BCC Newsletter update

BCC Newsletter update

The BCC respond to its constituents and make comment about the result of the decision by ACT Government to decline the development proposal in its latest newsletter.

Whilst we could address many points herein, it is of primary note that the BCC school Board make a claim “…we see the College as being an integral part of the 4000 residents..” (of Lyneham)


BCC Newsletter on the website here.

“Once again thank you to the 150 + families who responded to the ACT Government’s ‘Have Your Say’ website. I can only say that I am personally disappointed, as is the Board and College Executive, that the Government did not recognise and defend the benefit to the ‘entire’ Lyneham community let alone Brindabella Christian College’s 800 children of a fully maintained oval and the associated sporting and community facilities we were offering.

As a Board we see the College as being an integral part of the 4000 residents, 3000 children of three co-located schools alongside a diverse range of shops owners and local business owners that all make up the greater Lyneham Community. At no time did Brindabella in any way ‘Hit Back’ at the Local Lyneham Community as suggested in the press.

Over the past year I have personally dealt with Denis O’Brian as the initial primary community focussed objector of the lack of consultation around the Brindabella project back in November of 2014. As founder and Chair of the Lyneham Community Association, Dennis and I have always shown each other the greatest respect and courtesy in debating the merits of the project along the way. On personal reflection and understanding of what was at stake Dennis personally voted ‘Yes’ in the recent ‘Have Your Say’ survey, saying a great deal about his character. We now share a common goal to heal the rifts within the local community that have sadly been exaggerated in the local press.

We share, and remain to share, serious concerns with the underlying misrepresentation of the facts and the deception of sensational headlines such as “Lyneham residents appalled at attack by Christian College”. Whilst the Press is free to adopt any headline, our criticism is in the assumption that comments by a few people somehow reflect the view of 4000 residents after the article was run, simply an impossible position for anyone to reach in the timeframe between the two news stories; and in itself another misrepresentation by overreaching on the truth.

Personally, as actually accurately reported by Ross Peak in the one and only conversation we had on the matter, I find myself far more disappointed that Minister Rattenbury had reacted on this so swiftly and publicly given at a recent meeting in his office I had advised him that the College would be working to a revised timeline of October 2016 for the required deadline with the Commonwealth on the use of $800,000.00 in Capital Grant funding toward the project; and therefore ultimately only needing to reach an agreed outcome shortly before that point in time.

Furthermore, the ‘Have Your Say’ ACT Government website invited detailed comments along with the basic ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ questions. It would be simply impossible to interrogate the breadth of the data in the comments fields alongside the certainty of duplicate submissions from single households and potential that abuse by those intent on derailing the project in one single business day. The fact less than 10% of the 4000 Lyneham and surrounding households responded, not to mention being advised by members of the local community that a number of people in the surrounding areas did not receive the invitation to comment, all makes going public one business day after the close of the survey lack true credibility.

In the November 2014 Public Meeting Minister Rattenbury, committed to allocate High-Level resources and drive the consultation process for the 7-months from November’s Public Meeting to the second Public Meeting in June of this year. At no time was there any indication to Brindabella by the Minister or his Department that the Local Lyneham Community, Lyneham High or Lyneham Primary were not adequately being consulted along the way by the executives of the ACT Government.

For the Minister to refer to Brindabella as a proponent of the project and portraying the Government as a third party to all of this, as opposed to the College working closely with the ACT Government to deliver this project, significantly misrepresents and distances our actual historical relationship with all the excellent Government Officials we worked alongside.

As a College we received an e-mailed letter the night before the Minister went on ABC666 morning talkback radio without any prior notice or further discussion on the matter.

We can only look forward to working toward a better result sometime in the future with an receptive mix of Government in place and the necessary perceived increase in local community support. Therefore, for those who feel compelled to express their views somehow lost in the back end of the ‘Have Your Say’ website, I would encourage you to express your sentiments directly to the Government; as it would seem that some 476 unvetted ‘No’ responses has now sealed the fate of the Oval for years to come. Letters via e-mail to the Chief Minister’s Office can be sent to: Barr@act.gov.au

That said, as a Board we are now reprioritising our efforts based on further Grant Applications we had also submitted on behalf of the College to the Federal Government simultaneously during this complex period with the ACT Government.


Lyneham Campus

We are currently awaiting formal Federal Ministerial advice on a significant Capital Grant for desperately needed classroom construction along the St Ninians joint boundary (See revised Master-Plan below). The enhanced and increased classroom capacity will allow for College growth into triple streams across all years and an earlier than projected decommissioning of the D-Block Demountables. We will also be adding three new temporary classrooms at the end of this year to accommodate student numbers in 2016 with a view to relocating our administrative operations into these rooms when redeveloping our Administrative Wing and new Middle School classrooms.
Sadly the construction of our Sports Pavilion will now undergo an unavoidable delay during this rephrasing of priorities. The dilemma of the Sports Pavilion overshadowing our existing playgrounds remains a significant issue with respect to an on-site location we as a Board are currently working through; alongside other possible alternate outcomes still being explored.”


  1. I Walk The Lyneham

    it seems that Greg Zwajgenberg hasn’t heeded Shane Rattenbury’s parting advice when he made the decision that “it is vital that the views of local residents and regular users of the oval are taken into account when considering any future uses of the area.”

    What is all this ominous talk of a “receptive mix of Government in place” and contriving a “perceived increase in local community support”? Sounds like Greg is plotting some sort of black ops manoeuvre. I don’t think “no” is going to be an answer that sits comfortably with him. Should I laugh or be afraid?

    1. admin

      I Walk The Lyneham,
      We appreciate your comments and feedback however you pass us an invalid email address. This is contrary to our posting rules (available on our site). We can no longer accept comments from you without a valid address.


  2. waterwoman

    I find this a very scary representation of what happened. I wrote to Minister Rattenbury requesting explanation of the BCC’s claimed planning with the ACT government in their ‘vote yes’ brochure. His reply certainly distances both himself and his department from any perceived ‘relationship’ that Greg Z remarks upon above. He clearly states that what was referred to as a 30 year plan by BCC was ‘rather, a lease arrangement.’
    I could go on, but it is clear that according to Greg Z, having a ‘relationship’ with ACT government officials and our own Dennis O somehow gives him a mandate on development matters.
    Dennis, did you tell Greg Z, who has told as many people as he can as publically as he can, that you chose to vote yes?

  3. KC

    While finding new route for jogging around the neighbourhood, I discovered that there are more than 3 schools in a mere humble suburb called Lyneham. I don’t see the need of aggressive expansion for BCC if it is to be an integral part of the local community.

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