Friday 18th of August 2023 was the last day of the Save Barak Beacon campaign. A campaign led by various miscellaneous political parties, groups, and organisations, including RAHU, who came together to stop the destruction of the eponymous public housing estate.
Only through public housing – a little on every street – can the housing crisis end. Barak Beacon housed 89 households. Margaret Kelly was one of those tenants. For six weeks and two days, from 3pm to 5pm, every Monday to Friday, a protest was held outside of the Barak Beacon estate as part of a larger campaign to save public housing. On Tuesday 15th, we participated in one last, extended, final vigil, culminating in a camp fire which we sat around, whacked some buckets with sticks and sung ‘Florence and the Machine’ and ‘Lily Allen’ songs.
Friday 18th, Margaret Kelly was escorted by police out of the home that she called her own for over 20 years. The home she raised her son in. The home that allowed her be a part of a strong community. And for what? 75% of the land will be leased out to property developers to build market-based, beach-side, luxury apartments that no one can afford. The remaining 25% will be turned into community housing and so-called “affordable” housing. 0% will remain public housing. As the Big Housing Build continues to demolish what little public housing Victoria has left, all under the guise of the social housing lie; unions such as the CFMEU must declare a green ban to demand the protection of public housing. If you’re in any union, show them your support for a green ban on the Big Housing Build, to push the government to adopt the far less expensive ‘Retain, Repair, and Reinvest’ model that keeps homes public, protects jobs, doesn’t destroy a single home, or lead to an eviction.