Williamstown, Victoria - Present


In the past decade Williamstown has received a face lift and become a major tourism drawcard. It retains the coherence and charm of a maritime village, due, in no small part, to the many historic buildings. A proliferation of cafes and restaurants are a major feature of Nelson Place which runs adjacent the foreshore while boats, yachts and dinghies decorate the shoreline and ships sail through the estuary en route to the Port of Melbourne.

The 2006 census puts the number of occupied private dwellings in Williamstown at 5,035, states that 66.5% of occupied private dwellings were family households, and the number of families is given as 3,372. The 2006 Census data also shows that 74.6% of persons usually resident in Williamstown stated they were born in Australia. Other common responses within Williamstown were: England 4.8%, New Zealand 1.5%, Scotland 1.2%, Italy 1.1% and Greece 0.8%. The data also showed that 88.5% of persons usually resident in Williamstown were Australian citizens, 19.6% were born overseas and 0.7% were overseas visitors.

Williamstown is within the Victorian electoral district of Williamstown. The 2007 by-election was triggered by the resignation of Steve Bracks as both Premier of Victoria and the Member for Williamstown. Wade Noonan successfully contested the election with 61.7% of the primary vote. The Liberal Party did not contest the seat in 2007.

The November 2010 State Election saw a very different result with a huge swing against the government. The ALP's primary vote was 46.75% (compared to 61.7 in 2007), with the Liberal Party polling 32.5% of the primary vote.

The community had been very vocal in the lead up to the election in their opposition to plans for a modern, high-rise and high-density development planned by Evolve Development, which if built would overlook the Point Gellibrand Coastal Park and Historic Williamstown (former Naval) Shipyards. 2010 saw major protests and community rallies in Williamstown against the Minister for Planning's (Justin Madden) decision to rezone the former Port Phillip Woollen Mill site (owned by the O'Brien family) and adjacent land to RESIDENTIAL without allowing the responsible authority (Hobsons Bay City Council) to manage the planning process. This exclusion of the community in deciding the outcome of the historic Point Gellibrand site and being seen to support inappropriate development in this historic precinct saw a swing away from the government greater than the state average even though the local member, Wade Noonan, publicly supported the community in their stand against the high-rise, high-density development. The community is now (as at December 2010) waiting to see if the new Coalition Government will in fact honour their campaign pledges re inappropriate development in Williamstown and throughout the state.

Read more about this topic:  Williamstown, Victoria

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