Hobsons Bay City

Hobsons Bay City was formed on 22 June 1994, by the union of Altona and Williamstown cities, Laverton (part of Werribee city) and most of South Kingsville which was in Footscray city. It has river and maritime boundaries comprising the mouths of the Maribyrnong and Yarra Rivers, the western shore of Hobsons Bay (which is at the head of Port Phillip Bay), and the north-western shore of Port Phillip Bay. Its area is 66 sq km.

The name came from William Hobson (1793-1842), Commander of HMAS Rattlesnake, which brought the first government officials from New South Wales to the Port Phillip settlement in 1836. Hobson surveyed Port Phillip and Hobsons Bays, and Governor Sir Richard Bourke named Hobsons Bay after him on 10 April 1837. On the same day the principal town on the bay, Williamstown, was also named by Bourke.

Naming the former western suburbs councils Hobsons Bay was inaccurate as only one of them adjoins Hobsons Bay, whereas three municipalities on the east side (Port Melbourne, South Melbourne and St Kilda cities) face Hobsons Bay. They became Port Phillip City.

The majority of the Port of Melbourne’s wharf and maritime freight facilities face Hobsons Bay as the port has moved downstream from the Yarra River. The port is in the municipality of Port Phillip.

The West Gate Freeway is Hobson Bay city’s northern boundary. In addition to the freeway there are railway lines branching from Newport to Williamstown and Altona/Werribee.

Altona North has large industrial areas. Altona ends at an area of wetland, across which is the large suburb of Altona Meadows which has 23% of the population of Hobsons Bay city. Even so, about one third of Altona Meadows is the uninhabited coastal Cheetham wetlands.

The median income of residents of Hobsons Bay city at the 2011 census was 3.7% above the Victorian median. The medians for component suburbs varied:

Suburb % of Victorian median
  2006 2011
Brooklyn 77 96
Altona Meadows 97 92
Williamstown 139 134

Employment in manufacturing fell dramatically between 1981 and 1991, although it remained high compared with metropolitan Melbourne:

  % of workforce employed in manufacturing
  Hobsons Bay City Metro Melbourne
  1981 1991 1991
Females 28.7 16.2 13.8
Males 45.1 30.2 23.2

Hobsons Bay city’s census populations have been:

census date population
1996 73,951
2001 80,120
2006 81,459
2011 83,863

The population increase in 2001 came mainly from the redevelopment of the Williamstown Rifle Range for housing.

Further Reading

Altona city, Williamstown city, Brooklyn and Laverton entries