TORMORE Road residents have lashed out at local MPs Nick Wakeling and Heidi Victoria, accusing them of taking all the credit for getting traffic lights installed at the notorious Boronia and Toremore roads intersection.
But the Ferntree Gully and Bayswater representatives hit back, saying they had publicly acknowledged the action group's work, including in state parliament.
The Weekly first reported a fortnight ago that traffic lights would be installed at the intersection, following years of campaigning and petitioning — to which both the MPs and residents lay claim.
The report was swiftly followed by comment from Cr Peter Cole that the members of the Tormore Road Lights Action Group had been left in the dark on the issue.
Cr Cole — who is running in Scott Ward in Saturday week's council elections — said the group members were frustrated that neither of the MPs invited the group to be in photo opportunities
"People don't do it to get the recognition, but when others take it from you, then you want something."
Cr Cole said it had been a "real group effort" over the years to get the lights installed, with residents, nearby workers and local groups involved in organising a community march and petition. "This isn't about politics, it's about community issues."
Cr Cole said the group would also have liked to have seen Paul Bourke — a long-time Tormore Road resident who died in 2010 — acknowledged publicly for his commitment to the cause. The elderly resident had spent much of his time doorknocking and raising awareness of the issue.
Mr Wakeling and Ms Victoria said they had both acknowledged the group's efforts. The pair also questioned Cr Cole's timeline of events, after he said he joined Knox Council in 2008 with a promise to get the lights installed at the intersection.
They said they had promised to get the lights installed during their 2006 election campaign, and when they finally came to power with the Baillieu government in 2010, they "lived up to that promise".
Mr Wakeling said the principal work of the action group was putting pressure on Labor representatives at the time. "Myself and Heidi were already convinced by the need for the lights. If this group didn't form, the policy still would have happened," he said.
However, he did credit the group's initiative in forming and said members should be congratulated for the action they took.
Cr Cole said he would like the politicians to host a barbecue near the site once the works were complete, to celebrate the new lights.
What do you think? Post a comment below.
In the lead-up to the council elections on October 27, the Weekly requires letters and comments on municipal issues submitted for publication, whether online or in print, to carry the author's or commentator's full address and telephone number, for purposes of verification only. The Weekly reserves the right to exclude material that is not fully identified. The editor's decisions will be final.