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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 8 Hansard (22 August) . . Page.. 2504..


MRS DUNNE (continuing):

I pay tribute to Kelly Hayduk, who worked on maintaining the heritage elements of Giralang primary school. It is worth noting that over the years Giralang primary school was one of four schools designed by Enrico Taglietti. Giralang is considered his best architectural work in the ACT. Enrico Taglietti, a widely known and acclaimed architect, has designed many structures in the ACT. It is worth noting that, in addition to being highly applauded at the time the school was built, the institute of architects has a "21 years on"award. Often it will go back and look at buildings to see whether they stood the test of time over generations. When Giralang primary school turned 21 it received the award that year because it had stood the test of time. It is also worth noting that in 1978 the Architectural Review had this to say about Giralang primary school:

Giralang design applies a genial expressionism to the fabric of Australian Primary Education. It is like an adventure playground turned to educational use. The total effect is both charming and appropriate; and must be accounted one of the very rare occasions when 'Architecture' has been used to reinforce an educational idea.

It is a great shame that, rather than closing down the school, this government—and previous governments are probably also to blame—is not looking at ways in which it might take advantage of this architectural jewel and keep it for the purpose for which it was designed. That is not to say that heritage has to stay the same forever, but when the fabric of a school works so well we should be striving to maintain it rather than confronting the Giralang community with "we are going to close the school at the end of the year".

Some members in this place have been working with the Giralang community to help find a way through this. This school in the Giralang community should be saved from the chopping block of Towards 2020 because of the spirit in that place, its geography and the architectural merit of the building that works to this day. The building is in splendid condition and has been maintained by the education department and by the school community.

It is a sorry reflection that little or no thought has been given to the merits of the building and whether it is serviceable for the purpose for which it was built. There is no doubt that Giralang primary school is a jewel amongst primary schools. For that reason and many others it should be maintained. This proposal should be thrown out and the government should start again.

The Assembly adjourned at 6.26 pm.


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