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Flynn seeks immediate halt to ‘illegal’ demolition

Bobcat used in illegal demolition at Flynn - the ACT Assembly has been asked to put a stop to illegal works

The ACT Assembly has been called on to halt internal demolition works at Flynn Primary School following revelations today that the work may be unapproved, in breach of the Heritage Act, and contemptuous of court process.

“With the heritage aspects of the site still before the ACT Supreme Court we are concerned that the demolition crews may be doing serious and costly damage to known heritage assets which could be a criminal offence under the ACT Heritage Act,” according to Flynn spokesperson, Roger Nicoll.

“ACT Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services staff know that the Flynn Primary School has been independently assessed as meeting the standard for heritage listing, and they would be aware of the Burra Charter and evidence showing the internal design and architecture is as important to that heritage as the external architecture and function.”

The Chief Minister has publicly committed (October 2009) to protecting heritage and community values at the site irrespective of whether it gains heritage listing, according to Mr Nicoll.

“So whether the department thinks that smashing down walls and other key architectural features is refurbishment or demolition, they open themselves to allegations of criminal damage and contempt of fair court process.”

There is no agreed heritage conservation management plan, masterplan or development application in place for the site, Mr Nicoll said.

“The department has completely jumped the gun by prescribing a use and damaging the heritage and community assets before these guiding policies and plans are in place. Such action is absolutely contrary to best practice of the Burra Charter guiding heritage conservation.”

“Community members are concerned that the department has misled the Chief Minister, undermined his commitments, and accelerated demolition this week to coincide with an ACT Budget announcement expected next week.”

“Serious evidence of malfeasance, false and misleading representations to the ACT Assembly leading up to the decision to relocate childcare centres to Flynn has now been obtained under FOI and is the subject of a formal complaint and an independent investigation,” according to Mr Nicoll.

In view of all the above, the Flynn Primary School Parents and Citizens Association and the John Flynn Community Group have asked the Chief Minister to intervene.

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