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New hope for Flynn in 2011

Flynn residents and architect Enrico Taglietti are hopeful for a favourable outcome for the Flynn Primary School heritage appeal early in 2011 despite what they described as ‘appalling’ tactics used by the ACT Government solicitors.

The heritage appeal before ACAT, originally scheduled for two days, dragged out to four finishing late in December, following a series of objections and lengthy cross-examinations by the Government team.

“We were quite shocked at the frequent objections by the Government barrister and long and aggressive cross examinations particularly for some of our senior community members,” according to Flynn community spokesperson, Roger Nicoll.

“The Government team seemed to object to anything in the 22 witness statements that showed the depth of community appreciation and value for the Flynn heritage features and they tried endlessly to strike out or discredit a resident statement and petition of support for the heritage values.” Mr Nicoll said.

“It was bizarre that the Government tried so hard to throw out the Flynn community support because it then backflipped to claim that Flynn support was irrelevant and heritage had to be supported by the whole ACT community. “

“As well as statements representing more than 600 Flynn residents, the Tribunal had before it many documents showing groups and individuals across the ACT and even Australia that valued the heritage features at Flynn, so what the Government seemed to be saying was that ‘the community’ should be defined to exclude those that support Flynn.”

“It is very disappointing to see taxpayers funds used so hard against communities seeking a fair outcome particularly when communities like ours have had to raise every cent for our participation through barbecues, trivia nights, garage sales and the like.”

“Despite our shoestring budget we are confident that our legal team presented a strong and clear case for why Flynn not only ‘may’ but ‘does’ meet three of the criteria for provisional heritage listing.”

To overturn the decision of the ACT Heritage Council not to provisionally list Flynn Primary School, Preschool and grounds, the members of the ACAT need to be satisfied that Flynn ‘may’ meet at least one of the criteria for heritage listing. An independent heritage investigation by the Australian Institute of Architects, commissioned by the Heritage Council, found that the Flynn nomination satisfied three of the criteria for listing. Against the criteria for ‘it exhibits outstanding design or aesthetic qualities valued by the community or a cultural group’ Flynn satisfied the criteria at a ‘high’ level.

This rating accords with architect Enrico Taglietti’s self assessment of his Flynn work. “As I have said before and in evidence to the Tribunal, Flynn is most important among my works not only for the open plan revolution and concrete sculpture but absolutely because of the way that the design is appreciated by people and brought to life by the community.”

“With such great differences also in educational philosophy it was totally irrational to compare the open plan of Flynn with the assembly of space at Giralang school complex.”

“Many of the remarks from the Government lawyers and their witness were offensive not only to me but to the community that has transformed the essential architecture into this unique school and village it was designed to be,” Dr Taglietti said.

The three parties to the ACAT appeal against the ACT Heritage Council were: Enrico Taglietti, John Flynn Community Group Inc. and the Flynn Primary School Parents and Citizens Association Inc. The ACT Government Solicitor was unsuccessful in its attempt to remove the P&C from the appeal.

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