Why an entire street of Australian families are being thrown out of their beloved homes by the advice: ‘Leave within six months or face legal action’
- Williamstown residents facing eviction
- It comes 35 years after the area was reclassified as industrial
- Council says risk of residents living there ‘too great’
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Dozens of inner-city families living in an industrial area are facing mass eviction after the council finally decided to enforce zoning rules that changed decades ago.
Residents living in the Williamstown apartment complex in Melbourne’s inner-west have been ordered by Hobsons Bay Council to leave within six months or face legal action.
The council now considers the area industrial and claims residents are “at risk” 35 years after the property was first rezoned.
The Techno Park Drive complex was originally built to house immigrants and refugees after World War II before being sold to the private market in the late 1980s.
Many residents facing eviction fear being forced to live in tents as the nation grapples with a housing crisis.
They come from all walks of life, from homeowners and renters to young families, immigrants, and the elderly.
Lara Week bought a two-bedroom house advertised as a home office three years ago and has lived there ever since.
Techno Park Drive residents (pictured) have vowed to fight to stay in their homes
“The council has accepted people living here for decades and we are not the only part of Hobsons Bay where the council has accepted people living on industrial land when it suited them,” Ms Week said. a current affair.
The homes are in close proximity to a Mobil fuel storage site, which ceased operations in 2021 but has not ruled out tank refurbishment at the site in the future.
Residents have launched a desperate appeal to stay, insisting that the council has the power to solve the zoning problem.
‘Think of the people,’ pleaded Arnie, a 14-year-old resident.
John added: “For them to just abruptly apply a technical color on a map and tell people they can’t live in their homes anymore, it’s so devastating.”
‘There are ways the council can fix this. They have the power to allow us to continue living here.
Lara Week (pictured) leads community fight to stay in their inner-city homes
But not everyone on the council wants to see the residents thrown out.
I am here to support the residents. A decision has been made and in my opinion it’s just not fair,” Hobsons Bay Councilor Daria Kellander told the show.
‘Evicting people from their homes and leaving people homeless is not a solution. Not well.’
Hobsons Bay Council has vowed to stick by its decision, saying that rezoning the land would not be appropriate due to significant security risks.
“Although Mobil is no longer refining fuel at its Altona site, it remains an important fuel terminal for the state and a significant risk facility that stores fuel,” the statement read.
‘The risk to people living in the immediate area if there is an incident is too great. It would be inconceivable for the council not to act and make sure there are no people living in the area.
The Techno Park Drive complex (pictured) was built to house immigrants after World War II
Ms Week has created a online petition to fight against mass eviction, which has more than 600 signatures.
The City Council says that the area is industrial and that people cannot live there. But the community exists because the Council chose to accept residential use for decades,” the petition says.
‘The Council’s decision to threaten people with eviction and legal action now, at a time of housing crisis, is ruthless, bureaucratic, arbitrary and wrong. It has caused tremendous harm to people and made them fear losing their homes.”
Residents have been ordered to leave their homes 35 years after the council first rezoned the compound (pictured) as industrial