A group of public housing residents, political parties and community groups met on June 29 at Middle Park Library and Community Centre to plan vigils at the Barak Beacon site in Port Melbourne to stop the demolition of the 40-year public housing estate.
The organising group is also demanding the Daniel Andrew’s Labor government commit to the repair, retain and reinvest proposal that the resident have given them and reinvest in public housing.
The first is planned for July 3 at 3–5pm, while Margaret Kelly, the last remaining tenant, contests her eviction in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). A decision is expected shortly. If VCAT turns down Kelly’s request to stay, issuing an immediate possession order and warrant, the group will take immediate action.
Following that Victorian Greens leader Samantha Ratnam hosted a forum at the same venue with drew more than 45 people to discuss how to save public housing and the Barak Beacon Estate.
Ratnam affirmed the need for a grassroots campaign to save the site and pointed to the housing activists who occupied a public housing estate in the inner-western Sydney suburb of Glebe, earmarked for demolition.
[Check Save Barak Beacon Facebook group for updates. Margaret Kelly and activists from the campaign to save public housing in Glebe will be speaking at the “Housing as a Human Right” panel as part of the Ecosocialism 2023 conference in Naarm/Melbourne on July 1. Tickets can be purchased here.]