Werribee region: one of Victoria’s fastest growing areas
By LARISSA DUBECKI
The days are numbered for the Werribee region of today. The pace of change in Melbourne’s outer south-west is a blur of building activity so rapid it’s like watching time-lapse photography.
One of the fastest-growing regions in Australia, the City of Wyndham and its Werribee epicentre have long harboured attractions such as the Werribee Park Mansion, the open-range zoo and Shadowfax winery.
These days, those big statements are being overshadowed by the more practical considerations of population growth and infrastructure investment leading to a boom in employment, aided and abetted by the relative affordability of Melbourne’s west.
Case in point: Mambourin. Chances are you haven’t heard of this new suburb that boasted a population of just four hardy souls on census night in 2016, but it is destined for hotspot status thanks to its proximity to Werribee (10 minutes’ drive) and the addition of the Windermere estate.
Thanks in part to Windermere’s master-planned community of four schools, sports facilities and a central village hub set among 50 hectares on a natural creek reserve, Mambourin’s population is predicted to grow to 18,000 in a few short years.
“Being able to leverage an already well-established and serviced community in Werribee is a real benefit,” says Julian Coppini, chief executive officer of project developer Oliver Hume. “The broader City of Wyndham is forecast to experience the largest amounts of growth from 2018 to 2036 – from around 255,300 to around 459,200 – and the suburbs surrounding Werribee such as Wyndham Vale and Mambourin are quickly becoming part of the overall growth success story for the western corridor.” Raised in Werribee, Coppini has seen first-hand tremendous change over a very short period of time. “When you see a new A-League stadium such as Wyndham Stadium in Tarneit being developed, you know there are big plans for infrastructure investment and employment growth,” he says. “This has been demonstrated by the massive government investment in local infrastructure such as roads, community centres and sporting parks.”
Three kilometres from Werribee, the new Lendlease community of Harpley is also playing a strong suit in local amenity. Featuring a three-hectare waterfront town centre, it’s already home to a childcare centre and St Joseph’s Primary School.
When it’s finished, Harpley will be more like a green, self-contained town, with more schools, a Coles supermarket and other shops, a medical centre and service station and a sinuous network of parks, bike trails and sporting fields.
Tom Trevaskis, Lendlease’s head of development for Victoria, says the area is known for its strong sense of community and connectedness, and 80 per cent of buyers to date are owner-occupiers, ranging from first-home buyers through to retirees.
“We’re seeing a high volume of young first-home owner families, with young children,” Trevaskis says.
“Those looking to establish roots make up a significant portion of purchasers at Harpley. This segment consists of both millennial and older traditional families with school-aged or older children.”