Government Transport Plan devastates 200 homes in Melbourne

Victorian Government announced the updated Victorian $12 billion Transport Plan. The plan includes a metropolitan train tunnel as well as a regional rail link, road tunnel and truck action plan for the gridlocked western suburbs.

Shocked residents in areas of Melbourne’s west were left to guessing whether their homes would be snatched in the State Government’s transport blueprint. While the Government confirmed nearly 200 properties – including 52 homes – would face compulsory acquisition under the Transport Plan, residents in one of the key areas under threat said they had been left in the dark.

In Buckley St, Footscray, where 26 homes are earmarked for demolition to make way for expanded rail services, shocked home owners were demanding answers.  Norma Dunn, who has lived in the same house for all her 65 years, received a telephone call from the Department of Transport to say officials would visit today. “We haven’t been told what is going to happen,” said Mrs Dunn, who shares the home with her husband, Graeme.

“I’ve lived here all my life … I came here from the hospital after I was born.  “The thought of not living here any more … I just can’t get my head around it.”

Rhiannon Modica and her partner Murray Fancourt, who bought their Buckley St house four years ago and now have a seven-month-old daughter, had “no idea” what the Government was planning.  “I’m not against more public transport for this area, but the communication process has been very poor,” Ms Modica said.

“They forget that real people live in these houses, real families.”  Another Buckley St home owner, cabinet-maker Robert Deane, said he had embarked on a full-scale renovation of his property – only after being given the go-ahead by a State Government official.

Several Buckley St home owners visited local Greens MP Colleen Hartland for help.  “It’s really distressing when you get people coming in here who have lived in their houses for 65 years and are not being told what’s happening,” Ms Hartland said.

The Buckley St homes are among 193 properties, including 52 houses and dozens of commercial blocks, in Footscray, Yarraville and Melbourne’s port district that face compulsory acquisition.

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