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Flynn asks Attorney General to halt demolition

The ACT Attorney General and Chief Minister have been asked to intervene on demolition activities at the Flynn Primary School following further revelations of illegality and the unapproved status of works. ACT Policing have also been informed.

“We have asked the ACT Attorney General to halt works at Flynn immediately on the basis that heritage matters are before the Supreme Court and a nominated place attracts a protection status under the ACT Heritage Act,” said Flynn community spokesperson Roger Nicoll.

Under the Heritage Act it is an offence to be reckless in conduct that could diminish heritage value and penalties of up to $550,000 can be applied to an offending body.

“We can confirm that heritage value in regard to Flynn Primary School applies to internal and external fabric in line with evidence before the Supreme Court and as described in the Burra Charter for heritage conservation,” said Mr Nicoll.

Contrary to DHCS department advice that the works are approved and legitimate, an attempt to rush through a development application (DA) was made late last week.

“On Wednesday 27 April when the demolition works were first discovered, government sources advised that a DA had been notified and approved and that it had been removed from the ACTPLA website after closure of the notification period,” Mr Nicoll said.

“This appears to be blatantly false—on Friday 29 April the DA was notified in the Canberra Times, on the ACTPLA website, and on signs at the site. The DA specifies internal and external demolition activities but clearly still has to go through a consultation period ending 20 May, and take account of Supreme Court findings and the Chief Minister’s commitment to protect heritage, before works can commence at the site.”

There is also no mention of heritage in any of the DA documentation.

This is the latest in a series of documented misdemeanours by the DHCS department in relation to Flynn and these matters are now under a formal complaint and independent investigation.

“Unfortunately, despite notification of unlawful demolition and requests to halt it to the DHCS Minister, Chief Minister and Assembly colleagues, demolition activities accelerated on Thursday and Friday of last week.”

In line with best practice heritage management the offending bodies face potential penalties and responsibilities to pursue restoration.

“It is now time for someone to take responsibility and intervene to stop these illegal works.”

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