There goes the neighbourhood

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Last updated on July 2nd, 2017 at 01:27 pm

I used to work at the big Toyota factory in Altona, Victoria, during the mid-80s. Of course, the suburb has gone downhill since then.

UPDATE. Paco: “When I click the link and look at that picture of her, I keep expecting to see the words, ‘A Walter Lantz Production’ pop up on the screen.”

Posted by Tim B. on 01/01/2008 at 06:00 PM
    1. I think poor Julia lived too close to the refinery in Altona.

      Posted by curious george on 2008 01 01 at 06:13 PM • permalink


    1. She’s photographed standing outside the back door, isn’t she?

      I ponder the significance.

      Posted by kae on 2008 01 01 at 06:19 PM • permalink


    1. I hope the house isn’t called “Health and Education”.

      Posted by Sensible Swim on 2008 01 01 at 06:19 PM • permalink


    1. Heh-heh-heh- HEH– heh!

      Posted by paco on 2008 01 01 at 06:44 PM • permalink


    1. Is anyone else creeped out by her resemblance to a human sized Jinglepixie?

      Posted by Col. Milquetoast on 2008 01 01 at 06:55 PM • permalink


    1. John Anderson… needed a satellite phone to stay in touch with the outside world because Telstra couldn’t help

      Apparently he also had a veggie patch because Woolworths couldn’t help.

      Posted by anthony_r on 2008 01 01 at 06:56 PM • permalink


    1. Living near a petrochemical plant has environmental advantages.
      Just think – at night you can read the paper in your own lounge room courtesy of the glow from the petro flares.Petrochemical fumes are wonderful for clearing the sinuses thus no need for drugs.

      The lawn rarely needs mowing because nothing grows.

      And finally, we know why she always wears dark garb. We thought it was power-tripping. Wrong. You just can’t keep the whites white hanging amongst all those fumes.

      Oh, by the way Jules, your house looks like a neglected dump – paint the guttering. Do something!

      Posted by Bonmot on 2008 01 01 at 07:07 PM • permalink


    1. #5 Julia has always freaked me out. But yes I sure can see the resemblance.

      Could Julia be a genetically modified Jinglepixie?

      Posted by Dave Wane on 2008 01 01 at 07:12 PM • permalink


    1. You made Gaia-raping autos, Tim? Big deal.
      I worked for five years to destroy the forests of the world.

      Posted by SwinishCapitalist on 2008 01 01 at 07:22 PM • permalink


    1. Altona? We are trusting the nation to a woman whose major life-defining financial investment was to buy a house in Altona? Altona was and still is best described as a shit-tip. Even Yarraville is coming up in the world.

      She must want to be near the smell of Trotskyite Pommy shop stewards.

      Posted by Nic on 2008 01 01 at 08:12 PM • permalink


    1. I see Minnie Waters gets a mention in the linked article.  I took my first girlfriend on a drive to that beautiful spot when the “road” was two wheel tracks through the heath and there were only a couple of fishermen’s shacks at the beach.
      My evil intentions were unfulfilled.
      Just though you might like to know why Minnie Waters is more interesting to me than Altona and Gillard.

      Posted by Skeeter on 2008 01 01 at 08:15 PM • permalink


    1. #5 Is anyone else creeped out by her resemblance to a human sized Jinglepixie?

      By George, Colonel, I think you’ve nailed it!

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2008 01 01 at 08:18 PM • permalink


    1. I caught the article that mentioned that 80% of migrants flunked the citizenship test. Is that supposed to be some kind of joke ? Hell, I’m American and I can’t imagine not being able to pass the thing with about two hrs. of study. (I’m being charitable too!)Probably, 30 minutes would do it.

      Posted by greene on 2008 01 01 at 08:42 PM • permalink


    1. About 20% failed. Doh! I guess I wouldn’t do as well as I thought.

      Posted by greene on 2008 01 01 at 08:45 PM • permalink


    1. What’s the big deal? Anyone from anywhere else knows the hardest working Australians from December to mid-February are the flies…

      Posted by MentalFloss on 2008 01 01 at 09:14 PM • permalink


    1. Jules has got the win grin cause she just finsihed pelting barkers eggs over the fence onto the neighbours lawn.

      Noice. Unusual.

      Posted by Pickles on 2008 01 01 at 10:16 PM • permalink


    1. Ms Gillard’s temporary job running Australia does not come with the keys to the Lodge in Canberra or Kirribilli House. In the new era, where Mr Rudd likes to have an ear tuned to every corner of his Government, Ms Gillard’s job does, however, come with the use of Mr Rudd’s own media spokesman, Lachlan Harris, as her mouthpiece.

      My God…SHE chews the stuff, (earwax, “have an ear tuned”, get it?) too?

      No wait, it’s Lachlan Harris who chews.

      So confused, am I…Damn.

      Posted by El Cid on 2008 01 01 at 10:21 PM • permalink


    1. ”…She returned to her Altona home yesterday — a house she bought 10 years ago for $140,000 — after spending New Year’s Eve at the decidedly more upmarket Kirribilli House…”

      $140,000. In Altona. 10 years ago.

      Either its a friggin’ mansion or she was totally hosed.

      Posted by Jay Santos on 2008 01 01 at 10:37 PM • permalink


    1. Hosed Hoovered well and truly. Eh?

      Posted by kae on 2008 01 01 at 10:58 PM • permalink


    1. Surely the meeja can’t be stupid enough to think anyone is so gullible to fall for this whole working class hero schtick? Surely we’ve seen more than enough rapacious, money-grubbing greed from former high-ranking ALP tyros to not fall for the “Oim jerst a pore gurl frum Alterneh, eh! Wanna go ter the sherps in me Terarner?” act- a stint as a party official, a gig with Slater and Gordon and a few years on the front bench and she’s hanging with the Bogans on the whiffy banks of Port Phillip Bay, just around the corner from the Wog Detention Camp? Do me a favour and stop pissing on my shoulder and telling me it’s raining.

      (BTW- if she was true bogan aristocracy, she’d still have the former housing commission hovel at the ‘Tona, but it’d have a hideous six figure three storey extension, a pool with its own waterslide and a ten car garage to accomodate all the HSVs, jetskis and extra-wide Chesney. I call bollocks on this puff piece).

      Posted by Habib on 2008 01 01 at 11:49 PM • permalink


    1. Krudd is at the cricket – no doubt keeping up appearances with selected celebrities for the television cameras.

      Meanwhile Red Julia has left the Kirribilli party and is now running the “show” from her union heartland residence in beautiful down-town Altona.

      Julia will probably put a barbecue on (she is handy with the tongs…remember) and invite some of her good union mates like Dean Mighell around.

      No doubt after a few coldies Dean and Co will have some good “advice” for Julia on how the country should be run.

      I feel certain they will come up with some interesting “iniatives”!

      Posted by Dave Wane on 2008 01 01 at 11:50 PM • permalink


    1. I just can’t help it. When I click the link and look at that picture of her, I keep expecting to see the words, “A Walter Lantz Production” pop up on the screen.

      Posted by paco on 2008 01 02 at 12:55 AM • permalink


    1. Dave, if you join your post and Habib’s together, the unionists won’t have to stagger very far at all.

      Posted by Nic on 2008 01 02 at 01:25 AM • permalink


    1. #22- An early incident in the deputy Pee-Emm’s life revealed to her the true horror of climate change and the inherent evil of a competitve capitalist system of winners and losers, and propelled her to the progressive side of politics, where she learnt to enjoy the parry and thrust of preselection contests for candidacy for high office.

      Posted by Habib on 2008 01 02 at 01:29 AM • permalink


    1. Is that Julia on the right?

      Posted by AlphaMikeFoxtrot on 2008 01 02 at 02:02 AM • permalink


    1. I am still absolutely disgusted that this dragon is the MP elected by others in our electorate. Fxxx Jinglepixies. Yes that many Australians can be wrong

      Posted by Pa Feral on 2008 01 02 at 02:31 AM • permalink


    1. Altona, but for the grace of god, goes the Prime Ministership.

      Posted by Penguin on 2008 01 02 at 02:32 AM • permalink


    1. Speaking of Gaia Raping Employment, for three years in the late 70s and early 80s I worked for British General Electric in the Construction division.
      GEC Construction Division built COAL FIRED POWER STATIONS.Gives me a warm glow just thinking about it.

      Posted by kae on 2008 01 02 at 02:41 AM • permalink


    1. #28
      A warm, satisfying glow.I can out-smug those prius driving prats.

      Posted by kae on 2008 01 02 at 02:42 AM • permalink


    1. I still work there regularly (not on staff – contractor) and I live JUST round the corner. It’s not that bad..and say what you like about Julia, she’s got a set.

      Posted by ooh honey honey on 2008 01 02 at 03:21 AM • permalink


    1. Gillard was acting PM while Rudd was in Bali and Timor. She was acting PM during his “secret” trip to Iraq and Afghanistan. She is acting PM again while Kevin watches the cricket and the fireworks in Sydney.

      Two questions.
      1. Has Gillard been the prime minister of Australia for more days than Kevin Rudd?
      2. Has Rudd, who didn’t move into the Lodge until Christmas Eve, spent more nights in Kirribilli House than the Lodge?

      Posted by Contrail on 2008 01 02 at 03:31 AM • permalink


    1. Another hard-hitting political piece from The Age.

      Posted by Abu Chowdah on 2008 01 02 at 03:58 AM • permalink


    1. #31

      Two excellent questions Contrail.

      Are you trying to tell us something?

      Is Red Julia:

      The lady behind the throne?


      The lady in waiting?



      Posted by Dave Wane on 2008 01 02 at 04:08 AM • permalink


    1. The only reason someone would buy a house in Altona was if she was raised in the area and fully inured to it.

      It is the pits: flat, hot, industrial. Most of the road traffic is a jam of heavy goods vehicles.

      Anyone from any other part of Melbourne including even Werribee would not give it a second thought.

      According to Wikipedia this is a major highlight of the Altona year —

      A spaghetti eating competition is staged by a local restauranteur in Pier Street each March

      Posted by walterplinge on 2008 01 02 at 04:30 AM • permalink


    1. A honeymoon period for ALP governments is that bit before the media start attacking them for being too conservative.
      Is it clever to point out where people spend their summer break?
      This “running the country from …” line wears out after the first repetition.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2008 01 02 at 04:48 AM • permalink


    1. Even Yarraville is coming up in the world.
      Yarraville’s certainly not the neighbourhood today that my parents left behind forty years ago when they moved to the other side of town. Altona’s chances of a similar rise are slightly less than that of a black Lesbian aiming for Pope.

      Posted by SwinishCapitalist on 2008 01 02 at 05:04 AM • permalink


    1. #36

      Posted by kae on 2008 01 02 at 05:09 AM • permalink


    1. #33
      Well, I don’t think Rudd is running Australia any more than president Jed Bartlett was running the United States. Rudd is merely playing the part of the PM.The country is probably being run by John Faulkner, who would prefer fellow leftie Gillard in the Lodge. Lots of stories in the media about Gillard running the country. None about Rudd doing it – he’s watching the fireworks and the cricket. Rudd’s stay at Kirribilli House fits perfectly. Bad enough it was Howard’s home but now it’s Rudd’s holiday cottage. How long before the opinion polls start showing Gillard as the preferred PM?

      Posted by Contrail on 2008 01 02 at 05:42 AM • permalink


    1. And when Kevin is in Australia he is acting PM. Not very convincingly either.

      Posted by Toiling Mass on 2008 01 02 at 05:42 AM • permalink


    1. Sorry Contrail, repeated your point in #38. I am most contrite and abjectly apologise.

      Posted by Toiling Mass on 2008 01 02 at 05:45 AM • permalink


    1. Given her obvious financial accumen evidenced by her sound real estate investments* I’m surprised she hasn’t got the treasury and finance portfolios.

      *For local reference, imagine buying up in Pinkenba or Luggage Point in Brisbane, at Mascot adjacent to the leaky ICI facility in Sydney, or for the views over Three Mile Island, Windscale or Chernobyl.

      Posted by Habib on 2008 01 02 at 05:47 AM • permalink


    1. Sweet Lord.

      That photo looks like the opening shot of a zero budget bogan porno movie entitled ‘Shiela Shags Shepparton’.


      Posted by MarkL on 2008 01 02 at 06:11 AM • permalink


    1. #40 No apology necessary.

      (reaches over, picks up phone and calls lawyers re theft of intellectual material)

      Posted by Contrail on 2008 01 02 at 06:27 AM • permalink


    1. Tim

      Can you please warn me before linking to un-“work-friendly” photos?

      The mere sight of that woman makes me want to stab myself in the eyes with a small cactus.

      Posted by murph on 2008 01 02 at 06:41 AM • permalink


    1. #44,

      A small cactus murph?

      I would’ve thought a picture like that, warranted nothing less than impaling your face on a Giant Saguaro!

      Posted by Pogria on 2008 01 02 at 06:52 AM • permalink


    1. #41 Habib,

      seriously, I don’t think that there are any other suburbs in either Brisbane or Sydney (with the exception of Clyde in Sydney) that come close to the industrial wasteland that is Altona.

      Just spy its sophistocated railway offices. Then again, such a bogan infested tip might be just the place for ole Jules.

      Posted by Nic on 2008 01 02 at 07:00 AM • permalink


    1. And for those that don’t know these are bogans.

      Julia would be right at home with this lot.

      Posted by surfmaster on 2008 01 02 at 07:15 AM • permalink


    1. #46- Mascot has the double attraction of an overhead flightpath for one of the worlds busiest airports and a water table infused with a hellbroth of heavy metals, pcbs and assorted other industrial effluvia that’s been leaching into the area for many decades, ensuring a regular crop of deaf mutants who’ll really crank up Barnsey through the subbies in the SS Commie- Pinkenba in Brisbane has the flightpath, several particularly malodorous industries, an oil refinery and the city shitworks next door, presenting a malodorous cocktail that makes one of Satan’s farts smell like Givenchy, with the added excitement of a catastrophic explosion when a venting of methane from the poo farm catches a sea breeze and wafts into one of the flame towers.

      Then of course there’s Mount Isa……..Altona’s a bit of a seaside idyll compared to a few other conurbations, but being bogan cetral in Melbourne is difficult to top.

      Posted by Habib on 2008 01 02 at 07:34 AM • permalink


    1. Bogans even have their own ABC media people. (Not work safe).

      Posted by surfmaster on 2008 01 02 at 07:38 AM • permalink


    1. Sometime back in the mid-1980s, Toyota was working on a concept car so innovative and unusual that the company decided to base all further development at its Altona plant in Victoria, Australia. Altona was chosen for its remoteness, with one executive describing it as “the only place in the world far enough away from any other place in the world”.

      This was a top secret project for Toyota and grainy, unauthenticated photographs from the time showed a car with no wheels that seemed to float several feet above the ground.

      Following a mysterious break-in at Altona, all original blueprints and CADCAM files were stolen. Despite intensive investigations, no suspects were ever identified.

      Posted by splice on 2008 01 02 at 07:52 AM • permalink


    1. Hmmmm. There’s an Altoona just down the road.

      Posted by rightwingprof on 2008 01 02 at 10:46 AM • permalink


    1. People over at Altoona swear they saw lights in the sky. But they ain’t got no proof, prof.

      I think we can cover this one.

      Posted by splice on 2008 01 02 at 10:57 AM • permalink


    1. Well aren’t you the bunch of nimby elites! What the hell’s wrong with oil refineries and car factories? You think cars are fashioned by natives and whales shit oil?
      Altona’s carbon footprint DACKS on the leafy green suburbs that youse live in.

      Posted by ooh honey honey on 2008 01 02 at 08:22 PM • permalink


    1. #53- Maybe so, but I prefer to not eat where I shit. What’s wrong with commuting a great distance via flambe’d fossil fuel to wherever whiffy you work?

      Posted by Habib on 2008 01 03 at 03:48 AM • permalink


  1. #54 LOL Habib.
    I’m not touching that.

    Posted by kae on 2008 01 03 at 03:49 AM • permalink