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Residents vow to stop destruction of their community with civil disobedience, if necessary

Civil disobedience next in community campaign against Hale Street Bridge

Media Release, 31 May 2008

“The time for talk is past,’ said Stop the Hale Street Bridge Alliance spokesman David Bratchford, “Now it’s time for action.”

“The opposition of local communities on both sides of the river to the Lord Mayor’s ill conceived toll bridge proposal has been clearly and repeatedly expressed, most forcefully in thousands of public submissions during the now notorious project consultation process.”

“And yet Campbell Newman says he will proceed with his pet project ‘regardless of cost’, without a viable business case, without final contracts, without state government approval, and despite the overwhelming opposition of local communities on both sides of the river.”

“We’ve tried to play by the rules,” said Mr Bratchford, “but we’ve seen Newman throw the rule book out of the window.”

“It’s clear that Newman’s game is fixed, that it’s a foregone conclusion that he intends to proceed with this project despite its lack of merit, financial viability or community support.”

“So now it’s time to play a new game, by the community’s rules this time.”

Mr Bratchford’s statement signaled a new, direct action, phase in the community campaign against Lord Mayor Campbell Newman’s controversial and discredited Hale Street Link toll bridge project, as Alliance volunteers with paintbrushes and spray cans descended on the south bank HSL construction site to express their continued opposition to the project. Their ‘community graffiti-in’ at the site saw them painting banners and spraying slogans on panels, covering the hoardings surrounding the construction site with messages to Lord Mayor Campbell Newman and Premier and local MP Anna Bligh.

“Newman’s defiance of the state government, community wishes and basic economic and business principles demonstrates his irresponsibility and recklessness,” said Mr Bratchford.

“This irresponsibility and recklessness has created a lot of anger in the community.”

“Community members are now taking direct action because the wishes of local communities are being overridden.”

“Civil disobedience may be the only way to remind the state government and local MP and Premier Anna Bligh of their responsibility to protect the community.”

“Community members are prepared to risk arrest or prison to stop this bad project.”

For more comment and information: David Bratchford – 0403 339 777

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