Point Cook, Victoria
|• Density||3,485/km2 (9,030/sq mi)|
|Area||9.3 km2 (3.6 sq mi)|
|Location||25 km (16 mi) from Melbourne|
|LGA(s)||City of Wyndham|
Point Cook is a suburb of Melbourne, in the Australian state of Victoria, 25 km (direct distance, 26.5 km actual travel distance) south-west from Melbourne's Central Business District. Its local government area is the City of Wyndham.
Point Cook is the home of RAAF Base Williams, Point Cook, the birthplace of the Royal Australian Air Force, and is the current home of the RAAF Museum. The wetlands of the Point Cook Coastal Park form part of the Cheetham and Altona Important Bird Area.
Point Cook was originally spelled Point Cooke, and named in 1836. Almost all references dropped the "e"; however, in the early 2000s the point itself was officially renamed "Point Cooke". Point Cook was named after John M. Cooke, mate of His Majesty's vessel Rattlesnake. Commanded by Captain Hobson, the ship charted part of the Port Phillip bay in 1836.
William Drayton Taylor leased the land around Point Cook promontory in 1849. The following year in 1850 Taylor transferred his licence to Alexander Irvine. By March 1852, a six-room weatherboard cottage had been erected.
In 1853 the pastoralist Thomas Chirnside added the farmlands of Point Cook to his holdings. He built the famous Point Cook Homestead of twenty-five rooms in 1857. Initially Point Cook was an important segment of the expanding pastoral empire established by Thomas and his brother Andrew. As their extensive land holdings were developed substantial homesteads were later constructed at Werribee Park, Carranballac, Mount Williams and Curnong.
Due to the Chirnside brothers' deep interest in hunting, deer and foxes were introduced to Point Cook in the 1850s. As early as 1859 members of the Melbourne Hunt Club and the Geelong & District Hunt Club were invited to hunt at Point Cook. In the early 1860s Thomas Chirnside imported valuable horses for the breeding at Point Cook. The property was said to have three racetracks. The Chirnsides became one of Victoria's prominent pastoral families, entertaining the colonial gentry and organising sporting functions for their guests at Point Cook.
In 1873 the Chirnside brothers began construction of the elaborate mansion at Werribee Park. By 1877 the Werribee Park Mansion had been completed and it largely displaced the Point Cook Homestead as their families' focus.
Early 20th century
In 1912 the Federal Government purchased a large section of Point Cook with a vision to establish the Australian Flying Corps (AFC). Due to the success of the AFC in the First World War, the AFC was renamed the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and this led to the eventual renaming of the AFC base at Point Cook to RAAF Base Williams. Point Cook remained the RAAF's only base until 1925 when RAAF Base Richmond and the nearby RAAF Base Laverton were built. Point Cook is considered the birthplace and the spiritual home of the RAAF. Today the RAAF Williams base is the home of the RAAF College including Officers Training School (OTS) and the RAAF Museum.
In 1920 the Chirnside family sold the remainder of the Point Cook property to Sydney Dalrymple. This ended nearly 70 years of the Chirnside family's ownership of Point Cook. Four years later in 1924 Dalrymple sold the northern part of the Point Cook land to Cheetham Salt Pty Ltd for salt recovery lagoons.
Point Cook Post Office opened in 1926, was renamed Point Cook R.A.A.F. Post Office in 1940, and closed in 1993. A new Point Cook office opened in 2005 subsequent to suburban development in the area.
Cheetham Salt established a series of ponds in the 1920s where sea water was fed into the shallow ponds and allowed to evaporate. Dried salt was then harvested from the floor of the lagoons. This operation continued until the early 1990s, when the site was purchased by the Victorian Government. The more environmentally important bayside part of the original saltworks now comprises Cheetham Wetlands which make up the migratory bird habitat and conservation area that is there today. The higher, western section is being developed privately by various housing estates, such as Sanctuary Lakes that are there today. In 1948 Point Cook hosted the Australian Grand Prix, which was held at the Point Cook RAAF Base. The race was won by Frank Pratt driving a BMW 328.
In 1996, Point Cook was basically a rural community, with the RAAF Williams Base. Point Cook's population in 1996 was approximately 580, of whom 552 lived on the RAAF base. By 2001, Point Cook’s population had increased to 1,737, and by August 2006 the population of Point Cook was 14,162 as per the 2006 Australian Census. Today Point Cook is one of the major growth regions in Melbourne's western suburbs.
At the 2011 Census, Point Cook recorded a population of 32,413 and is estimated to reach 41,474 by 2016. When taking into account the Melbourne 2030 Plan's current urban growth boundary, it is believed that Point Cook's population will peak at approximately 60,000 by the late 2020s.
List of residential estates in Point Cook:
- Wyndham Harbour
- The Boardwalk
- Sanctuary Lakes Resort
- Point Cook Gardens
- Lincoln Heath
- The Greens
- Monterey Central
- Hacketts Rise
- Saltwater Coast
- Point Cook Village (retirement village)
- Kingsford 
Selected areas of Point Cook are currently taking part in Telstra's FTTP broadband network. Up to 1,500 Point Cook homes now have access to a download capacity of up to 100 Mbit/s. This will involve replacement of the copper with fibre line to the home. This delivers Internet, digital free-to-air TV, Foxtel from Telstra and multiple HomeLine services all from one cable with no need for rooftop antennas or dishes. Telstra has also recently introduced ADSL 2+ to several areas of Point Cook.
Outside of areas with FTTP, Internet services in Point Cook are considered by most residents to be well below that expected of a developing suburb. Many residents are unable to obtain ADSL services (either v1 or v2) due to the limited capacity of the local Point Cook telephone exchange to provide these services. Also, due to the design of the copper telephone network in Point Cook, many residents are on RIMs not suitably provisioned for ADSL, restricting their Internet services to dial-up, or wireless technologies such as 3G. HFC cable services are not available in the suburb.
With the commencement of the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN), Telstra has also ceased the roll-out of copper lines to new housing estates, meaning residents in newly developed land are unable to get any phone or internet service, save that of mobile/wireless, until their homes are connected to the NBN. It is estimated that NBN will not be introduced to households in the Point Cook area till 2015.
Schools in the Suburb of Point Cook:
- Alamanda K-9 College
- Carranballac College, Prep – Year 9 College, Jamieson Way Campus
- Carranballac College, Prep – Year 9 College, Boardwalk Campus
- Point Cook College P-9 (formerly Point Cook Primary School)
- Lumen Christi Catholic Primary School
- Point Cook Senior (Years 10–12)
- Emmanuel College: Notre Dame Campus (Co-educational Catholic Secondary School Years 7–12)
- Stella Maris Catholic Primary School
The RAAF base was established in March 1913 and was used as a flying training school until 1992. The base contains a museum for visitors; most of what is left are prohibited and restricted areas. The RAAF Williams Base contains a horizon tank (a diving tank, not an armoured fighting vehicle), one of only three in the world. It was used in the television series Moby Dick and Noah's Ark.
The Point Cook Town Centre is located at the corner of Dunnings Road and Boardwalk Boulevard, with the development including a main street retail and commercial town centre, up to 135 specialty shops, as well as Coles, Aldi, Target, Harris Scarfe, Dick Smith Electronics, Growers Fresh, Pharmacy Select and Reject Shop outlets. There is also a food court which seats over 400 people. Stage 1 had a grand opening on 21 August 2008, with Stage 2 opening at the end of November 2009. In 2010 Victoria's largest Dan Murphy's store and Vast Furniture store opened.
Sanctuary Lakes Shopping Centre is another shopping centre in Point Cook, undergoing a major revamp which was revealed to the public on Thursday September 6, 2012. Kmart and Aldi were added to the centre, as well as an additional 30 retailers. Four-hundred new car parks and food court will also be added to Sanctuary Lakes Shopping Centre.
see also Williams Landing
Separate to this, in the neighbouring suburb is the Williams Landing Development. Williams Landing will be developed into a Transit-oriented development and a major activity and employment centre. Williams Landing is now building on land that was, up until the 1980s the airfield & runway of the RAAF Base Laverton, which is located on the northern edge of Point Cook. Williams Landing is next to newly finished Williams Landing railway station, just across the Princes Freeway and for residents of Point Cook will be accessed via Palmers Road. Construction of Williams Landing has commenced in early 2008 and is due to be completed by 2025.
Directly south west of Point Cook, in Werribee South, will be the new development of the Wyndham Harbour Marina. Wyndham Harbour marina, a $440 million project, will be a waterfront development a 50 minute drive from Melbourne's Central Business District and right next to Point Cook. The new marina at Wyndham Harbour will have up to 1000 wet berths from 10–35 metres including 6 super-yacht berths. There will also be a 300-berth dry stack. Additionally, there will be two apartment buildings, absolute waterfront lots, retail space, two new beaches, walking trails and 10 hectares of public recreational space & wetlands. The development will also incorporate water/marina front restaurants & cafes. This development is now under construction, with the first apartment building to be completed in mid-2014 and the second soon to be released.
Point Cook is located to the south of the Princes Freeway, and is served by the Point Cook Road and Forsyth Road exits. A Palmers Road off-ramp opened in March 2008, as an alternate route onto the freeway from Point Cook Road.
The nearest railway station is Williams Landing railway station which was opened on 30th of April 2013. Some other stations also close by are Laverton and Aircraft on the Werribee line. Despite Williams Landing being a new station, the commuters from Point Cook continue to face cancellations, long delays and interruptions to their public transport services. This is due to the lack of rail (V-line and Werribee line services utilise the same tracks) and road infrastructure in such a large growing area. With the government to introduce Zone 1 access to everywhere on Jan 1, 2014, the traffic problem may get worse as more people use Public Transport.
The following bus routes also service the area:
- 493 Williams Landing railway station – Hoppers Crossing via Dunnings Road and Boardwalk Blv, Point Cook (every day). Operated by Westrans.
- 494 Williams Landing railway station – Point Cook South via Dunnings Road, Sommersby Rd and Alamanda Bvd, Point Cook (every day). Operated by Westrans.
- 495 Williams Landing railway station – Point Cook South via Dunnings Road, Boardwalk Bvd and Featherbrook Estate, Point Cook (every day). Operated by Westrans.
- 496 Laverton – Sanctuary Lakes Shopping Centre via Central Av and Point Cook Rd, Point Cook (every day). Operated by Westrans.
- 497 Williams Landing railway station – Saltwater Coast Estate via Dunnings Rd, Point Cook Rd and Saltwater Prom, Point Cook (every day). Operated by Westrans.
- Point Cook Action Group has been established to advocate on behalf of residents of Point Cook, with the objective of gaining quality facilities and infrastructure required to maintain and improve the standard and quality of living in the Point Cook area.
- Point Cook Motorcycle Club PCMC is an on-road social club, meeting at the Waterstone Cafe in Sanctuary Lakes on Sunday mornings for social rides. All makes style and ages.
- Point Cook Football Club (PCFC)
- Point Cook Cricket club (PCCC)
- Point Cook Jets Soccer Club (PCJSC
- Golfers play at the course of the Sanctuary Lakes Club on Point Cook Road.
Tourist attractions in Point Cook include:
Tourist attractions neighbouring Point Cook include:
- Anthony Callea – Television personality and singer; spent his teenage and early adult years with his parents in Point Cook.
- Archie Thompson – Socceroo and marquee striker for Melbourne Victory Football Club
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Point Cook (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
- "IBA: Cheetham and Altona". Birdata. Birds Australia. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
- Population/Households in Point Cook http://forecast2.id.com.au/Default.aspx?id=124&pg=5110
- Captain Cook Society: "", “Cook’s Log, vol 27, no. 4, 2004, Page 15 – Table 1 " In his book “First Years at Port Phillip”, R. D. Boys says the geographical feature did not receive a name until 1836–1837. “On 11 December 1837, the H.M.S. ‘RATTLESNAKE’ sailed for Sydney from Port Phillip. During the stay of that ship Captain William Hobson, Lieut. Thomas M.C. Symons, Lieut. Hastings R. Henry, and Peter Frederick Shortland, Mate, surveyed Port Phillip. Among the names given, were Point Cooke (after John M. Cooke, mate)".
- Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 11 April 2008
- Wyndham City Council: "Wyndham City Council Meeting Agenda – 10 July 2006", Future Provision of Service infrastructure in Point Cook, Page 109 – Table 1 "population Nos. In Point Cook 2001–2016".
- "Forecast Id for wyndham". Retrieved 25 July 2012.
- " Point Cook Town Centre web site Media page: "
- Wyndham Harbour Marina website: "Wyndham Harbour Marina".
- VicRoads: Palmers Road Project
- Golf Select, Sanctuary Lakes, retrieved 11 May 2009