The Brisbane Olympic Games and the redevelopment of the Gabba have not been without controversy. The $2.7 billion dollar plan to get the city “games ready” has been fiercely opposed by locals for a host of reasons.
Until very recently, the re-development was set to claim the house of a long-time local resident Trevor Connolly as well. However, due to outcry from the local community, it appears that Trevor will be able to remain on home turf for a while longer yet.
People power has helped save an elderly man’s Coorparoo home from being resumed. 93-year-old Trevor Connelly has dementia and was shocked to learn his home was earmarked to be bulldozed as part of Olympic planning. https://t.co/dsZjKZTYPW @Jordan_Bissell7 #2032Olympics #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/5RQ5TpqFib
— 7NEWS Brisbane (@7NewsBrisbane) October 27, 2023
Connolly is a 93-year-old great-grandfather who suffers from early stage dementia. He has lived in his home in Coorparoo for over sixty years. He bought the house in 1962 and has lived on the same street that his house is located on since he was 11.
He raised his family there alongside his late wife Margaret and the house is now the only remaining residential property on the street. In the middle of October, he received a letter from the Department of Education, which told him they intended to compulsorily acquire his house and that they wanted him to move out by December.
Located only two kilometres from Connolly’s home is the Brisbane Cricket Ground, more commonly referred to as the Gabba. The Gabba is being re-developed for the Olympic Games, which required the demolition of the nearby East Brisbane State School.
East Brisbane State School is due to be moved to Coorparoo Secondary College, which will need to expand onto neighbouring properties to cope with the increase in students. The Department of Education intended to acquire Mr Connolly’s house, which is the only residential property left on the street now full of businesses, and turn it into a school drop off zone. Connolly’s property was the only one that received a resumption notice.
However following an immense public outcry and Connolly’s family’s determination to overturn the eviction, the state government has halted its plan to evict him and demolish his home.
In a statement last Friday, Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed that there would no longer be a forced eviction.
“We don’t want to cause this gentleman any anxiety.
“The department of education and premiers (department) will find a solution … But there will be no forced eviction,” she said.
Connolly and his family were overjoyed and immensely relieved.
Speaking to 7 News, Connolly’s daughter Anne Connolly said the news had been a “huge relief”.
Connolly said, “Talk about being on cloud seven. I was more or less on cloud seventy. The relief”
Ms Connolly added, “He can now relax … knowing he can spend out his time in the only home he’s ever known.”
Australia’s ongoing housing crisis especially affects the elderly with growing calls on the government to implement much needed change so that seniors can afford to age in their own homes.