Tarneit is a rural and residential suburb in Wyndham shire. Its residential part is immediately north and west of Hoppers Crossing and is 27 km west of central Melbourne. Its western (rural) boundary is the Werribee River, 32 km from central Melbourne. Tarneit is the name of the original survey parish and is thought to be derived from an Aboriginal word for white.
Tarneit is on the basaltic Werribee plains and was part of a farm community with holdings defined by the grid like roads that subdivided the land into holdings of about one square mile. A school opened in 1875 at the corner of Hogans and Tarneit Roads, continuing until 1932. The district’s population never exceeded 200 during its rural days, and in the 1950s a severe fire destroyed much that was standing.
In 1997 the Lutheran communities of Laverton and Werribee opened the Good News school and church in Tarneit Road. The school, along with the Thomas Carr Catholic college (1997) and the Wyndham Village shopping centre (2005) are all in Tarneit, but on the border with Hoppers Crossing. Further afield there is the Baden Powell P-9 State college (c2007) and the Tarneit 10-12 State college (2012), and Catholic primary school (2012). In the rural north on Derrimut Road there is an Islamic college (2012). Tarneit’s population tripled to over 21,000 during 2006-11 as the urban boundary of Melbourne was pushed outwards and farmland was snapped up by developers. A new Catholic primary school was opened in Tarneit West in 2015.
Tarneit has a recreation centre and swimming pool, several neighbourhood reserves and schools, shopping centre, community centre and a reservation for a regional rail link from Caroline Springs to Werribee. Tarneit station will be located near the intersection of Leakes Road and Derrimut Road and built at the existing surface level with a pedestrian underpass. It will also include up to 400 car spaces, a bus interchange and taxi rank, with future plans for an additional 600 car spaces. It is scheduled to open in 2016.
Its census populations have been: