The residents group behind a failed legal challenge to the $1.6 billion Melbourne sky rail project have vowed to keep fighting it.
The Victorian Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed Lower Our Tracks Incorporated’s (LOTI) bid to halt the construction of the elevated rail track along the Pakenham-Cranbourne line.
Speaking outside court, LOTI secretary Dianne Hunt said the legal challenge was only “round one”.
“The whole process has been a sham and we’ll keeping fighting it,” Ms Hunt told reporters.
LOTI had sought a declaration that the government’s decision to allow eight kilometres of elevated track was improper.
The group alleged the government had switched from an under-rail design to an elevated design much earlier than its announcement on February 7, 2016 – but had not announced that switch in policy in order to avoid political controversy.
Justice Tim Ginnane said none of the three grounds relied upon by the group could be made out.
Planning Minister Richard Wynne was not required by law to undertake any consultation and, therefore, a lack of consultation didn’t establish a legal error which would entitle the court to set aside his decision, Justice Ginnane said.
Ms Hunt says the group will now review its options.
The government is pleased with Tuesday’s outcome.
“We were confident in the case because we have done everything by the book for these nine deadly level crossings to be removed,” Mr Wynne said.
Opposition planning spokesman David Davis said the government’s speciality was trampling on local communities.
The government misled the community about level crossing removals, he said.
LOTI has 28 days to appeal the decision.