Deer Park, Victoria
Kororoit Creek at Deer Park
|• Density||1,742/km2 (4,513/sq mi)|
|Area||9.3 km2 (3.6 sq mi)|
|Location||17 km (11 mi) from Melbourne|
|LGA(s)||City of Brimbank|
|State electorate(s)||Kororoit, Derrimut|
Deer Park is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 17 km west of Melbourne's central business district. Its local government area is the City of Brimbank. At the 2011 Census, Deer Park had a population of 16,204.
The suburb was originally named Kororoit Creek, after the creek running through the suburb but was renamed after the Melbourne Hunt Club used the area to house their stock of game deer. The original Hunt Club building still stands on Ballarat Road, next to the Deer Park sports oval and is now a community centre. The Hunt Club was opened on Saturday, 11 July 1885.
Following the discovery of gold in Ballarat and Bendigo, to the west, there became a great demand for explosives. Deer Park was chosen as the site of Melbourne's first explosives factory, commenced by Jones Scott and Co in about 1874 and later reformed as Australian Explosives and Chemical Co, then Nobel (Australasia), Imperial Chemical Industries of Australian and New Zealand (ICIANZ) and most recently Orica.
The site was chosen for its isolation, as it was several miles from the outskirts of Melbourne. The availability of water in Kororoit Creek was also a factor.
The Post Office opened in 1878 as Kororoit Creek and was renamed Deer Park in 1889.
In the 1920s suburban sprawl threatened the isolation of the factory but before a move was necessary, the sprawl was halted by the depression of the 1930s.
A fatal accident at the factory in 1923 led to production of Black powder being stopped.
A new Black Powder factory was built in Deer Park in 1936 and enlarged during World War II. Charcoal from Australian timbers also began to be manufactured.
With labour shortages and a large demand for products during the post-war boom, ICI commenced housing development in Deer Park to attract workers to the area and many of the surrounding streets are named for localities in the UK, where ICI had operations.
From the early 1980s-1990s, Deer Park became a very popular location with migrants from Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The electrification of the train line to Deer Park was expected to occur in the 1980s, however the project has been ignored by successive State Governments. Many residents believe the delay in upgrading the train line is related to the fact that Deer Park is situated in one of the safest Labor seats in the country.
Melbourne bus routes 215, 216, 400, and 451 service the area.
The main road through Deer Park is Ballarat Road, which carries traffic between Melbourne and Ballarat, Victoria's third largest city. Station Road intersects north-south with Ballarat Road and is a major local route. The Deer Park Bypass, completed in 2009, allows motorists to avoid the suburban streets of Deer Park on their journey from Melbourne to Caroline Springs, Ballarat and beyond.
Currently Deer Park has one secondary college which is Victoria University Secondary College - Deer Park Campus (formerly Deer Park High School). It has four primary schools which are Deer Park North, Deer Park West and St. Peter Chanel P.S .
Flora and fauna
Kororoit Creek is located on the northern boundary of the suburb. This area (particularly in the West) has been home to large healthy populations of native reptiles for thousands of years, including Tiger snake, Eastern Blue-tongued Lizard, Stump-tailed skink and Eastern brown snake. Unfortunately due to development these species are now rarely seen in the area.
Due to more recent development of the Cairnlea estate and improved vegetation on the banks of Kororoit Creek, native species of frogs have taken advantage and have taken up residents in the new wetlands and lakes. The Common Eastern Froglet and even the now endangered Growling Grass Frog have been seen and heard in the new wetlands and around Kororoit Creek.
On the southern outskirts of the suburb there are large farm properties which have now being developed for housing under the development names Brimbank Gardens and St Andrews Field. This area surrounds Mount Derrimut, which saw the relocation of the Sunshine Golf Club to allow its former location East of Fitzgerald Road to be redeveloped as housing.
Victoria's main maximum security female prison, the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre is located in Deer Park.
Deer Park has also gained a slightly tarnished reputation, due to the maximum security prison that is located there. This myth was the subject of an advertisement by the radio station Nova 100, in which comedian Dave Hughes claimed that he had seen a car on fire on a Deer Park street. In a letter they received from a resident, they came to the said resident's house and then, whilst talking to her, the car they had arrived in was attacked by several men and a woman, though this was staged for the commercial.
- City of Sunshine - the former local government area of which Deer Park was a part
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Deer Park (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- Orica History, From the Gold Fields to the ASX
- Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 11 April 2008
- Full Points Footy, Deer Park, retrieved 15 April 2009