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27th July 2010: Successful rally at Parliament

posted Jul 25, 2010, 1:15 AM by noriko tabei   [ updated Aug 3, 2010, 5:20 AM ]
Just a quick update to say that our expedition today to Parliament was a
great success.

A group of about 15 gathered on the corner of Buckley and Victoria,
under our big 'Fair-go for Footscray Rail Residents' banner. The local
media turned up to photograph us at the station and as we departed for
the city.

As we came up the escalators at Parliament station, we came upon a large
press conference in the foyer of the station, with Ted Baillieu talking
about this morning's transport mess. It was a fantastic opportunity to
park our banner behind Mr Baillieu, in the eyes of all the cameras. We
didn't hijack his press conference; we just stood quietly for a while
with our banner. Mr Baillieu came over to talk with us for a bit before
we headed up to stand on the steps of Parliament House, with a lot of
media people following us up there and more of our people joining us.

Answers from Minister Pakula during question-time provided little more
than we've already heard. Colleen tried to pin him down on whether
residents they've offered to buy-out will actually receive the same
package of benefits as for normal acquisitions. The answers on this
subject were somewhat hazy. She also asked when it was that the Minister
knew of the route decision - again there was a bit of avoidance on this
- with the Minister talking about a decision made by department planners
to abandon the underground option in favour of an 'at-grade' (ground
level) option. There was no information provided about when this
decision was taken. The exact words spoken will be available in hansard
tomorrow morning (see:
http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/hansard/daily-hansard/843 ).

We filled a lot of the public gallery space and our presence was
certainly noticed by the parliamentarians in the house. We absolutely
succeeded in keeping the issue in the public eye.

It was a great day out. Keep an eye on the evening news tonight!
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