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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 14 Hansard (Tuesday, 17 November 2009) . . Page.. 5130 ..

The decision to appeal the school’s closure was made by the broad school community at a meeting on the evening of 13 December 2006. Indicative of broad community support, and well after the school was closed, the community raised the $50,000 demanded by the government to allow the matter to proceed.

The appeal was discontinued in February 2009 when the government solicitor threatened Flynn P&C with further demands for costs if the P&C did not consent to the case being dismissed. This ‘offer’ was reluctantly accepted on legal advice. In the end, it was the government demands for money that caused the P&C to reluctantly end the action.

Many members of the Flynn community have worked tirelessly over the past three years towards re-opening the school, so it is quite insulting to the Flynn community and its spokesperson to say that the P&C Supreme Court appeal was politically motivated. If the school were still open, none of this would have happened.

The Flynn community has sought to discuss solutions with the Chief Minister and Education Minister numerous times over the past three years—directly and through solicitors—but with no success so far.

We are very grateful that the Chief Minister has now committed to retaining the Flynn Primary School grounds and building and protecting their heritage value. But Flynn still needs a local school—we are asking for the level of investment equivalent to that in other communities.

We ask for support from the Assembly to restore the Flynn community and return its only school.

Michael O’Neill

Vice President

Flynn Primary School Parents and Citizens Association

Like the members of the Flynn community, I took exception to the slurs by the Chief Minister. I also took exception to the comments made by the Chief Minister about Mr Roger Nicoll. All of the adverse comments made in response to Mr Coe’s questions were gratuitous, but the comments about Mr Nicoll were particularly gratuitous. Mr Stanhope implied—nay, he said directly—that Mr Nicoll’s opposition to the school closure was principally to further his political career and he implied that the action to appeal the school closure was particularly done by Mr Nicoll to further those political aspirations.

Let us just do the mental exercise here. The government closed the school in 2006. Roger Nicoll, of course, knew what he would do: he would start a court case, at great expense in time and effort for himself and the community, and this would prepare the way for him to run for election two years later for a party that had not even been thought of at that stage!

The disparaging remarks are the hallmark of Stanhope Labor’s treatment of the Flynn primary school. My constituents in Flynn have been systematically disadvantaged by the Stanhope Labor government since the school was slated for closure in 2006. They

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