Confusion still reigns over Manuka land swap deal: Government has no solution

Canberra’s inner south community is no better informed about the future of Telopea Park School and the Manuka Occasional Childcare Centre (MOCCA), as the government continues to bungle a land swap deal, Shadow Minister for Education Steve Doszpot said today. 

“Andrew Barr has been unable to answer questions about the Telopea Park School losing its playing grounds to build a new childcare centre and about the old MOCCA site housing apartments, and a new services club,” Mr Doszpot said.

“In the Legislative Assembly last week, the Chief Minister was unable to confirm how many levels the apartment block might be, confirm definitely that the child care centre would move to the Montgomery Oval site or to another site in Griffith or what will be built on the old Services Club site.

“According to Mr Barr, the Manuka Oval precinct redevelopment has been under consideration for over 13 years and yet the community is none the wiser about if or when any development will proceed.

“Interestingly, the Chief Minister was insistent that a decision on resumption of the school land or the relocation of MOCCA had not been made. That appears to be at odds with the Education Minister Joy Burch who has consistently said in Estimates hearings that the land would be bulldozed during the December school holidays. Joy Burch tried to minimise the impact on the Telopea School community by suggesting the tennis courts that are planned for demolition were not often used.

“This land swap saga has typified the government’s lack of consultation and poor handling of many issues right across Canberra,” Mr Doszpot concluded.