Located north of Epping, the name Wollert is thought to derive from an Aboriginal expression describing a place inhabited by possums. The 2011 population for the rural north was 3,317, with a population density of 0.10 persons per hectare.
The City of Whittlesea’s rural north includes the suburbs of Donnybrook, Eden Park, Humevale and Woodstock, the northern part of Wollert, the non-urban part of Whittlesea, the City of Whittlesea parts of Beveridge and Kinglake West, and most of the City of Whittlesea part of Yan Yean.
Located north of Epping, the name Wollert is thought to derive from an Aboriginal expression describing a place inhabited by possums.
From 1836 until the early 1850s the area was occupied by large sheep runs. In 1853, much of the land was subdivided into smaller farm lots and the main access roads were laid out.
A village grew up along Epping Road, near Lehmanns Road, which included a couple of churches and a State School (1877-1994). Later, near the corner of Epping and Bridge Inn Roads, a post office (1876), a twentieth century ‘dance palais’, a sports reserve and a CFA station were established.
During the late 1940s several large properties were purchased by the Soldier Settlement Commission for subdivision into farms for eligible ex-servicemen. Until the 1960s, dairying was an economic mainstay.
West of Wollert, at the junction of the Merri Creek and Summerhill Road, was another village called Kinlochewe. At its peak in 1848, about 400 people lived in its vicinity. However it was completely destroyed in the 1851 Black Thursday bushfires.
Wollert’s unique drystone walls, as well as a number of mid to late 19th century homesteads, stand as a reminder of its past.
The rural north includes the rural balance of the City of Whittlesea, including some rural-residential areas.
The non-urban areas are characterised by forest, cattle grazing, farming and poultry, horse and dog breeding.
The 2011 population for the rural north was 3,317, with a population density of 0.10 persons per hectare.
The 2016 population forecast for the rural north is 3,248, and is forecast to grow to 3,808 by 2036.
The number of dwellings in the rural north is forecast to grow from 1,123 in 2011 to 1,276 in 2026, with the average household size falling from 2.96 to 2.92 by 2026.
The rural north had a lower proportion of pre-schoolers and a higher proportion of persons at post retirement age than the City of Whittlesea in 2011.
There were 26 people over the age of 85 living in the rural north in 2011, with largest age group being 50 to 54 year olds.
In the rural north, 15 per cent of people spoke a language other than English at home in 2011.
In 2011, 11 per cent of people in the rural north came from countries where English was not their first language.
The 3 largest ancestries in the rural north in 2011 were Australian, English and Italian.
1,718 people living in the rural north in 2011 were employed, of which 60 per cent worked full-time and 36 per cent part-time.
More rural north residents worked in construction than any other industry in 2011. There were more technicians and trades workers in the rural north in 2011 than any other occupation.
In the rural north 17 per cent of the population reported doing some form of voluntary work in 2011, which is higher than the City of Whittlesea average of 9.7 per cent.
In the rural north, 45 per cent of households were made up of couples with children in 2011.
In the rural north, 83 per cent of households were purchasing or fully owned their home, 11.2 per cent were renting privately, and 0 per cent were in social housing in 2011.
Analysis of car ownership in 2011, indicates 81 per cent of households in the rural north had access to 2 or more motor vehicles, compared to 61 per cent in the City of Whittlesea.
In 2010 the State Government extended the Urban Growth Boundary to allow additional urban development to take place in Melbourne’s outer suburbs.
Precinct Structure Plans are high-level master plans for whole communities. They lay out roads, retail hubs, schools, parks, housing, employment, connections to transport and generally address biodiversity, cultural heritage, infrastructure provision and funding through the development contributions plan.
The Metropolitan Planning Authority (MPA) is the statutory authority responsible for overseeing the preparation of all Precinct Structure Plans in Melbourne’s growth areas and advising the Minister for Planning on their approval.
The MPA is working in partnership with growth area councils, which includes the City of Whittlesea to complete the planning for Melbourne Growth Areas.
In the City of Whittlesea, the extension of the Urban Growth Boundary has created several future growth areas that will be planned and developed over the next 5 to 30 years.
The State Government’s, Metropolitan Planning Authority, in partnership with Council, has currently prepared the Wollert Precinct Structure Plan.