Laverton, a residential and industrial suburb east of Hoppers Crossing and Werribee, is 18 km south-west of central Melbourne. It was named after the Laverton pastoral run, settled by Alfred Langhorne in 1836.

In 1886 Staples Wise and Company promoted the sale of land in the ‘new and model suburb’ of Laverton on behalf of the Federal Investment Company of Australasia. The Laverton railway station was the first one beyond Newport on the line to Geelong. A primary school was opened by the Wesleyan church on land donated by Staples Wise and Company in 1887.

Laverton was described in the 1903 Australian handbook:

In 1914 the Australian Military Forces aviation corps was formed at Point Cook. Eleven years later the Royal Australian Air Force (1921) established an aircraft depot at Laverton, 7 km to the north of Point Cook. Its first commander was Lieutenant Colonel R. Williams, and the Laverton Air Base was later named the RAAF Williams Laverton Base. It is served by a separate railway station, ‘Aircraft’ near its entrance.

During the 1950s a Housing Commission estate was established at Laverton. A second primary school was opened in 1955 following the construction of married quarters at the Cabbage Patch on the RAAF base. By 1966 there were over 900 pupils at the school. Two more primary schools were opened in 1967 and 1969, and a high school was opened in 1967. State schools were consolidated as a P-12 campus on the high school site (612 pupils, 2014). The Jennings Street School opened in Laverton in 2015 for autistic students.

Laverton has shopping centres near the Aircraft and Laverton railway stations across the Princes Freeway. There are parks with sports facilities and a swimming pool on Laverton Creek. A community centre, kindergarten and senior citizens centre are south of the railway line.

The area north of Laverton previously comprised part of Derrimut, but is now known as Laverton North. In 1919 the State Government set aside part of Laverton North as a site for noxious trades, and in 1922 it was reserved as a site for a metropolitan cattle sale yards. By 1980 the proximity of residential settlement made the reservations inappropriate, and transport depots, warehouses and an industrial estate have superseded them.

The area of Laverton south of the Princes Freeway is now part of Altona Meadows. The western two thirds of the Air Base has been detached as the Williams Landing development suburb (2008), with a new railway station and bus interchange (2013) and a town centre (2014-15).

Laverton’s census populations have been:

area census date population
Town 1891 156
Town 1921 195
Town 1933 411
Town and airbase 1947 915
Town 1961 4346
Town 2001 4701
Town 2006 4508
Town 2011 4065*

*Census area reduced in 2008

At the 2011 census, the median income of residents was 70% of the Australian median. About 19% of residents in 2011 were born in India or Burma.

Further Reading

Williams Landing entry