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The suburban municipality of Brimbank is strategically located across key transport corridors serving Melbourne’s rapid western and northwestern expansion. Brimbank Rising steps through local prehistory and history with attention to planning events from Hoddle’s 1840 survey to the recent Regional Rail Link which shape the area. Across five periods, this history sees planning as a contributory process to city shaping, with specific plans as snapshots in time of endorsed intentions, all through the lens of comp-lexity, connectedness and contingency. Recent geological and ecological history had been productively harnessed by the Wurundjeri before all were disrupted by the arrival of unauthorised settlers from Tasmania and their livestock focused on serving markets in and using methods more appropriate to the other side of the world. Following colonial separation and the discovery of gold in 1851, the second part follows the expansion of heavy rail and the multifaceted influence of leading industrialist H V McKay’s Sunshine Harvester Works through and between the booms of the 1880s and 1920s. Postwar flooding of the Harvester Works, and of the region with migrants, demanded major infrastructure investment and municipal capabilities which were consistent with wider suburbanisation and growing dominance of road transport without challenging the area’s politically safe status. The penultimate section is focused on concurrent events in 2009 and how they play out through council in administration’s Sunshine Rising campaign to capitalise on the local potential of Sunshine’s rail upgrade and complementary infrastructure investments. Finally there is discussion of current state policies and planning which relate to Brimbank and which the council and community need to continue to work with and advocate for further Rising to ensure Brimbank’s potential as service corridor for the Growth Areas is realised.

Publication Details
Source title:
Proceedings of the 14th Australasian Urban History Planning History Conference 2018
Publication Year: