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The fate of schools sites

By johnboy - 31 March 2007 16

The Canberra Times has a lengthy piece on what is going to happen to all the real estate Canberra’s closed schools are sitting on.

Mr Hargreaves dashed industry hopes the land would be sold to build more housing, despite Canberra’s property squeeze.

He told The Canberra Times nearly all the sites would remain intact, in case schools need to be reopened in future decades to cope with demographic change.

The buildings are now likely to be occupied by government agencies and not-for-profit organisations, whose rents will be subsidised.

“We’re not in the real estate market. That’s why community groups get priority. This will help them provide their services at as low a cost as they can,”

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16 Responses to
The fate of schools sites
louise 12:10 pm 02 Apr 07

Win is more credible than the CT. At least Win has to read out the press releases rather than reprinting them verbatim.

Agree with Bonfire on the housing ‘crisis’. Apparantly blocks at Forde were passed in at auction. The estate agent suggested that maybe the pressure had finally come off the market.

Absent Diane 10:24 am 02 Apr 07

Fck I hate people that have kids and can’t afford to look after them properly.

Then again WIN news is hardly a credible news program.

seepi 10:20 am 02 Apr 07

WIN news had a lady with 2 primary school kids living in a one room cabin at a caravan park cos her rental place got sold and she couldn’t get another one.

bonfire 10:13 am 02 Apr 07

the housing crisis is a puff of wind blown by the real estate industry and its MBA white shoe brethren.

show me the ‘homeless’ people then i’ll conced that such a crisis exists.

anything else is just middle class media inspired angst.

louise 11:13 pm 01 Apr 07

The housing affordabilty taskforce report is due this week, apparantly. I wonder what that will say about old school sites and what should happen.

Do you think they will try and tell us that a $10 million site in Chifley should be turned into affordable housing?

LIC 6:03 pm 01 Apr 07

Having made the decision to close the schools, the govt’s best course of action is more likely than not to be to sell off the land. Not much point hanging onto old buildings, having them un(der)used by community groups. The opportunity cost is too great in having assets sitting idle. The responsible course of action for govt is to maximise its returns, cash in and use the money productively for other useful services – although with Stanhope and co they will most likely piss it down the drain on bullshit statues, arboreta, etc.

emd 2:00 pm 01 Apr 07

Vote for the Party Party Party Party! They may not run the place any better, but at least we’ll all have a good time.

nyssa76 1:10 pm 01 Apr 07

I’ve noticed this Govt makes it up as they go along.

I mean look at Griffith Library…sneaky sneaky.

I can’t wait for the next election.

louise 8:39 am 01 Apr 07

Also, the comment about “We’re not in the real estate market…”: that was the exact reason trotted out by various federal governments to sell off land and buildings over the last 15 years.

louise 8:36 am 01 Apr 07

Nyssa, I have wondered the same thing. Despite the minister’s claims to the contrary, most of the sites were probably closed on a handshake deal made before 2020 was even released. Why else would they do something so contrary to ALP policy?

Mess 7:02 am 01 Apr 07

Interesting to see they were going to use the buildings for something else. they must have other plans for Ginaderra High considering they have knocked it down.

nyssa76 11:12 pm 31 Mar 07

Watson High was “riddled” with asbestos.

It didn’t stop the system (before self Govt) from removing it and then closing the school.

At least it became the CIT campus for Watson.

I wonder if the one or two to close were already agreed to be sold before the 2020 decision came out….

seepi 10:54 pm 31 Mar 07

I thought that too – if they are uninhabitable then how come it only comes up now they are empty after decades of use.

Almost all the schools would be on prime real estate I would have thought.

emd 7:23 pm 31 Mar 07

I note in the last bit of that article, he says that “one or two” of the schools would be sold off if the buildings are deemed “unusable” – for example “riddled with asbestos”.

Call me a cynic, but what’s the bet that schools on prime real estate will be considered “unusable” buildings despite students having used them right up til a few months ago.

louise 6:53 pm 31 Mar 07

Question is, though, when they have said outright that government will consult with developers along with everyone else, and given the $ value of the land, does anyone believe that this ‘consultation’ process will really yield the outcomes that communities want?

Call me a skeptic, but the push from in and out of the ALP for solutions to the housing ‘crisis’, and the sheer value of the school sites ($10 million for Melrose) really doesn’t give me any real hope.

Also beware: not-for-profit organisations and government departments do not always aim to benefit or support the local communities they are located in.

(Can’t remember where the developers are mentioned as consultees, but I’ll post it when I can)

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