Yes! You read that right! The Railway House as well as the bunya bunya tree in the front will not be demolished to make way for the LXRP in Beaconsfield.
We heard the news via the Pakenham Gazette on the 22nd of March. We couldn’t believe it and had to make sure that it was correct. It is a great result for our community, and all who love this house, as well as those who believe our heritage properties should be protected.
Our voices were heard, our lobbying paid off, even though it felt like the emails that we wrote were not being received somewhere along the line there were discussions and decisions.
We are grateful to every voice on social media, every person who added theirs to ours and attended meetings, every business who put up our posters, the local Real Estate agent Kaye Charles who gave us a wonderful board for the front that generated lots of attention, to Community Radio 3CR and Joe Toscano who gave us airtime and a shout out on shows around Australia, to politicians working behind the scenes to highlight our cause, to the Cardinia Council who advocated for us and to all of you who signed our petition, 1400 of you! Your comments were heartfelt and I admit to using them often in my appeals…. thank you for them all.
You wrote emails, you completed the feedback, you spread the word.
What made the difference? What was the reason? Other groups have more experts, get more coverage, spend more money, yet somehow our voices cut through the noise that is Parliament for this amazing outcome.
I would say that the credit lies in a number of areas.
Thank you to MP Brad Battin and MP Michael Galea for speaking out for us where it mattered. Both of your speeches in Parliament were passionate and heartfelt and ensured our cause was heard. Even though you are on different sides of politics you were united in your passion for our community in Beaconsfield. Thank you to David Parr who took up our cause with the Labor Party and continued to lobby there.
Thank you to Joe Toscano at Community Radio 3CR for his expertise and giving us time on his shows, word spread far and wide because of it.
Thank you to Corey Everitt and Matt Male at the Pakenham Gazette who researched and wrote about our plight and asked the right question at the Press Conference in Pakenham on the day we found out.
Thank you to the Beaconsfield Progress Association who allowed us to hijack their meetings, publicised it on their webpage and gave us their contacts.
Thank you to those members of the Cardinia Council who pledged their support and spoke up for us in meetings with LXRP personnel…..we haven’t finished yet!
Thank you for all of your voices. Thank you, Joan Worsely, David and Robyn McKenzie, David Parr, and Ann and Graeme Taylor for all you did.
While this is an amazing result, and we should celebrate it, the Railway House will still be acquired by the Government, the road bridge will still go ahead. The construction of the road bridge will impact the extension at the rear of the house but Government says it is committed to retaining the remainder of the property and key historical elements so our work is not done yet, we will need to continue to ensure that this promise is kept. The owners will still have to leave. This is going to be a huge project in a small area. The wetlands will be impacted as well as much flora and fauna. The traffic statistics are quite low and with many other options around the decision to close the crossing completely would be cheaper and easier. If you would like to send your opinion on this matter you can email
Jacinta Allan – Minister for Transport and Infrastructure firstname.lastname@example.org and/or Josh Bull – Parliamentary Secretary for Level Crossing Removals & Parliamentary Secretary for Transport. email@example.com
To see more information on the Project, go to the following website. There are questions posed by the community and answers from LXRP.
Station Street, Beaconsfield and Station Street, Officer | Engage Victoria
Whilst the feedback survey has closed you may still ask questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1800 105 105
Our Protest Picnic planned for Sunday 2 April under the bunya bunya tree, ended up being a Celebration Picnic. Over 50 people came from far and wide to #hugabunyabunya and celebrate. The weather was sunny and we were able to catch up with each other. An arborist with a passion for bunya bunyas fossicked around under the tree and found three baby bunya bunyas that we will tend carefully.
Going forward we need to ensure the House and tree are protected as promised during construction over the next couple of years. We also need to put forward ideas on how it could be best used for the community. Let us know if you have any suggestions.
So far we have had
• Community garden/nursery
• Small wedding venue
• Women’s Shed
• Drop in Centre
• Historical Centre /Library
• First Nations Centre
While there is still a lot to be done, we can rest easy that we have achieved our purpose in saving the Railway House for future generations. It will continue to stand as a reminder of times gone by, the bunya bunya can continue to grow strong and tall watching over Beaconsfield as it has for the last 144 years.
by Fran Healy