Anti-Freeway Movement

Timeline of key events.....

11 November 1972 (Saturday): "The Brisbane Freeway Protest and Compensation Committee" was formed.

16 September 1973 (Sunday): The Freeway Protest Committee occupied a house at 28 Hurworth Street, Bowen Hills, that had been resumed by the Main Roads Department. Trade union support was given to restore gas and electricity services. Building unions agree to ban the demolition of houses in the path of the proposed freeway.

30 September 1973 (Sunday): Anti-Freeway Festival held at Hurworth Street. Base of support widens. The protesters now include the involvement of local residents, students, Unionists, CPA members, Young Christian Workers etc.

25 October 1973 (Thursday): The Freeway Protest Committee occupied a resumed house at 5 Markwell Street, Bowen Hills.

27 October 1973 (Saturday): 5am police raid on both occupied houses, over 50 police with main roads officials smashed down doors with sledgehammers to evict six people from each house. Two arrests. 24-hour police guard posted on both houses.

29/30 October 1973 (Monday/Tuesday): 5 Markwell Street was demolished using scab labour. Emotional reaction by Bowen Hills residents.

December 1973: Local resident, Guilio Cerasani, donated the use of an empty house at 15 Markwell Street for the protest group to use as their base of operations. This was a sign of the strong and growing support by local residents for the protest movement.

2 June 1974 (Sunday): The Freeway Protest Committee occupied 13 Markwell Street with the intention to repair the house for re-use as temporary housing.

3 June 1974 (Monday): Police raid on 13 Markwell Street. 24-hour guard placed on the house.

5 June 1974 (Wednesday): 13 Markwell Street was demolished using scab labour. 200 demonstrators battled police in a violent clash. 3 arrests.

9 June 1974 (Sunday 10am): Well-attended public meeting at 15 Markwell Street.

12 June 1974 (Wednesday): Demonstration - over 200 marched to Main Roads Department. Distribution of leaflets.

1975: The Freeway Protest Committee was dissolved in early 1975 when freeway construction was postponed. The group immediately re-formed as the Public Transport Action Group. By 1985, the plans for freeway construction were completely cancelled due to community opposition and funding issues.

Read leaflet from early June 1974