Letters to the editor


    Some advice for Hobsons Bay Council?

    I am appalled by the scolding motion Hobsons Bay councillors put forward in place of a community-led petition with over 2300 signatures calling for solidarity with Palestine. The goal of this motion, underscored by comments made by Cr Briffa and Mayor Tyler during the meeting, appears to be to remind petitioners that “other people suffer too.”

    People advocating for a ceasefire and an end to the occupation of Palestine do not need reminding of non-Palestinian suffering. If the Councillors who supported this motion were paying attention, they would see a movement driven by solidarity between people victimised by violence and colonisation, struggling for an end to the genocide in Gaza and towards sovereignty and liberation for all.

    Councillors say they are concerned for the mental health of people in our community. As a mental health professional, some advice for our Council: don’t call the police on grieving people as they protest your inaction. Don’t ask the federal government to support mental health services for victims of genocide, in place of urging them to stop supplying weapons and money to the state doing the killing. Don’t replace our community’s motion asking for solidarity with Palestine with one that doesn’t even mention their name!

    Solidarity with all our neighbours impacted by the genocide in Gaza—we see you. Shame on Hobsons Bay Council.

    Juan-Camilo Riaño-Rodriguez

    Will Hobsons Bay Council stand up for Techno Park residents?

    At the February Council Meeting, Hobsons Bay City Council finally admitted that councillors have the power to put a stop to ‘Operation Pegasus’— Council’s awful code name for their eviction of families, pensioners, and other low-income residents from our homes at Techno Park in Williamstown. They confirmed that Councillors could vote for a planning scheme amendment that would fix Council’s zoning problem and keep people in our homes.

    The community already knew Councillors could do this, because it is exactly what Councillors in the City of Yarra did to protect their residents threatened with eviction over zoning. Yarra Councillor Stephen Jolly has been advocating for this same solution for Techno Park for the last six months. Hobsons Bay Councillor Daria Kellander has also been a dependable, principled, and courageous supporter of residents since Day One.

    Recently, internal council documents exposed by the ABC suggest our Councillors may have been kept in the dark on key information about ‘Operation Pegasus’ — that Council had known for years that people lived at Techno Park, and that residents were entitled to existing use rights to remain. Nine months after Council first sent the notices saying we must leave our homes immediately or face legal action, our question for Hobsons Bay Councillors is ‘Will you finally stand up for residents?’ 

    Lara Week
    Techno Park Drive, Williamstown

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