Lytton Road squatters evicted

TOMAS KURU

The house that squatters formerly inhabited. Photo: Tomas Kuru

Squatters on Lytton Road, East Brisbane have been evicted following a stand-off with police officers on Monday night.

The squatters, who were part of the Anti-Poverty Network, were protesting the demolition of abandoned houses to increase the width of Wynnum Road.

The project will cost $115 million according to Brisbane City Council Department of Transport Planning and Strategy.

Feargal McGovern and six others moved in on the weekend, amid protests from other groups against the road widening.

Mr McGovern said that the small group were confronted at around 7 pm on Monday by around 30 police officers, equipped with riot gear and battering rams.

“Only four of us were in the house at the time, even with all seven of us present it would have been massive overkill,” Mr McGovern said.

“They basically just came in and said leave or you’ll be arrested, there was no negotiating.”

A representative of Dutton Park police station called the incident a “fizzer” and said it was peacefully resolved.

The police refuted the claim from the Anti-Poverty Network that there were 30 officers present.

East Brisbane residents concerned about the project have organised the Lytton Road is Wide Enough group, who claim more traffic will cause increased noise and air pollution.

However the Anti-Poverty Network were also campaigning against homelessness.

“We went in knowing full well we were breaking the law, and challenging the law that says properties could be empty but so many people remain homeless,” Feargal McGovern said.

“If that’s legal, then the laws have to be changed.”

According to Brisbane City Council, the road widening process has already taken place and will accommodate for future growth in traffic.

As demolition on the houses begins, security guards have been stationed in front to stop anyone entering.

 

 

 

 

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