particularly when you consider the heritage nomination for the buildings and grounds that is currently being assessed,” according to Flynn Primary School Parents and Citizens Association President, Roger Nicoll. “News of the tree-felling is particularly distressing just days after Chief Minister Jon Stanhope committed on radio to retain and protect the buildings and grounds.”

Shortly after the felling of the trees, Flynn residents observed workers, who identified as contractors to the TaMS department, chain-sawing the fallen trees and removing debris from the site. One of the contractors told a Flynn resident that he had cut down two further trees adjacent to the Preschool because someone had sawn them most of the way through and they could fall onto the Preschool at any time.

“It’s clear that the cutting of these trees could have had dire and tragic consequences for children at the Preschool or indeed for any of the Flynn residents who currently use and enjoy the community open space surrounding the schools,” Mr Nicoll said.

“We urge anyone who may have witnessed the tree cutting or suspicious activity at the school to contact Crime Stoppers directly on 1800 333 000.

The tree felling follows evidence of squatting in a demountable classroom and extensive graffiti and window smashing on the site, according to Mr Nicoll.

“We have asked the TaMS department a number of times over the past two years to restore motion sensors at the site and install low-cost CCTV to protect the building and grounds. “ Mr Nicoll said. “Thankfully, external lighting was switched back on in August but it is clear that more needs to be done to bolster short-term protection.”

“Local residents are considering installing off-site cameras to monitor the school, but clearly the best option would be to fast-track our proposal and get the first of the childcare, school and community facilities up and operational as quickly as we can.”

“There’s no reason that this has to wait until the 2010–11 financial year; in fact it makes sense to appropriate money now to avoid greater costs later.”

Eucalyptus trees felled at Flynn Primary School

Remaining Plane trees at Flynn Primary School

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