It’s been a difficult a month for many Westsiders, especially the residents of Techno Park Drive in Williamstown. A heartless eviction notice thrust under the doors of more than 100 residents has brought unnecessary angst and heartache to a community that’s been allowed to thrive under the nose of Hobsons Bay Council for decades.
The single most important question that Council has failed to answer is ‘why now’, in the middle of a housing crisis? Council claims it began with a resident’s noise complaint against the neighbouring Mobil facility, and that they were acting due to a notice from Worksafe. However Worksafe has denied those claims and Mobil has not verified them.
Residents at Techno Park have been living next to storage tanks since 1951. There are plenty of other sites in the west where residents live next to hazardous material storage.
In those instances the dangers are downplayed, yet this site is suddenly deemed too dangerous.
Until Council can bring transparency to this chain of events and explain their actions openly, many people will come to their own conclusions.
I had the honour of meeting some of the Techno Park residents recently, and it’s clear this village provides safe affordable accommodation and that the community is healthy and strong. They are united and they plan to stay and fight this decision.
If you’d like to support the good folk at Techno Park you can sign their petition via this link – change.org/techno.park. And you can join their Rally/March to Hobsons Bay Council on Tuesday 8 August, meeting at 5.30pm at Logan Reserve Altona.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Air quality continues to worsen in the west
My child was involved in an air quality survey conducted by Breathe Melbourne which gathered data through Dyson backpacks worn by school children. Students were told they’d see the data and become air quality scientists. They were briefly shown the data but my child was not allowed to take a snapshot of the results so we could explore it. She told me that the air quality on the pedestrian crossing over the freeway (which our children use daily) was bad, as was the air quality around Cruikshank Park.
I’ve noticed dead bees all along the new pedestrian bridge over the Westgate freeway and contacted local beekeeper Ken Marriott to see if he knew why. There were no nearby hives and his conclusion was that bee flight lines are being seriously disrupted by the scale of the freeway works and they’re seeking refuge in the pedestrian crossing but die because of the poor air quality.
There is huge dependence on cars in the inner west. We lost so many mature trees that lined the freeway when tunnel work began. The foliage at the end of our street (along the freeway) has been replaced with concrete. We advocated for trees and got nowhere.
Wembley Primary has double the rates of asthma in Victoria, and Maribyrnong City Council residents have excessive hospitalisation for asthma and other pollution related diseases. It is well known that we have ageing fleets of dirty trucks and low standards. We have low and out of date EPA air quality standards. It is a burgeoning health disaster.
When will something be done?
McIvor Reserve stadium plans still dividing community
There are so many things that are wrong with Maribyrnong City Council’s decision to go ahead with building a stadium at McIvor Reserve.
It will impact the community’s health, by the cutting down of 100s of trees (some 70-year-old trees).
Taking away parkland in a community that has very little green space and building it next to a major development, where 1000s more people will be living.
WHY would we need a 1000 seat stadium for local sport?
WHY did a Labor councillor change his vote at the second vote and 3 Labor councillors vote for a stadium to be built?
WHY is there nowhere for the local basketball clubs to go due to council facilities for basketball and other indoor sports being outsourced.
WHY can’t The Maribyrnong City Council build on brown space when there is so much brown space in our area?
WHY does the State and Federal government NOT have a policy in place that stops allowing councils in Australia to build on green space especially in communities with very limited green space available?
Why are MCC Rates so expensive?
I am a long standing resident of West Footscray and a current ratepayer to MCC.
I want to know why Maribyrnong is one the three most expensive municipalities in Greater Melbourne? The residents of MCC are mainly ‘battlers’ and have limited capacity to pay expensive rates. In years gone by my grievance could have been raised with the Ratepayers Association of the old Footscray City Council. Unfortunately this association no longer exists. I have found the MCC very difficult to deal with over the years. I think that the salary packages of most of the MCC staff are too high and that you employ too many staff.
MCC needs a review and report by an independent firm of management consultants.