New security doors for housing tower following safety concerns

New security doors for housing tower following safety concerns
Brendan Rees

A public housing tower in Carlton, which was the scene of a horrific stabbing last November, will have security doors installed to every apartment of the building.

The new doors will be rolled out at 495 Cardigan St between February and March to improve ventilation and safety of residents after the local community raised the issue with the state government.

Cory Memery, founder of the Public Housing Residents Network, proposed the idea which resulted in a face-to-face meeting with the Minister for Housing Richard Wynne last September.

“He did take it as a priority … it’s a win-win for everyone,” Mr Memery said, but added he had hoped the initiative would include all public housing buildings in the area.

“There’s been stabbings over in that particular building [Cardigan St] so it’s a good proposal and it will work.”


Also, with COVID, everyone said they needed ventilation. People who live in these buildings can’t really open their front doors for fear of people walking in.


Resident David Bikupski, who has lived at the Cardigan St tower for four to five years, said he welcomed the project as he said he felt unsafe “at times” when needing to open his front door on warm days because he didn’t have air-conditioning.

“It’s a major concern. People just walk in, it’s happened once,” he said.

“People wait downstairs for someone to come in the lift. They get in the building that way.

“Someone stabbed my door, and other people’s places have had their doors kicked in and stuff.”

Mr Bikupski was at home with a friend when a man was stabbed outside the tower following an altercation on October 11 last year, which reignited residents’ concerns of safety.

“I was sitting in here with my mate and we heard something,” he said. “We’d seen him [the victim] holding his back, so we threw a towel down and had to call the ambulance.”

According to police, a 53-year-old man was stabbed during the incident and taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The male assailant had fled the scene.

Victoria Police has been contacted regarding an update on the investigation.

A letter sent to residents advising of the security door installation said Colcept Architects had been engaged to carry out inspections before the installation of the new doors.

No access would be required to the apartments as consultants would be in contact with residents, the letter said.

Homes Victoria said scoping and necessary building approvals for the door installations was underway, with tenders to be called once this was completed.

The initiative is part of the government’s $2.7 billion Building Works program, which will provide almost $500 million to upgrade 23,000 dwellings and build 168 new homes across the state, all while creating jobs for Victorians •

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