Dianne Dejanovic at the crossing. Photo: Martina Gemmola
A WOMAN whose son this year became the 16th person killed at a despised St Albans level crossing says Metro bullied her and destroyed her property after she posted flyers around St Albans railway station calling for the crossing's removal.
Dianne Dejanovic has led two rallies in recent weeks calling for the removal of Victoria's deadliest level crossing. The Baillieu government has promised to begin planning to remove the crossing in its first term.
On Wednesday afternoon, VicRoads will hold the first community information session on the removal of the Main Road crossing, which was listed fourth on a 2010 priority list of Victoria's worst crossings. The three crossings ranked higher on the list have all since been removed or the removal process has begun.
Ms Dejanovic said the St Albans community would be happy to view VicRoads' concept designs for the crossing, but was still waiting for the government to honour its promise.
''They've done this ad nauseam, government after government. So it's not anything we're getting excited about as a community,'' she said.
''Nobody has been more patient than the people of St Albans. The community will believe it when the first sod is turned.''
Ms Dejanovic's son Christian was killed at the Main Road level crossing in January. She has held two rallies at the crossing, and placed 16 crosses on a nearby fence, one for each death there.
She also put up banners asking people to sign a petition reading: ''My son was killed at the St Albans railway crossing. Do not let this happen to your family. Ted Baillieu, don't forget the west.''
Metro employees took down the banners on the same day and threw them in the bin. When Ms Dejanovic complained and asked to have the money refunded that she spent on them, the rail operator wrote that it was illegal to post ''religious, political or other subject matter which is contentious'' on railway land. It said train drivers found the banners distressing.
''As the signs were illegally posted on railway property, your request for compensation is respectfully declined. We would also strongly recommend that in future, you refrain from placing any materials on railway land without the expressed consent of Metro Trains Melbourne,'' Metro case resolution officer Andre Hernandez wrote.
But Ms Dejanovic said the train drivers' division of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union had, in fact, backed her campaign after she wrote to them saying she knew level-crossing deaths affected train drivers too.
''I believe the action of removing the banners and placards was an act of bullying,'' she wrote to Metro. ''This material is my property and I request that it be returned or alternatively I want to be compensated for my loss.''