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Supreme Court appeal for Flynn

ACT Supreme CourtThe Flynn community’s bid for heritage listing of the Flynn Primary School precinct took another step forwards today and yesterday (6-7 February) in the ACT Supreme Court.

Led by the Flynn Primary School Parents and Citizens Association and the John Flynn Community Group, the appeal aims to overturn a ruling by the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal in 2010, which upheld the decision by the ACT Heritage Council to exclude the precinct from the ACT Heritage Register.

Media reports of the hearing are at the Canberra Times (the print version made it clear it was the Heritage Council who believed cultural significant to be irrelevant) and ABC TV.

Both days were dominated by complex legal arguments about the definition of ‘the community’, the status of a report by the Architects Institute of Australia (AIA) that recommended listing Flynn in 2009, other matters of law, and whether the appeal should even proceed, as ‘leave to appeal’ was vigorously opposed by the ACT Government.

In mid-2011, the ACT Government had sought to block the appeal proceeding by demands for $40,000 in security of costs. This was settled out of court at the time, with the result that the appeal is now being heard.

Taking a win-at-all-costs approach, the ACT Government opposed new evidence of Flynn being listed on the AIA Register of Significant Architecture in 2011, despite the lack of an entry in 2010 being significant enough for the Council to argue that the precinct should not be listed – an argument the Tribunal accepted.  The Supreme Court judge and the government solicitor both suggested that a fresh nomination for listing be made, with the new listing included as support. Heritage Unit staff present nodded, but said nothing.

Justice John Burns reserved his decision. We have been told that these things can take a few months.

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