An older widower with dementia has successfully won a battle against the Queensland Government’s to demolish his home in the name of development.
Trevor Connolly, 93, had been living in his Coorparoo home for 60 years — a residence he intended to live the rest of his life in – when he received a compulsory acquisition letter from the Government in mid-October claiming he had until Christmas to vacate the home.
“The thought of moving out… I don’t like the thought of moving out,” he told A Current Affair before the Government backtracked.
Trevor, a former electrician, had been told his land was being acquired to make way for a drop-off zone for the new East Brisbane State School. The school was forced to relocate to make way for an Olympic stadium ahead of the Brisbane Olympics in 2032.
For Trevor, living in a space that feels homely and has decades’ worth of special memories with his late wife Margaret and his daughters, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren is vital to him.
Trevor’s daughter, Anne Connolly, also told the news outlet her father’s health had declined as a result of this move and that she was planning to advocate for his right to stay in negotiations before the withdrawal of the request.
“Since 1962 he’s been here and he’s lived in the street since he was 11 so his attachment to this house and this street is very, very strong,” she said.
“No 93-year-old should have to be worrying about those things at his stage in life.”
After strong community backlash and calls for Trevor to keep his home, the State Government decided not to forcibly evict him and allow him to live out the rest of his life in his home.
On Friday, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed the news. She said, “We don’t want to cause this gentleman any anxiety”.