ACT News


Brindabella Christian School takes on opponents of its oval redevelopment

A Lyneham college has hit back at what it calls a "deceptive and misleading" campaign against its proposal to build a community sports facility on the neighbourhood oval.

The Brindabella Christian School is letter boxing residents to explain "misinformation" about its plan, which was withdrawn late last year following anger aired at a community meeting.

It says students have nowhere to play on rainy days and objections to the proposal contradict the fight against obesity.

The school claims opponents  hijacked public meetings about the plan, resorting to personal attacks and shouting to drown out debate.

A development application was lodged by the school at the end of October last year to build a two-storey sports pavilion and 120-space car park on land next to its site on Brigalow Street.

While the ACT government is not a proponent of the project, it had to endorse the development application as the custodian of the land.


The school leases a section of the oval from the government and wants control of an additional piece of land to facilitate the construction of the community facility.

Residents expressed anger about a lack of consultation over the proposal and concerns were also raised about the plans showing preschool rooms, traffic implications, the accessibility of the facility for the community and the loss of open space.

Government and school representatives confirmed there would be no preschool in the facility and said lease conditions would stipulate shared use between the college and the Lyneham primary and high schools.

The facility would be available to the community outside school hours through a booking system with sections of it open all the time for those using the oval.

A revised proposal was presented at a community meeting in June, with changes including: revised sports pavilion design; inclusion of an external BBQ for community use; and additional trees for the car park.

The information in the leaflet was also distributed in an email by college board deputy chairman Greg Zwajgenberg, under the heading, "Truth and Lies".

The leaflet asks residents to show their support for the proposal on the ACT Government website, before the survey closes on Friday, September 11.

The Lyneham community had received "a great deal of misinformation" about the proposal, the leaflet says.

"The $5 million development proposal currently being considered would allow the college to build a much needed sports pavilion for our 800 children who currently have nowhere directly adjacent to the college to engage in either indoor sports or outdoor sports programs on a maintained field," it says.

"On wet days our children are unable to engage in sports at all.

"Objecting to this is totally in conflict with the ACT Government's fight against child obesity and support for increased facilities and fields across Canberra.

"Some three years ago the college was set to commence the sealing of the now gravel car park when we entered into negotiations to also build a sports pavilion on the car park site as a result of successfully obtaining a subsequent $800,000 Commonwealth capital grant.

"The ACT Government, together with Brindabella, then worked to develop a 30-year plan for the sports pavilion alongside a proposal to see adjacent Lyneham Oval reinstated as a watered oval, in a joint venture to re-green the current bindi-laden dust-bowl that has existed ever since the site became unmaintained.

"This proposal was then further developed to include a car park and kiss & drop area stretching along Brigalow Street from Brindabella to Lyneham Primary School; primarily aimed at alleviating the congestion along the street currently and, potentially made worse by families of the newly-proposed development of the Lyneham Motor Inn, which is to incorporate some 300+ apartments in twin 8-storey towers.

"In addition to the facilities, the ACT Government would maintain a re-greened oval for the general public and sporting groups."