1994 was a year of upheaval and massive change. In June of that year the State Government of Victoria under Premier Jeff Kennett fulfilled his promise of Council amalgamations.

The final Report of the Local Government Board was released on Friday the 3rd June 1994 and gave a clear indication as to the libraries future under the leadership of the City of Hobsons Bay.

As a consequence, the City of Altona joined with the City of Williamstown, and the suburbs of Laverton, Brooklyn, Spotswood and South Kingsville to become the City of Hobsons Bay.
The 210 Local Victorian Councils were pared back to just 78 and 1600 elected councillors were sacked. Commissioners were appointed in the interim to run the new Hobsons Bay City Council and the first CEO, Mr Ken McNammara, was appointed.

At this time staff were unsure if their jobs would be secure; in fact many staff accepted redundancies. Staff employment conditions differed at each library and it was difficult to reach acceptable compromises.

Altona City Library went from being a single branch library to a four branch enterprise with the additions of Williamstown, Newport and Laverton Libraries and thus Hobsons Bay Libraries was born.  It had been a long and difficult pregnancy, followed by a protracted and painful labour. Once the baby was born however, like all new babies, HBL was accepted and nurtured to become the thriving and vibrant adult it is today. Coincidentally, I too was pregnant at that time, but after an excellent pregnancy I gave birth to a baby girl in October 1994.

Altona City Library Reference Librarian Mary Putkunz resigned on the 17 June 1994 after 23 years service. To quote Daniel Ferguson:

“Mary has performed...like a Shakespearean actor, giving a final curtain call in the tradition of Melba at every opportunity...Mary has given herself – her whole self, to serving the people of Altona, with vigour and panache...sound in the knowledge that her skills, talents and personality will not rest, but continue to live life to the full.”

Mary did indeed live life to the full. She sailed the world on a yacht as a cook, and embraced life to the full.

June 1994 also saw the introduction of Compulsive Competitive Tendering (CCT) for services and library stock.