A legal challenge initiated by a local residents’ group against the $1.6 billion Melbourne sky rail project has failed after the Victorian Supreme Court dismissed the case. Following the ruling by Justice Tim Ginnane, construction on the Sky Rail project is expected to proceed.
The residents’ group behind the failed legal challenge, Lower Our Tracks Incorporated (LOTI) has promised to continue the fight. In their bid to halt the construction of the elevated rail track along the Pakenham-Cranbourne line, LOTI had sought a declaration that the government's decision to allow eight kilometres of elevated track was improper.
According to LOTI, the government had changed the original under-rail design to an elevated design much earlier than its announcement on February 7, 2016; however, the policy change was not announced to avoid political controversy.
In his ruling, Justice Tim Ginnane said none of the three grounds relied upon by the group could be made out. Since Planning Minister Richard Wynne was not required by law to undertake any consultation, no legal error could be established that would allow the court to set aside his decision.
While the government is pleased with the decision, the opposition has accused the government of misleading local communities.
Describing the legal challenge as ‘round one’, LOTI secretary Dianne Hunt said the group will now review its options but will continue the fight. LOTI has 28 days to appeal the decision.