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Heritage listing a step closer for Flynn

Flynn Primary School in 1974 - front entrance

Heritage listing for the Flynn school precinct moved a step closer from yesterday’s ruling in the ACT Supreme Court with an invitation to put fresh evidence into a new heritage nomination.

While the Supreme Court Judge, Justice Burns refused the Flynn community groups the right to appeal the matter in the Supreme Court, community efforts to have the Flynn school precinct heritage listed gained a new lease of life.

With all the new evidence that has come to hand since 2007, it is very heartening to see Justice Burns invitation to submit that as part of a new heritage nomination.

Massive ACT-wide support and the placement of the Flynn school on the Australian Institute of Architects list of significant twentieth-century architecture in the ACT are among the key pieces of new evidence.

It is unfortunate that the Supreme Court was unable to consider this new evidence and the judge didn’t consider that errors of law were sufficient to allow the appeal or to overturn the original decisions of the Heritage Council and the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Tragically, this ruling may set a devastating precedent for others seeking heritage listing for a significant place based on its community value.

A standard that requires showing that the whole ACT community has a strong or special value for a place could potentially set the bar for heritage listing to an unreachable and unworkable level.

The Flynn heritage nomination has the support of the people of Flynn, two former Chief Ministers, the Presbyterian Church, the National Trust, architect Dr Enrico Taglietti, the Royal Flying Doctors, academics at the University of Canberra, Senator Gary Humphries, former principals, teachers and students at the school, the many hundreds of people who signed a petition of support for heritage listing responded to an ACT-wide survey of heritage values of the Flynn school precinct.

Community surveys and feedback have shown that the Flynn school precinct has an unprecedented level of support from across the ACT for a nominated site, and on that basis should be particularly well placed now for heritage listing.

With the ACT Government already committing to protect heritage regardless of formal listing we now look forward to more cooperative approach to the heritage recognition and conservation.

The decision is on the ACT Supreme Court website at http://www.courts.act.gov.au/supreme/judgment/view/4627/title/john-flynn-community-group-inc

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