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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
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nyssa76 6:03 pm 09 Aug 06

As you have already been told – the process was a feat of shite. No one was asked to be on the consultancy team BEFORE the policy.

You have also been informed of people writing letters to the editor, someone started a website and my own article on the matter – still unfinished.

You’ve been offered the facts yet you still say “stop whinging”.

Fired up? Are you blind?

I’ve stated fact, as have others. You don’t like it, you don’t have to reply. You’ve had a go at several people today and yet you can’t grasp the fact that your “contributions” are based on BS.

Before you say “stop whinging and do something” perhaps you’d be better to re-read the previous posts and threads to see that people have already done something.

snahon 5:36 pm 09 Aug 06

why ? because I basically said stop whinging and do something if you care that much ? or because I suggest that giving teachers a PB may be a good thing (while still matching their base to CPI) ?

people here get fired up way too easily and it is invariably more amusing to see their tirades then to try and have a measured debate over a topic.

nyssa76 5:16 pm 09 Aug 06

Well you sure as hell come across as a hater.

Perhaps a little “reflection” before clicking on “say it!”?

snahon 4:58 pm 09 Aug 06

H8red huh – never knew I had such strong negative feelings about anything let alone teachers of all….

nyssa76 4:40 pm 09 Aug 06

I’ve also been asked to write an article re: teaching and the school closures was what I had planned on doing. I’ll e-mail a copy of it to JB and he can pass it on to you so you can actually see what is meant to happen with a new policy.

nyssa76 4:37 pm 09 Aug 06

Snahon, I’ve worked in ACTDET in the actual ACTDET building. The left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing.

I’m a teacher also.

I’ve already said that I would have loved to have been on the consultancy panel but one was never set up prior to 2020.

I know the way things are “meant” to go in ACTDET. Do you?

I’ll bitch on here, send e-mail questions via Kerces to the minister and slag off the report because it is a pile of shit hanging together like a dag on a sheep’s arse.

Most of the people who “wrote” 2020 AREN’T teachers. They have no bloody clue what goes on in a school and they never will.

CIT and UC are also meant to be amalgamated.

Why don’t you pull the lemon out of your mouth and offer something constructive other than your pure hatred of teachers.

snahon 4:32 pm 09 Aug 06

I stand corrected 🙂 you are doing something 🙂

aidan 3:19 pm 09 Aug 06

The bogus capacity numbers are common knowledge. Gilmore has 3 or 4 demountables (can’t recall the exact number) which are not suitable as classrooms and for which the Government gives them no money for maintenance. Yet these same demountables, unusuable, unmaintained, are included in Gilmore’s capacity figures. Andrew Barr knows this. His response is “The Principal is free at any time to request an audit of capacity”.

That is outrageous. Anyone who was serious about getting the best outcome would say “Really? Rightio, I’ll get right on that and amend the official figure” or something. Anything.

The mismatch between numbers before and after the proposal also came up at some of the consultation meetings, but the journo’s have not run with it. These are complex nitpicking sorts of problems, which add up to a whole pile of steaming public policy, but don’t make a great headline.

I am doing something to get this out. I write letters to the editor and I have dumped alot of this stuff on a blog

Go and have a look if you like.

snahon 12:18 pm 09 Aug 06

So if you know that complete incompetence was done go tip off the journo’s with some real information and get them to run with it… but nooooo we’ll all just sit here b*tching about how hopeless they are and they can’t get anyting right.

If their methodology is so damn bogus, then you must *know* something to know it is bogus in the first place. Build a case to prove its a crock and get that info out there (obviously in an easily digestible format with lots of pretty charts and graphs – cause everyone loves them)

aidan 12:01 pm 09 Aug 06

The reason I can’t produce a comprehensive planning document for ACT Education is I’m not the DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION.

Going from the document that has been produced, I doubt the Department had a great deal of input either.

The whole thing is a mess. Now it turns out that the genii that wrote the damn thing didn’t even know that the running costs of preschools come from the fund raising efforts of parents. So they haven’t factored in those costs when proposing to close the preschools and merge them with the primary/P-10 schools.

A proper consultation process says “Hey, we’ve got too many schools, we need to rationalise, here are the areas that have too many schools, here is ALL the data, give us your submissions and we’ll make a draft proposal, get some more feedback and go from there”.

Unfortunately they are playing the political game of sticking to their guns and denying there is any problem.

VYBerlinaV8 11:39 am 09 Aug 06

One alternative is to make a decision that, as a community, we are more interested in educating our kids to a high standard than we are in some other services, such as roads, parks, arboretums, dragways, rebranding government stationary, etc.
If Govco had any idea at all amount financial management it would understand the concepts of competing priorities, effective use of assets and delivering useful services. At the moment we get bullshit rhetoric and happy-clappy ideas, and no real support for what actually matters. The worst part is that this mess is going to take years to clean up once the current bunch of apes gets kicked out.

snahon 11:38 am 09 Aug 06

Why don’t you all collaborate together and produce a newer improved version of 2020 that takes into account:
1. Current students volumes
2. Projected demographics by suburb from the ABS and subsequent projected student volumes.
3. Current and future required public transport to/from schools.
4. Current and projected costs to run schools.
5. Current physical size and utilization of schools vs projected requirements.
6. Detail time schedules for each ‘area’ of canberra for theose changes.

and stop whinging about everything. There is nothing worse than a bunch of whiners who don’t actually come up with some sort of alternative.

Then you can you all email it to the CT and hopefully get some publicity about your new proposal and stick it to the govt.

or better yet, make an annoucement that you are running for public office and “show them hacks” how to administer the ACT public education system.

aidan 9:36 am 09 Aug 06


The Tuggeranong figures quoted in the plan are all screwed up, take a look here:

Wanniassa Hills Primary will have an enrolment of 290 in 2010. It is Wanniassa Primary that will be at 185 by 2010. But by then it will be rolled into a P-10 school.

Richardson only has 180 pupils because they are assuming that 40 will go from Isabella Plains. Otherwise it’s enrolment would be 140.

The story beind the story for Tuggeranong is that these closures will only be the beginning. There will be pressure for more closures in the future.

This is why this “plan” stinks. There is nothing long term or strategic, it is just picking some winners and some losers based on current enrolments.

They need to step back and look at education provision 20 years from now. Why close Gilmore instead of Richardson? Why close Isabella Plains when in 5-10 years time it would probably make more sense to close Bonython.

Weston Creek is a mess. Previous school closures have meant that when Weston Primary shuts they are a LONG way away from any primary school. In retrospect it might have been better to keep one of the more central primary schools open.

Up north-west where I am they are closing schools in Melba and Flynn (adjacent suburbs) but Evatt will have two schools (and a Catholic Primary). Similarly Giralang will lose it’s school but Kaleen will have two, and a Catholic Primary.

The word I have (good source) is that the area directors were asked to finger schools in their area that could be axed. This is worrying, as the Department is a notoriously political place, so the relationship an area directory has with a principal and school could have had an impact on the decisions made. This is bad.

simto 9:12 am 09 Aug 06

Can today be our “let’s be positive about stuff” day?

So in this story – he’s encouraging free enterprise and a vibrant non-government school sector?

Thumper 8:44 am 09 Aug 06

For a government that bleats on about non government schools they are doing their best to ensure that the non govvies have a good supply of students till, oh, at least 2020.

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