Page 2543 - Week 06 - Thursday, 23 June 2011

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that she does, and through her congratulate the entire company. I pay particular tribute to Cara Irvine, who as a young graduate was the director and designer of the production, and Ross Walker, her assistant director. Some in the cast were experienced and some were quite young. Sean Ladlow is an experienced thespian around town and we have seen him in things like Miss Saigon and Oklahoma. He played Sergeant Simmons, but Jordan Sanfrancesco, as Constable Ross, is a recent graduate of Narrabundah college and is currently studying at the ANU. Kate Mason was played by Shanon Steele and Rachel Battams played Fiona Carter. Duncan Ragg, who is also a fairly experienced actor around town, played Kenny Carter.

I think that the great find of this production was Brendan Kelly, who is a very young performer and who played the removalist and added, despite his young years, a gravitas and seriousness to the role that belied his years and made him seem like a much older character than his young years would indicate.

Again this was an opportunity for a mixture of quite experienced actors and emerging actors to work together in an iconic play. I do not know that one necessarily enjoys a play like The Removalists. I think it makes you more uncomfortable than anything, but the extraordinary performance of the Free-Rain Theatre cast and the whole company needs to be complimented. I do want to reinforce my congratulations to Anne Somes as a dramateur—she does such fabulous work for theatre in the ACT.

Flynn primary school

MR COE (Ginninderra) (12.12 am): In the last week or so I received a letter from the Flynn Primary School Parents and Citizens Association and the John Flynn Community Group, and I will be reading that into Hansard now. The letter reads:

The Flynn community is responding to allegations by Joy Burch MLA on 30 March 2011, in which she claimed that a ‘small group’ has ‘held up’ refurbishment of the Flynn Primary School through ‘disruptive and legal actions’, in ‘stark contrast to the completed refurbished work’ at other closed schools.

Ms Burch should be aware that the group—actually two incorporated associations—have a wide membership and have worked tirelessly to bring forward the grassroots views of the Flynn community. In a 2006 survey by these groups, around 900 of the 1200 households in Flynn wanted the school to stay open—only 33 thought the school should shut. In 2010, these groups presented a petition with about 700 signatures from Flynn residents in support of the heritage listing of the school. Hardly a small group.

Contrary to Ms Burch’s accusations, the Flynn community has consistently tried to work with government for a good outcome that meets local needs. The Flynn community developed a proposal for community use of the school on the advice of John Hargreaves in early 2007. It is this proposal that the government agreed to negotiate following the school closures inquiry in 2009. In mid-2011 the Flynn community is still waiting to see this recommendation implemented and the government engage in genuine negotiations with the Flynn groups.

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