Altona is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, situated 13 km south-west of Melbourne's Central Business District, and located within the City of Hobsons Bay local government area.
- Area:16.737 km2
- Elevation:8 m
- Local Government Area:Hobsons Bay City Council
Altona is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, situated 13 km south-west of Melbourne's Central Business District, and located within the City of Hobsons Bay local government area. Altona recorded a population of 10,762 at the 2016 census.
Altona is a large suburb consisting of low density residential in the south-eastern half and mixed industry in the north-western half. A feature of the suburb is Altona Beach, which is one of only two swimming beaches in the western suburbs (the other being Williamstown Beach).
Altona takes its name from the then independent German city of Altona which is today a borough of Hamburg.
Prior to arrival of Europeans, the Altona area was home to Kurung-Jang-Balluk Aboriginal people, of the Woiwurrung clan.
Altona was first permanently settled in 1842, with the construction of The Homestead by Alfred Langhorne. The name 'Altona' first appeared on maps in 1861. It was named by Frederick Taegtow, a German who hailed from Altona, then a town just outside of Hamburg. Taegtow believed that coal was to be found in the area, and in 1881 he formed the Williamstown (Taegtow) Prospecting Company. From 1886, housing in the Altona and Merton Street estates was sold, and by 1901 the Victorian Government owned an explosives reserve in the west of Altona.
On 20 February 1911, J. J. Hammond flew the first cross country flight between towns in Australia from Altona Bay to Geelong in Victoria, and on 23 February, also at Altona Bay, he undertook the first powered passenger flight in Australia.Coal mining formed the basis of the local economy from 1908 to 1919. However, this was brought to an end in 1930 when open cut mining was developed in the Latrobe Valley.
By 1918 the population was sufficient to justify a Post Office which opened on 14 January 1918.Following the Second World War Altona received a large influx of immigrants, primarily from the Mediterranean, Central Europe and a smaller number from the Middle East.
From 1862 Altona was a town in the Shire of Werribee, but in 1957, the Altona Riding of the Shire, which included Altona itself as well as Altona North and Altona Meadows, was severed, and became the City of Altona in 1968. This was merged into the City of Hobsons Bay in June 1994 under local government amalgamations undertaken by the Kennett government.
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