Melbourne public housing towers lockdown case heading to trial

A trial has been listed for a group suing the Victorian government over its controversial decision to lock down nine public housing towers.

More than 3000 residents were forced to stay inside the North Melbourne and Flemington buildings in July 2020.

The public housing tower at 33 Alfred Street was locked down for two weeks in July 2020 when COVID-19 threatened to spread through the estate.Credit:Chris Hopkins

The immediate COVID-19 lockdown was announced at a 4pm press conference on July 4, with many of the residents unaware of the order until police arrived outside.

The group are suing the state for compensation in the Victorian Supreme Court, claiming the government subjected them to 14 days of false imprisonment.

The plaintiffs also claim they had inadequate access to food, medicine, information and assistance.

The parties held a case management hearing before Supreme Court Justice John Dixon on Monday.

The case has been listed for an estimated 20-day trial in September next year.

About 30 witnesses expected to be called to give evidence.

A further case management hearing will take place at the Victorian Supreme Court in January.


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