|Cricket involvements in the 1990s had me in Craigieburn quite often. Visiting Saturday underlined the explosive change to Melbourne's great northwestern arc of Growth Areas.|
Long not much more than a name on the road to Sydney, Craigieburn became one of Melbourne's attempts at early decentralisation, an estate built in parallel and then similar isolation to Werribee and Melton, around main highways. They ultimately served more as anchors for infill growth, but that is now changing rapidly.
Taking the 529 bus between the station, long promoted to line terminus but isolated at the wrong end of town, and the corner of Newbury and Grand Boulevards provided a close up of what, by traditional suburban standards, seems a vast expanse of indecently close packed and almost uniform but separated single-story dwellings. It looked quite close to convergence with the architecture of newer expansive retirement villages coming from a quite different design requirement.
The excursion was to the quarterly meeting of the Western Metropolitan Group of Historical Societies. As long time identifying as northwest, I'm happy Craigieburn is within the eastern flank of the Victorian Volcanic Plains, with its Aitken and Malcolm Creeks draining into the Merri, with the Yuroke, Moonee Ponds and Deep Creek watersheds adjacent. Members from as far afield as Altona-Laverton, Werribee and Melton all got there ok.
It will be interesting to see whether a new generation will find enough fulfilment from such a place not to risk all too young trying to find themselves in Sydney, which really has become the next stop given all the highway bypasses.