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Katy announces what the closed schools will be used for.

By johnboy 1 September 2008 37

I nearly missed this one. With the headline “Community input determines future uses” I’ll admit it didn’t leap out at me.

But as it’s the announcement by Katy Gallagher of all the community groups that will get to take up residence in the closed schools, it’s rather important. The whole program is worth $29.9 million, so we’re talking real money here.

With a tough election looming flogging the land to developers appears to have been taken off the table.

There will be some aged and supported accommodation however, which to a casual observer might look a lot like urban infill.

Community Centres, Neighborhood Halls, and Community Parks, should make quite a few people happy.

The organisations getting space in the Community Centres are:

Weston:

Woden Community Service Inc, Parentline, Galilee Incorporated, ACTCOSS, Communities at work, Canberra Rape Crisis Centre, Care Incorporated, Toora Women Inc., ACT Shelter, Sharing Places, Autism Asperger ACT,

Cook:

Canberra Quilters Inc., Canberra Model Shipwrights, Monaro Folk Society, Free Rain Theatre/Phoenix Players/Supa Productions, U3A, Companion House, The Heraldry and Geneology Society, Aranda Koala Preschool

Chifley:

Anglicare Canberra Goulburn “the junction”, The Mental Health Foundation (ACT) Inc., Australian Breastfeeding Association, Diabetes ACT, Australian Diabetes Educators Association Limited, Nutrition Australia ACT, Asthma Foundation, Neurospace, National Brain Injury Foundation,

Holt:

Carers ACT, St Vincent de Paul, Sexual Health and Family Planning, Sids & Kids,

What’s Your opinion?


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37 Responses to
Katy announces what the closed schools will be used for.
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miz 7:41 pm 02 Sep 08

How come Katy’s announcing everything lately, anyway? Is there something we should know?

And it’s scary that they think she is the least ‘stinky’ of them, given her incompetence. (Personally I think Cornell has the most intact integrity of the current ALP). But who cares? I’m not voting for them again.

miz 7:36 pm 02 Sep 08

I’m annoyed at the charities in general for kind of being ‘scabs’ by taking up the betraying govt’s offer of cheap rent so eagerly. This announcement seems like a govt tactic to ‘lock in’ their policy.

simbo 7:30 pm 02 Sep 08

Mike Crowther said :

The really tantalising question is, if ACT Labor is returned to majority government, will they rediscover their 2006 cash strapped status and throw the Heraldic guilds and puppet theatre groups out on their arses before selling the land off for one of those attractive and functional new housing developments?

Okay, there are no puppet-theatre groups listed there at all, as far as I can tell. If you’re referring to Free Rain, SUPA and Phoenix players, these are all reasonably senior, respected ACT theatre groups who do high-quality amatuer theatre to fairly wide audiences.

I know that knowing things about the arts seems to be remarkably unpopular in the wider voting public, but between those three groups, there’s probably a couple of hundred voters directly involved in productions, and several thousand voters who regularly attend their performances, who DO care about those companies a fair bit. So … possibly you might want to familiarise yourself about what they do and not misrepresent their work?

And yeah, yeah, I know it’s a minor point (and accuracy in arts reporting generally doesn’t seem to be particularly necessary – certainly not for the Canberra Times or City News, anyway!) but I’d kinda like it if people running for elected office don’t misrepresent stuff I care about…

Granny 3:36 pm 02 Sep 08

The bigger the school, the smaller the community IMHO. That is one reason they have such a problem with violence in the US superschools.

peterh 2:37 pm 02 Sep 08

granny, considering that the stanhope govt has now got a war chest open for all sorts of things, I would presume that the coffers have been well and truly filled by the school closures.

how else could we afford that blasted orange handed thing on adelaide ave, or the train wreck on the gde?

hopefully, kids will be able to read and write in the future after being jammed into much larger schools.

Granny 2:03 pm 02 Sep 08

Schools should be built in a modular fashion, able to be expanded and contracted according to the needs and wishes of the community, but not closed outright.

When Burgmann first opened it sat there for ages like the school house in “Little House on the Prairie”. There was nothing wrong with that. With only two staff, those kids still got a quality education, and if they had less fancy “things” and “gadgets” then it didn’t matter because the parents and students were all very happy.

There is no reason that a school couldn’t go back to that kind of model with other buildings being used for community or commercial interests if they were intelligently planned and designed.

It is ludicrous, that when the next baby boom hits the area in the natural cycle of growth and decline that every suburb experiences, the whole school may need to be rebuilt as a capital work in some areas.

Taking the school out of the suburb is like removing the heart or hub of the community. It is harder and less safe for kids to socialise with their friends and travel to and from school.

Those are just my thoughts, but the effect on a community of a school closure, particularly on the children, is always traumatic and I cannot see that it has been justified in many cases. The way Tharwa was treated was just plain mean.

Arty 1:00 pm 02 Sep 08

I’m sure most people see the need to close schools as suburbs change, but the way it has been done is a disgrace. Before the last election there was a clear promise by Stanhope not to close schools, then it had to be done on mass to save the budget, then we have budget surplus that is huge. The so call consultations have been a farce. Was the question ever asked, what do we need to do to keep a school open? Then we have this stupidity regarding what old schools sites can be used for. I’m sure there are lots of community organizations that could use them, but is this the best result to tax payers?

peterh 12:25 pm 02 Sep 08

the thing that isn’t being realised here is that when my daughter is of school age, she and the other 12 or 13 kids in our street alone, will not be going to the same school. 13 kids in one street, all born in 2005. half a classroom.

where did the demographics come from for the school cuts? the 2004 census. priceless.

peterh 12:19 pm 02 Sep 08

BerraBoy68 said :

peterh said :

shame that the mount neighbor school was sold to developers for an old age retirement units facility….

and they are planning to tear down the covered playground…

Could have been worse though Peterh, just think townhouses or flats…

I thought the playground was staying though? I have kids at both St Thomas and Mt Neighbour pre-school and I take them to the playground quite a bit after playing on the oval, or after school.

I overheard the info from the new coffee shop next to the “sigh” former theos takeaway. may have been true, may not.

verbalkint 11:52 am 02 Sep 08

Can we presume that the residents of Cook, Hall, Tharwa and Flynn do not, and will never need:

Woden Community Service Inc, Parentline, Galilee Incorporated, ACTCOSS, Communities at work, Canberra Rape Crisis Centre, Care Incorporated, Toora Women Inc., ACT Shelter, Sharing Places, Autism Asperger ACT, Canberra Quilters Inc., Canberra Model Shipwrights, Monaro Folk Society, Free Rain Theatre/Phoenix Players/Supa Productions, U3A, Companion House, The Heraldry and Geneology Society, Aranda Koala Preschool, Anglicare Canberra Goulburn “the junction”, The Mental Health Foundation (ACT) Inc., Australian Breastfeeding Association, Diabetes ACT, Australian Diabetes Educators Association Limited, Nutrition Australia ACT, Asthma Foundation, Neurospace, National Brain Injury Foundation, Carers ACT, St Vincent de Paul, Sexual Health and Family Planning, Sids & Kids?

Because this seems to be a really good outcome, the old schools will be used to house new community hubs and provide low cost offices to community organisations in places that are central to local communities.

Not to mention the kids in Cook, Hall, Tharwa and Flynn get to go to better schools with more resources, even if they have to travel on the free government bus to get there.

Mike Crowther 10:50 am 02 Sep 08

emd, to answer your question CAP Policy is to reopen Cook, Hall, Tharwa and Flynn in accordance with the overwhelming expressed desire of the residents of those communities. The others may be reopened depending on the wishes of the community.

However, what should happen to the sites right now, is…. nothing. We are six weeks out from an election in which one of the major issues is school closures. The Government had no mandate to close them as they went into the 2004 election on a lie. They held two sham consultation processes when the first was shown to be too shonky even for ACT Labor to get away with. Then just before we enter caretaker period there is an urgency to lock the deal down. Anyone would think the sites had already been promised to someone…
The really tantalising question is, if ACT Labor is returned to majority government, will they rediscover their 2006 cash strapped status and throw the Heraldic guilds and puppet theatre groups out on their arses before selling the land off for one of those attractive and functional new housing developments? The most accurate indicator of future behaviour, is past behaviour.

Ps: hutch…..you are not being too harsh, but I fear you may be a tad oversensitive. Note that the moderator had no problem with me leaving my ‘status’ off my posts, only tomtom. Out of politeness I responded to his criticism because he had, as I said, a fair point in that I’m the one sticking my head up.

Mike Crowther
CAP Candidate for Ginninderra

Gungahlin Al 10:40 am 02 Sep 08

Personally (and without going into individual schools) I would have thought that where there remained a reasonable number of students, those schools could have been treated as separate adjacent campuses (campi?) of one school – i.e. save the money by combining the management and principal. This is already being done by Burgmann and Good Shepherd in Gungahlin.

Specialist teachers could also shuttle between campuses as needed during the week. And where needed, classes can be combined across two years – this is what the new schools such as Harrison have, so why couldn’t it be retrofitted?

This way the “critical mass” savings would be gained, but the local schools in walking distance from homes could also be retained.

Schools are major parts of the glue of local communities. The loss of a school, and the locking in of car-based school commutes, should be avoided if at all possible.

On a side issue, I was intrigued to see that while Andrew Barr inherited all the worst of the school closures public duties, and then had be the front man for two entire consultation processes as well, when it came to presenting the potentially positive outcomes of that consultation, that duty was taken by someone else (all in the name portfolios of course). He’s been getting a pretty raw deal at the hands of his own people…

seekay 10:15 am 02 Sep 08

Fascinating to hear the nimby brigade out on the ABC this morning triumphing the Canberra City Council’s decision not to use school sites for housing as a major “win for the community”?

How does higher housing prices benefit the community? I’d love to know.

tom-tom 10:08 am 02 Sep 08

I’ll wear being called a hack quite proudly….. I do love mr ferrets suggestion that I’m the cm though, I could use a nice office

jakez 9:59 am 02 Sep 08

That dastardly ALP MLA Dennis Woolworths eh, I KNEW YOU WERE A HACK!

emd 9:48 am 02 Sep 08

Just had a look at this website that has full details on all the sites in this community consultation process:
http://www.dhcs.act.gov.au/redeveloping_the_community_sites

I’m told that no decision has been made yet on the North Curtin site because there is a lease in place until 2009 that would be affected, so they need to do some more work before making a decision.

tom-tom 9:32 am 02 Sep 08

woolworths

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