Wyndham City

The City of Wyndham is a municipality formed on 15 December 1994, out of Werribee city, except for Laverton and Seabrook which were transferred to Hobsons Bay city and the northern and western parts of Werribee which were transferred respectively to Melton shire and Moorabool shire. Its western boundary is the Little River and the former boundary (Boundary Road) with Melton shire was kept. The municipal area is 542 sq km and the administrative centre is Werribee, 27 km south-west of central Melbourne.

The name comes from the village surveyed in 1850 on the present site of Werribee. It was named after Sir Henry Wyndham, who had distinguished himself at Waterloo and was known by an early inn-keeper and settler, Elliott Armstrong. Werribee proved more popular than Wyndham, however, and overtook it as the town's name in 1884 and as the shire name in 1909.

Bisecting the municipality in a south-easterly direction is the Werribee River, fed by tributaries beyond Wyndham's boundaries.

The landscape is flat to undulating and had little tree cover when first settled by Europeans because of Aboriginal fire-stick farming. The river flows through a relatively recent volcanic plain, overlain with substantial alluvium and delta deposit downstream from Werribee.

On the west side of the Werribee River is Cocoroc (formerly Metropolitan Farm), a sewage treatment site which includes grazing and other farming activity. Wyndham city has substantial unsubdivided land and wetlands. Most of Wyndham city’s urban area is east of the river, expanding north and south from the Princes Freeway/Geelong railway corridor.

During the 1990s Wyndham and the Werribee corridor shared with the Berwick/Cranbourne area the distinction of gaining new schools when many were closed or merged. In the 2000s to 2010s Wyndham city overtook all other local government areas as the fastest growing one for population. Annual growth rates increased from 3% to 6% by 2010, and the growth suburbs were:

Suburb Population
  2001 2006 2011
Point Cook 1738 14,366 32,413
Tarneit 334 6865 21,690
Truganina 338 3029 9138
Wyndham Vale 7493 10,483 17,304

The first three suburbs, remote from public rail transport, depend on private cars to reach shopping and State schools. A Caroline Springs to Werribee rail link rests at the proposal stage for the last three suburbs, and Point Cook residents face congested drives to Hoppers Crossing and Werribee railway stations. The most recent suburb is Williams Landing on part of the former Laverton air base. It has the advantage of being on the railway line and having a new station opened in April 2013.

Notwithstanding Wyndham City’s remarkable growth, most of it is open country beyond Wyndham Vale and Truganina in the direction of Melton shire. There is open country at the sewage farm and the Werribee South market gardens.

Wyndham City’s census populations have been:

census date population
1996 73,691
2001 84,861
2006 112,695
2011 161,575

Further Reading

Heritage of the City of Wyndham, Context Pty Ltd, 1997

Cocoroc, Hoppers Crossing, Laverton, Little River, Point Cook, Seabrook, Tarneit, Truganina, Werribee, Werribee South, Williams Landing and Wyndham Vale entries