Resumed in Protest: the Human Cost of Roads
This story is a blueprint – a written documentary and tangible map of a grassroots activist community initiative of people versus the machine. It documents the reckless and sad destruction of a community, and serves as testament to the impact of poor planning and decision making. More
This story is a blueprint – a written documentary and tangible map of a grassroots activist community initiative of people versus the machine. In their own words, residents of a historical inner city suburb in Queensland describe their protracted and bitter battle with the Brisbane City Council, the hierarchy of the Anglican Church and two Queensland State Governments over the “Hale Street Ring Road”. The road project proposal involved the destruction of large areas which were listed as part of the National Estate of Australia, including the last remnants of an old cemetery beside an Anglican church, listed with the Australian Heritage Commission and the Queensland National Trust. Diverse in age, status, origin, life-style and outlook, residents joined together to defend themselves, their neighbours, their street, homes and gardens, church grounds, cemetery and other Heritage listed buildings. Many were elderly and had been born in their houses, with one or both of their parents also born there. Without warning, confronted with the sudden and shocking news that their homes were going to be resumed for a road project, they were unaware of the relentless roller-coaster of emotions they were about to endure. With no notice or consultation, no interactive public discussion, no political debate and no social or environmental impact study, approximately fifty properties were marked for resumption, with the plan effectively cutting the historical suburb of Petrie Terrace off from all other residential areas and forcing it into the central business district area. The circumstances this community was forced to accept indicates just how far our society has capitulated to the automotive industry compared to the welfare of the people it is supposed to serve.