A Werribee resident for 25 years, environmental activist Harry van Moorst says Wyndham is a great place that needs to be better protected.
What’s your connection to the local community?
I’m the director of the Western Region Environment Centre. I’ve been working there for 15 years, since the end of the [Werribee] toxic dump campaign. After speaking with the council and the community, we set up the environment centre to protect Wyndham’s environment and act as a watchdog for the area. Our focus is on community development within an environmental context, including creating jobs linked to sustainability.
Where’s your favourite retreat spot?
Walking along Werribee River and admiring our coastline. I don’t want to see it developed, we need to protect it.
Favourite place to get coffee or a bite to eat?
We have some wonderful Thai, Vietnamese and Indian restaurants. I spend most of my time at the Italian Sports Club of Werribee.
What do you love about your patch?
The growth of our community through Facebook sites such as those for the Shoestring Garden, Western Region Environment Centre and Wyndham Heritage Recovery Incorporated.
What would you change in your neighbourhood?
Create more sustainable jobs. There’s a problem of poverty and inequality in Wyndham with people getting left behind due to a lack of employment or job loss. Work needs to be done on public transport and people need to be encouraged to ride bicycles.
What do you remember being in Wyndham that’s no longer there?
Quite a few heritage buildings have gone, including the Davis House on Watton Street which was demolished last year. A lot of Wyndham’s history has been lost and a lot of space and land, including agricultural land, due to development. When I came to Werribee there were no traffic lights and it was easy to get around, unlike now.