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Giralang kids face fat future

By aidan - 24 October 2006 36

The ABC reports that Giralang kids won’t be able to walk to school next year if the local Primary school is closed.

The Canberra Times covered the story as well, but it isn’t online. They did get a quote from Andrew Barr saying he had seen their map and thought they should include it in their submission.

The map was reproduced by the Times, but exclusive to The RiotACT, here it is:

Map of Primary Schools in Belconnen showing walking circles

The schools planned to remain open are indicated by blue dots with a translucent blue circle of 1.6km radius overlayed. This represents a “walking circle”, and was the distance criteria chosen by a previous Government when proposing school amalgamations in the late 1980s. This represents the outer limit of “walkability” for most Primary aged children. Closing schools are represented by red dots and don’t have a walking circle.

The topography makes it even worse than it looks on the picture. There is a significant ridge between Giralang and Kaleen which prevents easy access to Kaleen Primary, and there are two major roads to cross (Chuculba Crescent and Maribyrnong Avenue).

The access to Evatt Primary is restricted because the western edge of Giralang is bounded by a stream and William Slim Drive. All foot traffic to Evatt has to go via the underpass near the roundabout where William Slim Drive and Owen Dixon Drive intersect.

All this adds up to kids not being able to walk to school. A real kick in the teeth as Giralang Primary has the highest walk to school rate in the ACT.

Update: The map has been updated with non-government Primary schools added (no walking circles for these schools though)

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36 Responses to
Giralang kids face fat future
aidan 2:36 pm 24 Oct 06

Lawson is being held up by some sort of Federal/Territory pissing contest, but word is the Defence Department are going to develop their bit of it for Defence housing (I have this from another source as well, so it sounds like it will go ahead).

With respect to the different density of blue circles in some parts of Belconnen compared to others … I couldn’t possible comment.

Re walking to school, Giralang has a walk to school rate of 60%. This is double the national average. Walking to school is a goal of public health programs tackling childhood obesity.

Need I spell it out?

Growling Ferret 2:23 pm 24 Oct 06

How long until Lawson is expected to be developed, if ever?

VYBerlinaV8 2:12 pm 24 Oct 06

“i thought that fleets of station wagons ferried the little darlings every day”

Station wagons? Bloody 4wds more like it, pain in the ass trucks that they are.

Woody Mann-Caruso 1:46 pm 24 Oct 06

Wow – look at all the overlapping blue. Clearly, we need more school closures!

bonfire 1:43 pm 24 Oct 06

i thought that fleets of station wagons ferried the little darlings every day, so walking is irrelevant.

aidan 1:37 pm 24 Oct 06


Cranleigh is a school for kids with special needs. They are (thankfully) off the radar.

Oh bugger! I just noticed I said the map was reproduced by the Canberra Times, when, in fact, it was not.

S4anta 1:31 pm 24 Oct 06

I do not mean to be a pest Aidan, and vandalise your wonderful work… but why haven’t you included the ACT govt funded schools such as Cranleigh in Holt (which interestingly hasn’t been mentioned at all, by either side of this debate visa vie The Mega School in Holt)?

BTW – I am a big fan of the map, easy to read and hits the point spot on! high fives.

aidan 1:26 pm 24 Oct 06


Radford are a 5-12 school currently. They have their early learning centre, and will offer a full K-12 service by 2008. So I didn’t include them.

aidan 1:21 pm 24 Oct 06


I have updated the map. This caused the article to disappear because I am a gumby and didn’t save it properly.

Re: The $150K

Yeah Giralang got the dosh and now has spanky new LCD monitors and brand new computers (1 for every 2 kids), as well as an electronic whiteboard in every teaching space. They also won the Westfield Shop for your school comp, so got another whiteboard, a laptop, a digital video camera and a laser printer (from memory).

Giralang snuck their grant in under the radar before Towards 2020 hit the fan. Cook and Flynn (?) weren’t so lucky. Their grants have been held up pending decisions on the fate of their schools.

S4anta 1:19 pm 24 Oct 06


you might be missing a junior school over the road from the UC on your map mate…

johnboy 12:19 pm 24 Oct 06

nothing to do with me

Thumper 12:18 pm 24 Oct 06

Special G,

the grants to ACT schools were approved and paid before the announcement of the school closures. The ACT government neglected to mention this to the Commonwealth at the time so one can assume that the school closures were not a long term policy with well thought out outcomes.

The ACT government has refused to give back the funding and instead wants it channelled into different schools that are staying open.

Special G 12:14 pm 24 Oct 06

I heard yesterday that Giralang Primary received a $150,000 grant from the federal govt.

This kind of suggests that Federal and ACT govts are not really on the same page. But then again is anyone on the same page as the ACT govt?

S4anta 11:58 am 24 Oct 06

On the upside one could argue that slightly rotundant kiddies would be saving considerable energy by rolling down the hills on their way to school JB…

Not too mention that fact that this map only shows public schools, as opposed to those evil indpendant schools

Smackbang 11:55 am 24 Oct 06

So I guess they’ll all have to take buses and then end up getting run over, isn’t that right?

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