“I love St Kilda and I’m not going to stand by and watch it happen…
“The people we’ve elected to solve the problems are not solving the problems,” Kate Langbroek told her audience earlier this week.
Today the Victorian Housing Minister Martin Foley pledged to spend $6 million to shut down and refit The Regal Hotel on Little Grey Street in St Kilda.
Problems began when the Gatwick boarding house for “vulnerable people” was closed down last year.
The three-storey 1930’s-era building had sheltered some of Melbourne’s neediest people for decades, but was also the scene of serious violence and drug abuse.
When the boarding house was closed, the residents were put out onto the streets or moved to another venue, The Regal, creating more problems in the suburb. The assault on Kate Langbroek and her husband was the latest in a series of incidents in St Kilda.
Victoria Police say a 38-year-old St Kilda man who assaulted Langbroek has been charged with aggravated burglary and trespass, and has been remanded in custody to appear in court in May.
Minister Foley said the timing of the Government’s intervention had nothing to do with Kate Langbroek’s comments on Fox FM:
“We do so because what has happened in that community is unacceptable,” Minister Foley said in a media statement. The remaining tenants currently in The Regal Hotel will be moved to other properties.
“I’ve been working on this matter for some months, as evidenced by the fact that the facility is already nearly half closed down, half empty,” said Foley.
Hear Kate Langbroek’s earlier comments here.