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Stanhope shafts Barr, will sell the schools to property developers

By johnboy - 5 August 2006 55

The Canberra Times’ Markus Mannheim has a story on confirmation by our Chief Minister that the land from closed schools will be sold to real-estate developers.

What’s that you say? Didn’t the Education Minister, Andrew Barr, emphatically rule that out as he toured the Territory appeasing angry parents? (quite why they were calmed by knowing the schools would become mausoleums commemorating education rather than homes is a little hard to fathom)

In June, Mr Barr denied that the land of closed schools would be used for residential purposes, and later told a meeting of Belconnen parents that “there will be no land sales as a result of school closures”.

But the Chief Minister dismissed yesterday Mr Barr’s comments as a poor explanation, and described the suggestion that empty schools be fenced off and abandoned as “nonsense”.

He said possible future uses for the land included aged-care and affordable housing.

“Poor explanation” eh? That’s a nice way to say “wrong”.

I also like the clever use of “possible future uses” which i think means they’ll think about it before letting the developers do whatever they want.

Having said that, 39 medium density slums would do wonders for housing affordabilty.

What’s Your opinion?


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55 Responses to
Stanhope shafts Barr, will sell the schools to property developers
Pandy 1:37 pm 07 Aug 06

Gated Communities. Very likely. Glen Eagles Esatate: Keeps the riff-raff from upper Kambah out.

A gated community on the hill at Bruce with battlements from which Emperor Sonic can play his fiddle. mmm now that is a thought

Mr_Shab 1:10 pm 07 Aug 06

Class warfare seige-town? Oh man – I haven’t heard talk like that since being hassled by the Anarchists back in my Uni days…

Cityboy – Leasing the land is dubious public policy, IMO. I think some schools could be sold without any detriment to the areas. For example, Cook is well serviced (by nearby Macquarie and Aranda primaries) but some will be a serious problem in the future. Dickson College is a prime example, given that the population of the inner north is bloated with Gen-Xers with young families. It’s going to be a shock for them in 7-10 years time when there’s no highschool/college in the area. If the land is all sold off, it’s not like they can just “build another one”.

I really hope Barr et al think VERY carefully before they flog any of the land off. Once again, I’m not hopeful.

Cityboy 12:42 pm 07 Aug 06

seepi: Do we really need more community space in Canberra? There seems to be enough decaying community halls scatter around town already. Also the idea of business incubators would need to considered on a case by case basis many school locations would be in locations unsuitable for businesses.

Selling / leasing the land for redevelopment appears to be the sensible policy outcome. Rather than maintaining un-needed infrastructure.

caf 12:23 pm 07 Aug 06

Big Al: gated communities (disgusting class-warfare siege towns that they are) are quite possible in the ACT, it’s just that the fact that the community has to organise their own garbage collection etc tends to make it so expensive that no-one’s willing to pay for the privilege.

emd 10:50 am 07 Aug 06

I’m too enraged to say anything sensible about this. I’ll be back later when I’ve had a valium.

simto 8:52 am 07 Aug 06

Oh, dear. Nero’s fallen off the deep end. Anybody want to remind the rest of his party that they can get the knives out any time they like?

Thumper 7:34 pm 06 Aug 06

If we ever wanted proof that Stanhope is runing the complete show, here it is.

Does anyone know what is going on in this place, including the people running it?

Pandy 10:26 pm 05 Aug 06

Lets see Andrew wriggle out of this: “I was misquoted”; “The real question is” Yada, yada, yada.

Lets hope Sonic (may he rot in hell) sells the Stanhope Memorial Arboretum for ‘afforadable housing’.

nyssa76 7:19 pm 05 Aug 06

Just wait until they sell the land….the lies are there, we just have to pressure the Govt to actually tell the truth. Not that they will.

But what message are we sending to the students of the ACT? “Your small school doesn’t meet “our” needs, bugger your needs, we’ll sell it anyway”.

Personally, I would have loved to have been on the “non-existant” policy committee before the policy was made public. You know the one, where they consult stakeholders BEFORE the policy is out and BEFORE a full community consultation takes place.

miz 7:09 pm 05 Aug 06

I wonder what Hugh Mackay would say, given his input into the Social Plan, about the whole school closures issue. Johnboy could you rustle up an interview?

Big Al 7:03 pm 05 Aug 06

Good on ’em – now if they could only cross the hurdle of gated communities – now there’s real estste that would bring a nice premium.

cobb 5:42 pm 05 Aug 06

So Corbell, Berry, MacDonald, and Gallagher dont support the proposal for schools, and Andrew Barr has not managed the message correctly. So does that mean its Stanhope and Hargreaves versus the rest of his party???

seepi 4:42 pm 05 Aug 06

Previous closed schools have become office space for community groups, start-up businesses etc, without changing the building too much. This means the grounds are retained for recreational use, and the school could be reopened when the population changes.
High density units will increase the population of an area, but there will bo nowhere to put a school.
Or we will end up with the kind of cramped inner city school I went to in melbourne – no outdoor space, not a blade of grass, and no assembly hall.

johnboy 2:05 pm 05 Aug 06

It’s interesting because he spent the first five years coming up with intricate and voluminous public “plans” for the future.

Now everything’s being driven by a secret review document.

publius 1:48 pm 05 Aug 06

They are now changing their story. There was a clear message after the Budget that there was no sell off of assets planned. But the truth of the matter is we did not expect them to leave empty schools sites permanently vacant. Stanhope and his team need to come clean on what they plan to do. They keep getting themselves into more and more trouble by not being upfront about their plans. Theirs in very much a case study now in how not to handle a public policy issue effectively.

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