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history:h_aust_vic_melbourne

history of Melbourne

Early history:

  • the Wurundjeri-william clan were custodians of an area along the Yarra and Plenty rivers and spoke a Kulin dialect called Woi wurrung. Boon wurrung were custodians of the Mornington Peninsula and Westernport region.
  • in 1803, David Collins (1756-1810) immortalised by the naming of Collins St, sailed into Port Phillip Bay with 300 convicts and tried unsuccessfully to establish a settlement at Sorrento (from where the famous convict Buckley escaped and managed to live with the local Aborigines for some 30 odd years until the British returned).
  • in 1824, Hume & Hovell passed through the grassy plains of Sunshine & Keilor, camping in the vicinity of Taylors & Sydenham Rds
  • in 1835, the settlement on the site of Melbourne was founded after John Batman proclaimed “This is the site for a village” as he sailed past on the Yarra River. Batman traded commodities with the Wurundjeri tribe in return for 600,000 acres of land. NSW Governor Richard Bourke later declared this deal illegal, claimed it for the Crown and named it after British Prime Minister William Lamb, Lord Melbourne instead of its previous name Bearbrass village.
  • John Pascoe Fawkner (1792-1869), a teetotaller, publican settles in Bearbrass village, building the 1st house - a hut near the Rialto. He is remembered by Fawkner Cemetery (where Batman is buried in the pioneers section), the suburb Pascoe Vale and Enterprize Park along the Yarra named after his vessel in which he sailed from Van Dieman's Land (Tasmania).

the arrival of the squatters

  • 1836 was the start of the squatters arriving and claiming large areas of grazing land:
    • John Brock (-1856), his wife and 3 sons left Van Dieman's Land and settled on grazing land west of Romsey - the small soda trachyte volcanic hill (1 of 3 such geologic forms including Camel's Hump and Hanging Rock), was named after him as Brock's Monument - now still on private land.
    • see history of Sunshine for those to the west of Melbourne
  • Major Mitchell travels south to Melbourne in 1836
  • in March 1837, the Sydney government sent Robert Hoddle, the surveyor, to stake out an eruption of civilisation by a bunch of speculative types from Van Dieman's Land who had occupied the site of Melbourne for 18 months.
    • the government's main concern was to raise revenue from the sale of the land and wanted thus to maximise the amount of land to sell (the proceeds of which went to Sydney) and in addition, forbade central public squares on the grounds that they encouraged “the spirit of democracy”.
    • the grid was to follow a strict north-south grid plan in the Sydney office which was a generic design for colonial townships set out in government regulations in 1829.
    • Hoddle had already used this grid to plan Liverpool, Campbelltown, Goulburn and others, but in Melbourne, he recognised that it promised to become a great city and thus he rotated the north-south grid a few degrees to accommodate the Yarra River and pegged out the streets to be 99' (30m) wide rather than the standard 66' (20m). Gov. Bourke first objected to the wide streets but agreed on condition that they be interleaved with lanes - the “Little” streets, which became the bane of bullockies & Beemer drivers from that day to this.
      • Hoddle:
        • had surveyed the Moreton Bay area - the future site of Brisbane - with John Oxley
        • under the direction of Major Thomas Mitchell, he surveyed vast areas of virtually inpenetrable country for the landmark 1834 map of the colony.
        • after taking part in the 1st auction of Melbourne land in 1837, he settled in Melbourne.
  • in 1838, a punt service was established across the Yarra River, followed shortly after by a ferry service.
  • 1842, establishment of the Native Police Corps (1842-53) recruited from Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung people, based in Narre Warren and Dandenong but often used the Police Paddock barracks on the site of the MCG
  • 1845, a crude timber toll bridge was built downstream of present Princes Bridge.
  • 1848: the Royal Mail Hotel is built on the SE cnr of Bourke and Swanston St (gained its name because its owner, E. B. Green, held the contract for carrying the mail via stagecoach throughout Victoria)
    • William Johnston Sugden became it's 2nd licensee when he resigned in late 1848 as Melbourne’s Chief Constable and founder of the city’s first plain-clothes detective force. However, he remained in his position as the 1st fire chief of the city’s original publicly-funded fire brigade from 1845 to 1850. Sugden obtained one of the few city night licences enabling him to remain open after 9 pm.
  • 1850, the first permanent bridge over the Yarra was built and was the longest stone arch ever built in Australia at 45.7m.

The founding of Victoria & the gold rush:

  • in January 1849, an ex-convict called Thomas Chapman found a 38 ounce gold nugget in Daisy Creek (7 km from Talbot) while working as a shepherd, this was to spark a minor Gold Rush which authorities had been trying to keep quiet to avoid lawlessness invading the land. The main gold rush only commenced in 1851 after the law was changed allowing miners to own the gold as long as they paid a miner's licence (formerly, any gold found was deemed property of the Crown).
  • 1850: Lorne (Louttit Bay) in the Otways is used as a port for timber and its 1st settler developed a cattle run in 1853.
  • 1851, colony of Victoria founded, with Charles La Trobe of Latrobe St fame (1801-1875) appointed as 1st governor, coinciding with the gold rush which resulted in 313,000 new settlers immigrating to Victoria, rapidly outstripping NSW in population & development. In 1852 alone, 86,000 British migrated seeking their fortune.
  • 1853, James Blackburn (1803-1854) commences construction of Melbourne's 1st controlled water supply - the Yan Yean Reservoir, but soon after died of typhoid. Fresh tap water became available in 1857.
  • 1853, govt grants MCC a new site for a cricket ground in the Government Paddock / Yarra Park which was to become the MCG.
  • 1853, Joseph Reed (1828-1890), architect, wins competition to design Melbourne's Public Library and later teams with Frederick Barnes (1824-1884) to create a number of leading buildings in the boom era including Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne Town Hall, Trades Hall, Rippon Lea and St Michael's Church.
  • 1854, the Eureka Stockade in Ballarat; The Age newspaper is founded and was soon taken over by David Syme (1827-1908).
  • 1854, Melbourne's first railway bridge was built for Hobsons Bay Railway - a timber trestle bridge just below Yarra Falls, and soon a government built iron railway bridge with a record clear span of 61m was built across the Maribyrnong River for access to Williamstown.
  • 1856, a wrought iron bridge built at Church St
  • 1856: 136 hotels, inns and taverns crowded into an area one mile long and half a mile broad, bounded by Flinders, Spencer, Latrobe and Spring Streets, The hours were 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the warmer months of the year, with special licences available until midnight. Beer for ‘off the premises consumption’ could be bought on Sundays for two hours after 1 p.m.
  • 1857, Ferdinand Von Mueller (1825-1896) becomes Victoria's 1st government botanist and curator for the Royal Botanic Gardens. 16 years later he was replaced by English landscape gardener William Guilfoyle(1840-1912) to changed it from an educational facility to a recreational one much to Von Mueller's displeasure.
  • 1857: Kyneton was proclaimed a municipality and, thanks to the gold rush and through traffic, Kyneton became the state's major agricultural town and the general prosperity and development resulted in a building boom which saw bluestone quarrying become a substantial industry.
  • 1859: the Bendigo train line construction reaches Sunbury
  • 1861, iron lattice-girder road bridge built across the Yarra at eastern end of Bridge Rd which is Australia's oldest surviving metal truss bridge, although it has been modified twice since.
  • 1861, the Albion & Darlington steam train stations on the Sunbury line which opened in 1860, are closed and demolished, Maidstone is closed in 1865
  • 1862: the Bendigo train line construction reaches Castlemaine then Bendigo. It was extended to Echuca in 1864.
  • 1876: William Wardell (1823-1899) architect, builds St Patrick's Cathedral, one of the biggest Gothic Revival churches in the world, and Government House.
  • 1876: the 8 storey Yorkshire Brewery Tower in Collingwood becomes the tallest building in Melbourne and remains the tallest for the next 12 years.
  • 1878: the private Melbourne and Hobson's Bay United Railway Company which controlled the lines from Flinders Street station to South Yarra was purchased by the State Government enabling the Gippsland line to be brought directly into Melbourne.

The property boom years of the 1880's and "Marvellous Melbourne":

  • 1880, white population reaches 2.2m; Ned Kelly hanged for murder of Mounted Constable Thomas Lonigan;
  • 1880, train line opens from Carlsruhe to Daylesford, and then connected to Ballarat in 1887 (this line closed in 1978)
  • 1881, George Adams (1839-1904), the founder of Tattersalls, initiates Australia's 1st public sweepstake on Easter Monday in Sydney.
  • 1883, Edward W. Cole (1832-1918) founds his book arcade in Bourke St which stayed in business until 1929.
  • Melbourne's elite develop coastal resort towns of Sorrento, Queenscliff, Torquay and Lorne as well as a multitude of bay-side sea baths and bathing boxes for health and status purposes.
  • speculative investors borrow money in property boom which included new estates in Footscray
  • c1886: see a snapshot of Melbourne in E. Whitehead & Co's Guide to Melbourne (pdf):
    • train lines to Essendon, Williamstown, Oakleigh, Brighton Beach, Port Melbourne, St Kilda, Hawthorn and Camberwell, Coburg and Mordialloc (Ballarat line opened in 1884, Braybrook Junction station (later called Sunshine) opened in 1886 then to the new township of St Albans in 1887)
    • cable trams to Richmond, Nth Fitzroy, and Collingwood
    • steamers to Sydney, Adelaide, Launceston, NZ, Geelong, Warrnambool, Belfast (Port Fairy) and Portland, and in Summer months, to Queenscliff, Dromana, Portsea, Sorrento,
    • hospitals and asylums included:
      • Melbourne Hospital (at Lonsdale and Swanston Sts)
      • Alfred Hospital
      • Blind Asylum, St Kilda
      • Deaf and Dumb Asylum, St Kilda
      • Benevolent Asylum, Nth Melb
      • Protestant Orphan Asylum, Brighton
      • Catholic Orphanage, Sth Melb
    • principal hotels included:
      • Scott's Hotel 444 Collins St west
        • in 1852 William Morton partially demolished the Lamb Inn and remodeled it as the Clarendon Family Hotel. Edward Scott, previously of the Port Phillip Club Hotel in Flinders Street (from where the Port Philip Arcade derives its name), purchased the Clarendon in 1860 and constructed the much grander Scott’s Hotel on the site. He then sold it to William C. Wilson in 1868.
      • Menzies Hotel Collins St and Williams St
        • built by the owners of the Balaclava Gold Mine, Whroo - Archibald and Catherine Menzies in 1867, who had built their 1st “Menzies Hotel” in 1853 in Latrobe St
        • this 5 storey hotel (2 extra floors added in 1896) was demolished in 1969 to make way for the corporate headquarters of BHP
      • Oriental Hotel Collins St East
        • initially The Bedford, built in 1846, the Oriental was built in the 1870's, and was bought by Mr Pearson Tewksbury, a wealthy gold dealer, in 1910 after his wife had an argument with the owner over poor service. It survived until 1970 when it was demolished to make way for Collins Place
      • Union Club Hotel Collims St W
      • Port Phillip Club Hotel Flinders St E
      • White Hart Hotel Bourke St E
      • Cathedral Hotel Swanston St
  • 1887: Dame Nellie Melba debuts in her opera career in Brussels.
  • 1887: Ocean Grove developed and marketed to members of the Methodist Church as a alcohol-free beach camp meeting site with total bans on alcohol sales or production within its boundaries after two American Methodists — Reverend John Inskip and Reverend William Bramwell Osborn visited Australia in 1881 and were associated with a similar temperance town development in New Jersey which was also called Ocean Grove. The land was subdivided into about 2,500 allotments with an alcohol-free covenant placed on the land and advertised from £5 to £20 per lot in their Spectator journal. The first new building was the 60 room Coffee Palace social hub with tennis courts and bowling green - the building was demolished in 1969. Holiday makers often brought their own alcohol and drank on the quiet, but eventually pubs opened outside of the covenant region such as Barwon Heads, Bonnyvale Road and Sheel Roads. The covenant was squashed by a VCAT ruling in 2014.1)
  • 1888: work started on the double track Flinders Street Viaduct linking Spencer Street Station to Flinders Street Station. This was expanded to 4 tracks in 1915.
  • 1888, Lennox's stone bridge over the Yarra was replaced with an ornate three-span iron arch bridge which was much photographed with the city skyline behind it. Sandridge Rail Bridge built.
  • 1888: 10 storey Fink's Building in Elizabeth St becomes the tallest building in Melbourne at 43m height
  • 1889: 12 storey The Australian Building in Elizabeth Street becomes the tallest building at 53m height
  • 1889, Queens Bridge built
  • 1890: steam strain service from Bendigo to Swan Hill opens
  • 1890, a steel lattice-truss bridge at Fairfield was completed for the Outer Circle Railway which ran from Fairfield station, on what is today the Hurstbridge line, to Oakleigh station
  • Melbourne street numbering system was discontinued in the 1880s to be replaced by the numbers starting from Spring Street and finishing at Spencer Street with no east/west name change for the streets.

1890's - stock market crash and the depression years

  • 1891: the stock market crash of 1891 leads to an extended period of economic depression
  • 1890's, falling export prices, over-borrowing for expansion, bank failures, & general depression leads to strikes & class bitterness which encourages labour parties into politics.
  • 1890's: the depression brought a halt to the rapid expansion of railways in Victoria. Politicians promoted narrow gauge lines as a way to link remote communities, particularly in hilly country, without the expense of the 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm) broad gauge railways. Railways officials opposed them, citing the inconvenience and expense of a break-of-gauge. A parliamentary committee eventually identified 14 possible locations for narrow gauge railways, and recommended that four experimental lines be built. None of the lines constructed ever made a profit but most continued for 60 years. They were:
    • Lilydale – Warburton
    • Wangaratta – Whitfield
    • Upper Ferntree Gully – Gembrook (later restored as the “Puffing Billy”)
    • Colac – Beech Forest
  • 1891: H.V. McKay's combined grain harvester revolutionised the farming process and helped make Australia a significant grain exporter. Initially manufactured in his Braybrook factory, peaking in 1910, he then went on to found a new factory, technical school, railway station & football oval and essentially, a new suburb called Sunshine - see History of Sunshine.
  • 1893, iron swing bridge across the Maribyrnong built at Napier St to provide the first direct road access to the western suburbs, without closing the river to navigation.
  • recession contributes to slowing down of immigration. Many Chinese immigrants begin to return to China (some 100,000 arrived between 1840-90) as the gold rush ended & they became isolated with Victoria introducing a poll tax on new arrivals & creating protectorates.
  • NSW once again gains ascendancy over Victoria & the new colony of Queensland.
  • the Heidelberg School of Australian impressionist painters - see Ian Potter Gallery.
  • 1899, the Morell Bridge opposite the Botanic Gardens was built using the patent Monier Reinforced Concrete process. It is generally regarded as Victoria's first major reinforced concrete structure and was the last significant bridge to be built over the Yarra for 25 years.

The Federation years:

  • 1900: Sidney Myer opens his 1st store - in Bendigo.
  • 1901: Australia's federation
  • 1905: The licencing Reduction Board, later the Licencing Court, was set up and within ten years had closed more than a thousand hotels, many of them in the metropolitan area
  • 1907: RACV introduces certificates of competency for car drivers to improve safety
  • 1908: planning begins on the electrification of the suburban train system
  • 1910: escapologist, Harry Houdini flies 1st plane in Australia at Diggers Rest, north of Melbourne
  • 1911: Sidney Myer buys Bourke St drapery and begins a 20 year property consolidation to form the Myer complex in the 1920's & 30's.
  • 1912: increasing use of Melbourne's beaches by the working classes, although still required to wear neck to knee bathing costumes, and only to wear bathing costumes whilst bathing and walking directly to change rooms results in mixed bathing on Melbourne beaches branded “the viper of promiscuous hoodlums” by a Presbyterian minister. Luna Park established in St Kilda to profit from the new beach culture based on fun rather than just health and status. Many Surf Life Saving Clubs became established in 1900-1910.

World War I:

  • 1914:
    • 1st Coles store opened (Collingwood), with nothing costing more than a shilling;
    • “RACV” launches its first insurance scheme & a touring department managed by George Broadbent (of Broadbent maps fame) & in 1915 began a register of hotels for its members to visit whilst savouring the country air. In 1916 the Automobile Club of Victoria became the RACV after its contributions to ferrying soldiers from ships to hospitals.
  • 1915:
    • the new cars had to contend with poor roads, horse dung and were advised to limit speed to 20mph.
    • trading hours of hotels became 9 a.m. to 9.30 p.m. as a wartime measure, and twelve months later 6pm closing was introduced as a temporary wartime measure. In 1919, like many temporary measures, six o’clock closing was made permanent. Prior to 1915 the trading hours of hotels were 6 a.m. to 11.30 p.m.
  • 1918:
    • 1st trials of the proposed electrification of the suburban train system began on the Flemington Racecourse line
  • 1919: first electric trains in service in Melbourne - running to Essendon, and to Sandringham

The 1920's:

  • the rise in popularity of cars and buses and the electrification of the suburban train system
  • 1921: Keith Murdoch (the father of Rupert Murdoch) begins as editor of The Herald newspaper, and then started The Sun News Pictorial.
  • 1921: the suburban train line to Broadmeadows, the Whittlesea line to Reservoir, the Bendigo line to St Albans, and the inner sections of the Hurstbridge line were electrified
  • 1922: the Gippsland line to Dandenong and Frankston line and the inner sections of the Ringwood line were electrified
  • 1922: Fred Walker (1884-1935) enlists help of chemist Cyril Callister to create Vegemite.
  • 1923, new Church Street Bridge built in reinforced concrete.
  • 1923: the suburban train electrification scheme was officially completed, but over the next three years a number of short extensions were carried out. The Ashburton line was electrified in 1924, final works on the Lilydale line were completed in 1925, as was electrification on the line to Upper Ferntree Gully. Electrification on the outer ends of the Hurstbridge line were completed by 1926, the Whittlesea line to Thomastown was electrified in 1929.
  • 1926: Myer's store Lonsdale St facade completed.
  • 1929-30: the Railways Construction Branch built the Spencer Street Bridge in steel.

The depression years of the 1930's:

  • 1930: the Burnley - Darling line was extended to Glen Waverley to become the Glen Waverley line.
  • 1930: Spencer Street Bridge built blocking river traffic upstream and increasing usage of Victoria Dock.
  • 1932: Cole's Book Arcade in Collins St demolished to make way for G.J.Coles' store (no relation to E.W.Cole, founder of Cole's Book Arcade)
  • 1933, The Country Roads (Borrowing) Act 1933 finally gave the CRB the powers to raise loan funds for metropolitan bridges.
  • Melbourne's Myer's Store becomes the largest department store in Australia.
  • 1934: a big storm destroys many of Melbourne's bayside sea baths and bathing boxes that had been established in the late 19thC.
  • 1934: the Grange Road Bridge built from a donation by confectionary entrepreneur MacPherson Robertson to celebrate Victoria's centenary.
  • 1936-38: a composite design of welded steel girders and reinforced concrete deck was used to build Lynch's Bridge over the Maribyrnong while a single-piece concrete superstructure, cast as a single process over 117 hours, was used to build the Hoddle Bridge over the Yarra.
  • 1939: after a long drought, on Jan 13th, Black Friday - 71 killed in a devastating bushfire affecting a large area of eastern Victoria and destroying the township of Narbethong - subsequently the Country Fire Authority (CFA) was formed.

World War II:

  • cars were put up on blocks in garages because of lack of fuel
  • car headlights had to be almost completely covered in case of enemy attack
  • 1944: 32 killed in a severe bushfire season which destroyed 700 homes including 50 in beachside suburbs Beaumaris and Mentone
  • 1948: the FX Holden car introduced, followed in the 1950's by the iconic FJ
  • 1948-52: the Swan Street Bridge over the Yarra took five years to complete.
  • 1948: extension of the electrified train system - The Ashburton line was extended along the old Outer Circle track formation to Alamein station

The 1950's:

  • 1950: new Harris steel trains allowed retirement of the oldest swing door trains on the suburban lines
  • 1953: "Puffing Billy" steam train ceases services after a landslide blocked the line between Selby and Menzies Creek, and it was formally closed in 1954, and not restored again until c1962.
  • 1954: after the Country Roads and Level Crossings Act 1954 provided funding for bridges to eliminate dangerous railway crossings, a new type of bridge emerged the concrete ramp overpass - the first was the Clifton Hill Railway Overpass.
  • 1955: the 20 storey Orica House in Nicholson St becomes the tallest building in Melbourne at 81m height
  • 1956: Myer's Bourke St facade gets a facelift.
  • 1956: Lancefield branch train line closes after 75yrs service
  • 1956: Melbourne Olympic Games; B&W commercial TV starts; Barry Humphries creates “Edna Everage”; subscriber trunk dialling introduced in Sydney & Melbourne;
  • perhaps the international interest in Melbourne resulting from the Olympics is a significant factor in the start of wholesale demolition of many of Melbourne's historic buildings.
  • 1957-61: King St Bridge built, although a span collapsed in 1962 due to brittle failure in a cold spell.
  • 1958: Bendigo-Heathcote train line closes after 70yrs service
  • 1959: historic Melbourne Fish Market building on Flinders & Spencers Sts built in 1890, demolished to make way for the Flinders St overpass at King St which was built in 1961.
  • 1959: historic Equitable Life Assurance Building (built 1896) on the cnr of Collins & Elizabeth Streets demolished. A 7 storey building of marble walls & floors with 15 tonne roof blocks. The building's 4m sculpture Charity being kind to the Poor had towered 4 storeys up over Collins St, and now stands on the lawn in the University of Melbourne.
  • 1959: Brittania Hotel on Bourke & Queen demolished
  • 1959: Fawkner line to Upfield and the Reservoir line to Lalor were both electrified

The 1960's:

  • 1960: work on a new modern Spencer Street train station begins
  • 1960: the 113yr old Eastern Market at Exhibition & Bourke St demolished to make way for the 16 storey Southern Cross Hotel which was demolished in ~2000. The Eastern Market flourished in the 1880's having been run by E.W.Cole who went on to found Cole's Book Arcade which spanned the area from Bourke to Collins St where David Jones store now stands.
  • 1960: British company Hammerson Property and Investments Trust purchased the 1848 Royal Mail Hotel for 455,000 pounds and demolished it later that year to build ofice and retail building SW cnr Swanston & Bourke St
  • 1961: Royal Insurance Company purchases the 1860 Scott's Hotel to demolish it and build an office block in 1962.
  • 1962: the Upper Ferntree Gully to Belgrave section of the Gembrook narrow gauge line was converted to broad gauge and electrified. Puffing Billy Preservation Society restores steam train services from Belgrave to Menzies Creek, then to Emerald in 1965.
  • 1962: the Southern Cross Hotel opens, ushering Melbourne into a new era of international jet travel. Built, designed & run by American hotel chain, Intercontinental in partnership with local stockbrokers Potter Partners, primarily to cater for Americans travelling down under. With its vivid interior tiling decor, 17 second room service response time, shops and Melbourne's 1st tenpin bowling alley, it became the place to be in the 1960's, famously hosting the Beatles in 1964. In 1977, Pan Am sold it's interests and by the 1990's the hotel had become passe. It was sold to Republic of Nauru in 1994 and closed in 1995 with the intent to do extensive remodelling but it's owners failed to finance this and it was eventually resold and then completely demolished in 2003.
  • 1964: the 1853 Yarra Family Hotel (which was on land originally purchased by John Batman in 1837) on Flinders and Williams St is demolished
  • Sept 1965: conscription for Vietnam war starts.
  • 1966:
    • pubs allowed to open till 10pm instead of 6pm in Victoria;
    • decimal currency introduced.
  • 1967: PM Harold Holt disappears whilst surfing off Portsea; postcode system for mail introduced;
  • 1968: KFC arrives;
  • 1968: Cliveden Mansions was sold for $444,000 to Dillingham Constructions P/L to make way for the Hilton Hotel
  • 1969: 23 killed and 230 homes lost in 230 bushfires break out, many on the urban fringe including the Lara fire which killed 18 people who left their cars on the Princes Highway trying to out-run the fire front.
  • 1969: natural gas piped to residential homes;
  • 1969: the 1867 Menzies Hotel on cnr Collins and Williams is demolished to make way for the corporate headquarters of BHP.
  • 1969: the 28 storey AMP Square building in Bourke St becomes Melbourne's tallest building at 113m height
  • a range of 19th century grand mansions were demolished in the late 1950's through to the early 1970's including:
    • “Glen Eira”, was an 1880s entrepeneur's mansion on Kooyong Road, before later becoming a military training college.
    • “Eilyer” in Albany Road Toorak,
    • “Scotsburn”, 554 Toorak Road
    • Charnwood in St Kilda
    • “Coronado Mansions” St Kilda Rd
    • “Camelot”, 85 Alma Street, St Kilda
    • “Norwood” Brighton
    • “Roselea”, at 52 Fitzwilliam Street, Kew
    • 468 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

The 1970's:

  • 1970:
    • Westgate Bridge span collapses during construction killing 35 & injuring 19;
    • seatbelts become compulsory in Victoria (other states followed in 1971)
    • McDonald's & Pizza Hut arrive in Australia
    • 1870's Oriental Hotel Collins St East is demolished and replaced by Collins Place
  • 1971: 72% of Victorian pop. live in Melbourne;
  • 1971: the 32 storey Mariand House in Bourke St becomes Melbourne's tallest building at 121m height
  • 1972: the 41 storey building at 140 William St becomes Melbourne's tallest building at 152m height
  • 1972: Champion's Hotel NW cnr Swanston and Flinders Lane which had become a branch of the State Savings Bank of Victoria is demolished and replaced by
  • 1973: Bourke St closed to traffic to become a mall;
  • 1973: the Federal Hotel SW cnr of Collins and King St is demolished to make way for “555 Collins St” office block. Proceeds from the sale and the sale of the Savoy allow building Wrest Point Casino in Hobart.
  • 1975: Puffing Billy steam train services extended to Lakeside.
  • 1976: Maldon train services close after 92 years of service
  • 1977: the 52 storey building at 80 Collins St becomes Melbourne's tallest building at 182m height
  • 1978: Westgate Bridge opens after 13yrs construction;
  • 1978: Daylesford train line closes after 98 years service

The 1980's:

  • 1980: the 50 storey ANZ Bank Tower at Collins Place becomes Melbourne's tallest building at 185m
  • 1981: one of the best snow seasons ever in Victoria
  • 1982: Melbourne's Art Centre & Concert Hall opens;
  • 1983:
    • after a long drought, a massive dust storm hits Melbourne, then Ash Wednesday bush fires on Feb 16th decimate Victorian rural areas, especially Mt Macedon, Dandenongs, Warburton and Otway regions. 47 killed and 2000 houses lost.
    • 65yr old farmer Cliff Young wins Sydney-Melbourne marathon;
  • 1984:
    • world's 1st frozen embryo baby (Zoe Leyland) born in Melbourne;
    • Melbourne's smog problems revealed: 24 days (cf 18days Sydney) - 4th worst in world behind Tokyo, Mexico City & LA;
  • 1986:
    • the 63 storey Rialto Tower in Collins St becomes Melbourne's tallest building at 251m height
    • census shows that of Melbourne suburbs:
      • highest paid live in Brighton; most qualified live in Hawthorn/Kew; most married live in Melton;
      • most divorced live in St Kilda; youngest in Melton; oldest at Flinders;
  • 1987: the St Kilda and Port Melbourne train line services are converted to light rail services (tram)
  • 1990: Melbourne loses its bid for 1996 Olympic Games;
  • 1991:
    • controversial Myer bridge over Lonsdale St built.
    • John Cain resigns as Vic. Premier after a series of financial blunders caught up with him - Joan Kirner becomes Australia's 2nd female premier;
  • 1992:
    • Melbourne's Swanston St closed to form Swanston Walk, a controversial pedestrian mall;

The Kennett years (1992-99):

  • the early 1990's was a period of real estate and economic recession and recovery from the poor fiscal position that the previous Labor state government had left the state in.
  • Kennett slashed the public service workforces esp. in health and education and went ahead with industrial reform which together created social unrest and hardship for many, and continued the privatisation of public utilities (electricity supply, Port of Portland, prisons, public transport systems) which had commenced in the 1980's
  • He was instrumental in the development of major infrastructure initiatives for better or worse:
    • the Grand Prix to Albert Park as of 1996
    • 500cc motorcycle Grand Prix was held at Phillip Island as of 1997
    • the Crown Casino and Southbank precinct and the introduction of poker machines
    • CityLink tollway and Bolte Bridge
    • Melbourne Exhibition Centre (“Jeff's shed”) opened 1996
    • the development of Docklands & Telstra Stadium
    • the development of new art galleries including refurbishment of the State Gallery
    • the new Museum
    • demolished the ugly Gas and Fuel Building on Flinders St and replaced it with Federation Square
    • the amalgamation of health into larger health services
    • wins right to stage the 2006 Commonwealth Games
  • 1994: Werribee Mercy Hospital opens;
  • 1995: 6th World Police & Fire Games held at MCG - the largest sporting event in Melbourne since 1956 Olympic Games.
  • 1998:
    • Victoria's Metcard automated public transport ticketing system begins operation.
    • Victorians without gas in winter for 2wks after explosion at the Esso Longford Gas Plant in Sale, Gippsland.
    • Puffing Billy steam train services extended to Gembrook
  • 1999:
    • redevelopment of Sunshine Hospital commences
    • North Melbourne Kangaroos wins the AFL Grand Final over Carlton

The Bracks/Brumby years (1999-):

  • despite having the enviable prospect of a large State fiscal surplus, little infrastructure has been added, but instead, some of the excessive service and job cuts of the Kennett era have been reversed to improve services on the back of the efficiency levels achieved under Kennett.
  • introduced the 30yr plan to restrict further outward growth of residential Melbourne amidst a real estate property boom from 1996-2003
  • redeveloped Austin Hospital with a budget blowout to some $350m
  • introduced 50kph residential speed limits and 40kph school zone limits
  • created driver paranoia by introducing a multitude of speed cameras which appear to be more a revenue raising tactic rather than the stated objective of reducing road trauma. Forced to repay millions of dollars in fines as fixed speed cameras found to be faulty while the contracted company that runs them goes into liquidation.
  • other than that, it seems to have bumbled its way through its terms trying to please everyone without much to show for it, while at the same time apparently wasting its surplus.
  • 2000:
    • Essendon wins the AFL Grand Final over Melbourne
  • 2001:
    • Brisbane Lions wins the AFL Grand Final over Essendon
  • 2002:
    • Brisbane Lions wins the AFL Grand Final over Collingwood
  • 2003:
    • Jan: lightning strikes start 87 bushfires in Victoria's eastern alpine region which raged for 70 days and burnt 1.3 million hectares of land (~5% of Victoria or 15% of public land) but despite a 800km fire front, fortunately only 1 person died and 41 homes lost in Victoria (although Canberra in the ACT was severely affected).
    • Brisbane Lions wins the AFL Grand Final over Collingwood for the 2nd consecutive year
  • 2004:
    • Aug 14th is Melbourne's coldest day for 6 yrs and its coldest August day for 26yrs
    • snow season is the best since 1981, beating 1990.
    • Port Adelaide wins the AFL Grand Final over Brisbane Lions
    • Melbourne had its eighth consecutive year of below normal rainfall, the first time this has happened since records began in 1855.
  • 2005:
    • Victoria has its wettest February since 1973 followed by its driest Autumn on record
    • Aug 10th: snow falls widespread across Victoria down to sea level, even at coastal towns of Torquay & Apollo Bay - the 1st time since 1986, but spares Melbourne itself.
    • Sydney wins the AFL Grand Final over West Coast
    • plans to redevelop the Royal Children's Hospital
    • the 91 storey residential Eureka Tower becomes the tallest building in Melbourne at 297m height
    • Dec: Melbourne's hottest December on record and its hottest New Year's Eve on record (43.4degC at the airport near me and 46degC in Horsham!)
  • 2006:
    • Jan: bushfires devastate the Grampians region in Victoria's west.
    • March: Melbourne hosts the Commonwealth Games.
    • the new Southern Cross train station is completed, replacing the 1960 Spencer Street Station
    • West Coast wins the AFL Grand Final over Sydney
    • Melbourne's 2nd driest October on record as the 10yr drought worsens and driest Spring since 1939.
    • Melbourne voted world's no.1 sporting city as well as being in the top 2 most livable cities in the world.
    • after a poor snow season, snow falls in mid-November in regional Victoria as well as Stanthorpe in Qld as Sydney and Brisbane have their coldest November night in 100yrs.
    • the ALP, led by Bracks is easily re-elected to parliament.
    • Dec: bushfires rage through Victoria's eastern alps, threatening Mt Buller's alpine village for the 2nd time in 4 years only to be saved by timely rain and then, incredibly, snow for Christmas Day while the bushfires in the alps continued to burn.
    • Melbourne finishes the year with its 8th driest on record and starts 2007 with stage III water restrictions.
  • 2007:
    • May: global warming? what global warming? Let's keep trying to put our heads in the sand.
      • Melbourne has its driest 365 days on record as dams fall below 30% full and the 11 year drought continues.
      • Melbourne has its warmest May night on record with a minimum 17.9degC.
      • Victoria has its warmest Autumn on record.
    • Geelong wins its 1st AFL premiership since 1963 VFL Grand Final, thrashing a hapless Port Adelaide team (163pts to 44 pts)
  • 2008:
    • Docklands retail shopping precinct and ferris wheel opens.
    • drought continues
    • Hawthorn has upset win in AFL football Grand Final over clear favorites, Geelong after Geelong's inaccuracy at goal (11 goals 23 points) let them down
  • 2009:
    • following record heat waves reaching 47degC, Black Saturday bush fires in Feb devastate Melbourne's northern regions including Kinglake and Marysville townships.
    • the heat wave damages the new massive ferris wheel at Docklands which opened in 2008, forcing it to be dismantled and repaired.
    • Hilton Hotel and Melbourne Conference Centre along with yet another DFO retail precinct open west of the Casino.
    • Geelong FC defeats St Kilda to win its 2nd AFL Grand Final in 3 years after its shock loss to Hawthorn in 2008.
    • major modifications to Bolte Bridge-Westgate Bridge-Kings Way-Burnley Tunnel road interchange
    • record heat wave for early November, although not as severe as in Adelaide.
    • drought continues
  • 2010:
    • new public transport ticketing system - Myki - a RFID smartcard system finally commences but with substantial problems and less than enthusiastic public support.
    • Jan - equal warmest night on record - minimum overnight of just over 30degC.
    • real estate market continues to boom but slowing by year's end after a series of interest rate hikes.
    • John Brumby loses state election to Liberal's Ted Bailleau after a string of controversies including Myki ticket system, north-south water pipeline, desalination plant costs, failure to plan for transport and hospitals.
    • La Nina's rains result in Melbourne's dams hitting 50% full after good Winter rains, and the wettest Melbourne Spring since 1992.
    • Collingwood and St Kilda draw in AFL Grand Final, but Collingwood easily wins replay. Gary Ablett and coach, Mark Thompson leave Geelong FC.
    • locust plague

The Bailleau years 2010-2012

  • 2011:
    • March: epidemic of Orb Weaving spiders in forests due to the 1st major rains in 12 years
    • Geelong's rejuvenated aging footballers beat Collingwood to win the AFL premiership a third time in 5 years.
    • Melbourne's real estate market prices peak early in the year and by year's end falls by ~10% in response to fears of global recession fuelled by fiscal fears in Europe, despite a series of interest rate falls by RBA.
    • one of the strongest La Nina events on history again dominates the year bringing the wettest two year period across Australia on record, just beating 1973-74 record. Despite this, south-western Australia had the driest year on record, while Melbourne's catchments and western Tasmania had their driest year in 15 years.
    • Myer Bourke St retail store is gutted and completed renovated
    • new Royal Childrens' Hospital opens
  • 2012:
    • Australia easily beats India in the cricket test series
    • Victorian nurses EBA strikes finally resolved
    • one of the wettest March months on record for many parts of Victoria as the La Nina event ends.
    • Myer Lonsdale St retail store is demolished
    • 478 buildings of 10 storey or more have now been built in Melbourne CBD since 1845, 30% of these since 2000. There are now 2 with more than 60 floors (Rialto and Eureka), and 7 between 50-59 floors. Plans are underway for a 71 storey tower in Queensbridge St, Southbank, and a slim, 65 floor glass building on the corner of Queen and Bourke streets. There is a 40m height limit over the retail heart of Melbourne, and a height restriction preventing over-shadowing of the north bank of the Yarra River, but otherwise no mandatory height limits elsewhere in the CBD.
    • CBD residential population now at 100,000, up from 32,000 in 1994.
    • non-residential population in CBD on a work day is now over 700,000, up from 500,000 in 1999.
    • Port of Melbourne to be redeveloped at $1.2b cost amidst concerns of its impact on an already congested M1 freeway
    • Melbournians shocked by the murder of Jill Meagher
    • Sydney Swans wins the AFL Premiership
    • 16 restaurants close in Docklands due to the financial downturn, while the ill-fated Dockland's “Eye” is slowly rebuilt
    • financial crisis hits the outer urban land developers as an unprecedented 30% of buyers forego their minimal deposits of $1000-2000 as their land prices drop by 10-20%
    • by November, Melbourne's dams have reached a healthy level of 85% full and water restrictions are again eased
    • November 29th 2012 is Victoria's hottest Spring day on record with temperatures reaching 45.8degC in Ouyen, and Melbourne's hottest Spring night for 100 years with overnight minimum staying above 24degC.
    • land prices: ~$500/sq.m in suburbs 30km from CBD; ~$3500/sq.m in Richmond and Sth Yarra; ~$5000/sq.m in Albert Park;
    • at end of 2012, applications for more than 50,000 new apartments in 200 developments in the City of Melbourne council area which threaten oversupply and loss of Melbourne's historic character as new high rise buildings replace historic buildings.
    • plans to develop the former 770 hectare State Research Farm into a new suburb (East Werribee) of 17,000 residents
    • Melbourne's population grew from 3.5m in 2001 to 4.16m in 2011 at a rate of 1.7% pa (Sydney grew at 1.1% pa) and is projected to increase by 2 million by 2050

the Napthine years 2013-

  • 2013:
    • Victorian hospitals forced to cut elective surgery and close beds due to surprise funding cut resulting from conflict between Federal and State funding of healthcare.
    • major Victorian bushfires included those on the west aspects of the Grampians, and the “Aberfeldy fire” which started near Glenmaggie and burned for a month in the Victorian Alps to near Licola and Harrietville.
    • the 2012-13 summer ends with it being Australia's hottest on record with over 2/3rds of regions recording a summer amongst the top 10 hottest in 100 years. Victoria has its equal highest number of consecutive hot February days over 30degC on record of 10 days, equalling the record set in 1997.
    • Melbourne's White Night all night event on Sat 23rd Feb attracts record street crowds surpassing New Year's Eve crowds.
    • Victoria has driest summer since 1984-85, while nationally it was hottest summer on record since consistent records began in 1910.
    • Ted Bailleau resigns as Premier of Victoria amidst concerns of failure to progress important projects
    • March 2013 - record 9 sequential days over 32degC and 7 nights with minimum over 20degC - unprecedented for March in Melbourne!
    • Napthine resolves the two year long teachers' pay dispute, announces $34m for new mental health beds at Werribee Mercy Hospital and $29m for a new wing at Northern Hospital, and increases 1st home buyers grant for new homes
    • April 2013 is another warm, dry month for Melbourne with only 27mm rain (half of its average 53mm) making it a lovely Indian summer
    • Australian stock market hits a peak mid-May with All Ords at 5230 having risen strongly by 29% from a low of 4041 near end of June 2012, then suddenly turns bearish
    • 70mm rain fell in Melbourne in 1st week of June (49mm from 1 night of storms due to moist air flowing from NW of WA) making it the wettest start to June on record
    • Melbourne has its coldest week since July 1998 with mid-June minimum temperatures averaging 3.6 degrees for the week and averaging 2.4 degrees C over 5 nights (but not as cold as the 5 night average of 1.5degC in July 1994 though)
    • Melbourne has its hottest July on record with avg max. of 15.9degC and its hottest July day on record of 23.3degC on July 18th
    • Melbourne has hottest September on record and real estate market picks up across the country
  • 2014:
    • Jan 2014: Victoria has its hottest heatwave on record with 4 consecutive days above 41deg C in Melbourne, with max. 44degC, max. over 45degC in Geelong
    • May 2014 - record 13 consecutive days above 20degC thanks to a blocking high in the Tasman and just over half of its average monthly rainfall
    • hottest Autumns on record: 2007, 2010, 2014
history/h_aust_vic_melbourne.txt · Last modified: 2018/07/08 00:54 by gary1