Stakeholder Consultation meeting cancelled due to protest

Report from our Facebook 29 January:
Six police officers and three police cars called to expel one person from a community ‘consultation’ meeting.

This evening, members of the Upfield Corridor Coalition attended Lizzie Blanthorn and the LXRP’s ‘Stakeholder Liaison Group’ (SLG). This is a closed, ‘consultation’ group involving a highly select number of individuals who have gone through a thorough vetting process.

No members from the Upfield Corridor Coalition, No Sky Rail, Guardians of Gandolfo Gardens, Upfield Urban Forest, Moreland Bicycle User Group or other local groups with a stake in the project, are on the SLG. Their membership applications were all rejected.

The SLG is a highly controlled, political vehicle to provide the impression of community consultation. It’s a farce that needs to be highlighted for what it is.

The UCC went to tonight’s meeting to provide collaborative, constructive feedback on the LXRP and ask why Gandolfo Gardens can’t be saved with a minor design tweak. Despite not being invited, one member decided to sit in anyway. He explained to the consultation consultants that he was simply there to sit in and provide meaningful input.

He was then asked to leave, and that if he didn’t, the meeting would be cancelled. He suggested that cancelling the meeting due to his presence was totally unnecessary.

They disagreed, cancelled the meeting and called SIX police officers to remove him. The police were perplexed as to why they were called to the meeting, as they encountered a calm and quiet situation with people having calm, reasonable conversations. There was no yelling or hysteria.

The paranoia and hysteria surrounding Jacinta Allan’s LXRP is bewildering. All we’re asking for is to have a small amount of meaningful input into the project to ensure it benefits the community instead of destroying it.

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