Residents of Techno Park Estate in Williamstown protested their eviction by the Hobson Bay City Council with a rally on August 8.
The 100 or so inhabitants were handed eviction notices by council in May, ostensibly because the zone is “industrial” not residential and that “any type of accommodation use at the land (apart from a caretakers house which your land is not) has been unlawful since that time.
“The current use of your land for accommodation must cease immediately,” the letter from Town Planning said.
The council also says the evictions were on advice from WorkSafe, because it is close to a major hazard facility, the Mobil tank storage facility.
From 1951 Techno Park has been home to generations of migrants and refugees. It was first known as the Williamstown Migrant Hostel, then Altona and then Wiltona.
Today, it is a mix of about 100 small brick flats, a few warehouses, and some self-storage.
After the rally had been announced, council blocked residents from attending meetings in person, moving its discussions online. Barricades were also erected in front of the council building.
Residents have pointed out that council has been aware for decades that the area is being used for residential purposes. Real estate agents have been allowed to sell and rent property in the area and the council has continued to take pet registrations from Techno Park.
Residents are being evicted without compensation or support. Green Left was told that some residents had already moved, which has led to them becoming homeless. Despite the council’s cowardly tactics, Techno Park residents remain committed to the fight to be allowed to stay.
[For more information visit Save Techno Park.]