Franklin residents are rallying to fight for community land behind their Early Childhood School as the government flags the possibility of using it for public housing instead of reserving it for the school’s possible future expansion.
Franklin Early Childhood School P&C President Amy Thomas contacted RiotACT today to ask us to publish the below letter encouraging Gungahlin residents to attend a meeting at Gungahlin Library on December 9 about the public housing proposal.
She told RiotACT members of the school community are very upset about the lack of consultation about the public housing plan, and expressed dismay upon learning of it at a P&C meeting last night.
“For a lot of people attending the meeting, it was the first they had heard about the proposal,” she said.
“We haven’t been involved in the consultation process. Several residents who lived very close to the proposed sites did not receive the Public Housing notice, yet other residents did. We have been lobbying to extend the early childhood school and want this land set aside to build more school.”
Gungahlin residents can learn more on the ‘Franklin Early Childhood School. Where to next for Franklin?’ community Facebook page and sign a petition at Change.org here.
Ms Thomas’s full letter to residents follows:
Please attend the
FRANKLIN Public Housing Proposal Public Viewing
Wednesday 9 December 2015
HAVE YOUR SAY
5.30-6.30pm @ Gungahlin Library
(Corner of Hibberson and Gozzard streets, Gungahlin)
Dear Parents and Carers,
Franklin Early Childhood School (FECS) opened in 2013 as an early childhood schooling option for Gungahlin children. Early Childhood Schools in Canberra are not intended to have priority enrolment areas, however due to enrolment pressure on surrounding schools, FECS is now operating almost exclusively for Franklin residents only. This means that residents of other Gungahlin suburbs no longer have an early childhood schooling option and residents of Franklin have a primary school that continues only to year two.
This does not meet either the needs of the Gungahlin region or the needs of Franklin FECS P&C would like to acknowledge a letter from the Public Housing Renewal Taskforce sent out to Franklin residents only. The public has been invited to attend a display of the proposed plans with Taskforce staff. It is important for as many people to attend so that residents of the Gungahlin region and members of the community understand the implications of using the specified land surrounding FECS for anything other than educational purposes. It will have a direct effect on the residents of Franklin, the surrounding suburbs and their schooling choices. It has an effect on both private and public education systems.
In summary, the Public Renewal Taskforce have plans to build 29 public housing apartments either directly behind FECS or in between the school and the new Franklin Recreation Park, when this land has been zoned for community use.
We have been lobbying to keep the same early childhood model, but to use the surrounding land to cater for years 3-6.
The P&C believe this land should be used for educational and community purposes to cater well to the Gungahlin region.
We strongly encourage the residents of Gungahlin suburbs to attend this meeting in support of our community and the education of our children. We also strongly encourage you to email firstname.lastname@example.org to have your say.
FECS P&C President