Transport issues for the western region are driving the agenda at the Metropolitan Transport Forum (MTF) at Altona RSL on Wednesday 1 October.

Altona loop rail services, frequency of bus services, the removal of level crossings, the East-west link and the Regional Rail Link (RRL) are just some of the topics being tabled.

The forum, one of 15 taking place across Melbourne before November’s state government election, will bring together candidates from the major parties to meet the public and answer questions about transport.

Hobsons Bay Councillor and MTF delegate Carl Marsich is pleased to be part of a forum that brings candidates face-to-face with voters.

“Quality of transport is an important contributor to liveability and productivity within Hobsons Bay,” he said.

As the Council’s delegate to the MTF, Cr Marsich said there is a number of local and regional transport issues he would like canvassed at the forum.

“Better and more frequent connections between our bus and train networks is a big issue for our region. I also welcome discussion on how to manage additional population growth and movement across our municipality, western metropolitan region and the broader Melbourne transport network.

“Council has been, and will continue to be, very vocal in advocating for more sustainable forms of transport and less reliance on cars to ease the growing congestion in our municipality.”

Mayor of Hobsons Bay Cr Sandra Wilson said transport infrastructure is a key challenge for all councils.

“I encourage anyone concerned about transport to come along and ask a question or two,” she said.

“Planning our transport network requires strategic direction and this is a good opportunity to discuss the challenges in an open town hall style meeting,” she said.

The forum, taking place at Altona RSL, Sargood Street, will begin at 7pm and interested community members are invited to RSVP or submit a question to

Questions already tabled for the forum include:

  • How (and when) will you improve rail services on the Altona Loop? In 2013 rail timetable improvements were made at the direct expense of Altona Loop commuters, who had peak-hour trains cut to once every 22 minutes, and off-peak the loop became a shuttle service that required passengers to change trains up to twice to get to or from the city
  • Will you remove level crossings across Melbourne's west? Level crossings across Melbourne's transport network hold up cars with a recent Council study showing that boom gates at Aviation Road, Laverton were down for up to forty minutes of every hour during morning hours
  • How would you maintain rail service connection between Werribee and Geelong after RRL opens? Clarification is required on how rail service connections between Werribee and Geelong will be maintained after the RRL opens

Other topics for discussion include:

  • East West Link - to provide clarity on each party’s position regarding Stage 2 of the East West Link
  • Bus services in Laverton – to discuss greater interconnectivity between buses and trains, alleviating the parking congestion around Laverton station
  • Provision of car parking at railway stations – to discuss upgrading parking arrangements, bike paths and safety around many rail stations in Hobsons Bay

Wednesday 1 October from 10am

Whether you have a scooter, a BMX or a skateboard, Wednesday 1 October may be your time to shine.

Participants of all ages are invited to come down to Newport Skate Park to show off their tricks in front of an eager, local audience.

There are prizes for each age division and successful entrants will go through to the Grand Final.

Competition between the scooters begins at 10am, BMX riders from 1pm, and skateboarders from 3pm.

Participation is easy: anyone wishing to enter just needs to register on the day.

This heat is the first of three, with the second heat at Laverton Skate Park on 14 February 2015, and Altona Meadows Skate Park on 21 March 2015.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Demolition of existing facilities in Pain Reserve, Newport will commence on Monday 22 September. Half of the rear carpark will be closed from today until end of construction in September 2016 with temporary fencing to accommodate contractor’s site accommodation and various mechanical plants.

Access from the carpark to Paine Reserve will be provided adjacent to the current Sloan House building and public are able to access the reserve at all times. 

For more information about the project visit the Newport Youth Library and Seniors Project page.

Thursday, 18 September 2014


This Friday 19 September is International PARK(ing) Day. Hobsons Bay City Council, along with local Altona traders, is participating for the first time with temporary installations in car spaces in Pier Street and Somers Parade. PARK(ing) Day is a concept that began in 2005 in San Francisco by Rebar art and design group. The intention was to temporarily claim a little patch of road space for the public to raise awareness of the importance of public spaces. The idea has since taken off with thousands of participants worldwide. For more information visit

Come down to Pier Street or Somers Parade on Friday 19 September and check out the installations or have a coffee in a car space! Visit this page again for pictures and updates on how the day went.

Friday, 12 September 2014

You are invited to a forum about Western suburbs transport issues in the forthcoming state election.

The events will be introduced by Mayor of Hobsons Bay, Councillor Sandra Wilson and chaired by LeadWest Chief Executive Officer Mr Craig Rowley.

You’ll be able to hear from the major parties and ask questions in a town hall style meeting.

Speakers include:
The Hon Terry Mulder, Minister for Public Transport and Minister for Roads
Jill Hennessy, Opposition spokesperson on Public Transport
Colleen Hartland, Greens MLC

WHEN: Wednesday 1 October from 7pm to 8.15pm
WHERE: Altona RSL, 31 Sargood St, Altona

Connect online to RSVP and suggest a question:

Suggest a question

A facilitator, to be funded by Council, will begin working with landowners to address the development potential of the Burns Road Industrial Estate.

Acting CEO Ms Natalie Walker said this is a step forward but one which will take time.

“The issues affecting the estate are complex, and in fact many of the development constraints are beyond the Council’s control. To best assist the process we have engaged the services of a facilitator,” she said.

“This site has been dormant for a number of years and developing requires all parties to work together to reach consensus.”

The Burns Road Industrial Estate has remained undeveloped for almost 100 years due to a range of complex issues including multiple landowners with differing expectations, presence of significant native vegetation and population density controls.

Ms Walker said a feasibility assessment was recently conducted to determine the costs and viability of developing the site.

“The assessment concluded that the single biggest impediment to restructuring the estate was landowner agreement,” she said.

“The assessment also recommended a cooperative management strategy to address the remainder of the developable area.”

Ms Walker said creating a realistic planning outcome will take time and Council will provide administrative support during the process.

“A report evaluating the outcomes and achievements of the landowner engagement will go to Council during 2015.”  

Hobsons Bay City Council has successfully prosecuted a builder for $13,210 in violation of the Planning and Environment Act.

After demolishing a rear portion of a house and renovating without a planning permit, a builder in Williamstown was ordered to pay a fine and costs totalling $13,210. The property is located in a Heritage Overlay Area.

Mayor of Hobsons Bay Cr Sandra Wilson said she hoped the stiff penalties would be a reminder for those choosing to bypass the proper process.

“This is a warning for those thinking of doing similar, and a win for the amenity and heritage of the community,” she said.

“If someone fails to obtain the correct building and planning permits before they start work, they should understand there will be consequences.”

Cr Wilson said Council takes the protection of heritage buildings seriously.

“We know from talking to the community how highly they value the area’s heritage,” she said.

Cr Wilson added that renovating without a planning permit may lead to substandard works.

“This places future buyers of the property at risk from both a safety and financial perspective.”

Checking with Council to find out if you need a planning permit before you start work can save time and money.

For more information contact the Council Planning department on 9932 1000 or go to Council’s website (

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Saturday 20 September, 10am to 3pm
Woods Street Arts Space, 44 Woods Street, Laverton

The Pop Up Garage Sale is returning to Woods Street Arts Space on Saturday 20 September.

Running from 10am to 3pm, the Pop Up Garage Sale will offer a range of items from adult and kids clothing, artisan products, vintage homewares, cakes to books and vinyl records.

Entertainment will be proved by DJ Nathan McCarter and the Universal School of Music and there will be free face painting for the kids from 12pm to 2pm.

Entry is free but a gold coin donation for West Welcome Wagon, a local charity supporting refugee communities, is appreciated. Refreshments and coffee will be available to purchase from food trucks and the coffee cube.

Woods Street Arts Space, situated next to Laverton Railway Station and only 15 minutes from the CBD, is a shop front arts hub supporting a program of workshops and exhibitions including a range of Street SmART and Art Sauce activities.

For more information go to 

Mayor of Hobsons Bay Cr Sandra Wilson welcomed Friday’s announcement from the Australian government on funding for early years services.

“The Australian government’s commitment to extend the 15-hours of kindergarten until 2015 will be a welcome relief to many in our community,” she said.

“We were one of 50 councils who lobbied the federal government for the continuation of this funding and we’re pleased that they’ve listened.” 

Cr Wilson said the focus is now on the long-term and securing a commitment for funding beyond 2015.

“A one year extension is a relief, but a long-term commitment would be far more reassuring.

“We will be working with MAV and VLGA to continue our advocacy in this area.”

The federal government has committed $406 million ensuring universal access continues for young children until 2015.

The funding is part of the national partnership agreement on early childhood education whereby the state government funds 10 hours of kindergarten services a week and the federal government supports five hours.

Cr Wilson said it was wise not to underestimate the importance of early years services.

“Australia is already behind many OECD countries when it comes to the provision of kindergarten hours at a subsidised cost and this needs to be addressed,” she said.

“The first few years are central to a child’s development and there is a great deal of evidence showing preschool attendance leads to better numeracy, spelling, reading and oral literacy.”

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

There is a severe thunderstorm and hail warning for parts of Victoria. Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging winds, heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding and large hailstones in the warning area over the next several hours.

The State Emergency Service advises that people should:

  • keep clear of fallen power lines
  • secure any loose objects in the vicinity of your home
  • keep away from creeks and drains
  • do not drive vehicles through flooded areas
  • stay indoors if possible
  • avoid using the phone during the storm
  • if you are outside, avoid sheltering under trees
  • listen to the radio for storm updates
  • switch off your computer and electrical appliances