Footscray West

Footscray West is a residential and industrial suburb 8 km west of central Melbourne. It lies between Footscray and Braybrook, and for a considerable period of time its western area was known as Tottenham.

Footscray was an early township formed on the west side of the Maribyrnong River and Braybrook was a village on the river 4 km west of Footscray. The space between the two places was rural until well into the twentieth century.

In 1915 a school (named Tottenham until 1953) was opened at Footscray West, two years after the formation of the Footscray West progress association. In 1934 Beaurepaire's Olympic Tyre Company opened its factory just west of the Footscray West railway station, an early example of several industrial sites that brought postwar employment to Footscray West. An earlier landmark was Boon Spa cordials in Geelong Road, and several other factories in Geelong Road were also opened in the 1930s. They were in the locality of Kingsville, which is south of Footscray West.

The residential development of Footscray West occurred during the early postwar years. By 1956 Footscray West was described as a thriving community with extensive industrial enterprises in place of paddocks. A neighbourhood shopping centre was established in Barkly Street, about midway between Tottenham and Footscray West railway stations. It was positioned on a bus route and within easy driving distance of residential neighbourhoods. The area is divided by the railway line from the southern part of Footscray West, where the district's main recreation reserve is found.

In 1987 the median house price in Footscray West was 70% of the median price for metropolitan Melbourne and in 1998 it was 94% of the metropolitan median. There has also been a trend to higher density housing.

In a blow to motor industry workers, the car part factory CMI Industrial in Footscray West closed in 2012. Footscray West primary school had 553 pupils in 2014.

Footscray West's census populations have been:

census date population
2001 9450
2006 9776
2011 10,222

Among the languages spoken at home by residents at the 2011 census there were:

language % of population
  Footscray West Victoria
English 51.7 72.4
Vietnamese 10.4   1.6

Further Reading

John Lack, A history of Footscray, Hargren Publishing Company, 1991

South Kingsville entry