Following Local Government amalgamation in Victoria, the City of Darebin was established on 22 June 1994. Situated close to the centre of Melbourne, it comprises the former Cities of Preston and Northcote, with small parts of the former Cities of Coburg and Heidelberg and the Shire of Diamond Valley. With a population nearing 130,000 people, 1,000 staff and budget of $80 million, Darebin is one of Victoria’s largest Councils.
As some of the oldest settled areas of Melbourne, various suburbs in the new City have long and interesting histories. Some local families and businesses have lived and worked in the district since last century, while many new migrants have made Darebin their first home in Australia. It is one of Melbourne’s most culturally diverse areas with 34% of the population coming from a non-English speaking background and contributing to the rich traditions of the City.
Darebin enjoys a mix of residential, commercial, retail and industrial land uses interspersed with green open spaces, attractive landscaped gardens and a network of picturesque linear parks. On two sides, it is bordered by creeks which lend themselves to extensive parklands, native bush and bicycle and walking paths extending into Melbourne’s central business district. These are continually being developed and enhanced by Council.
The community will continue to benefit from Council’s services which build on and strengthen family and community networks and respond to local needs, interests and opportunities.
Included in the Darebin community are some of the State’s best educational and health facilities. La Trobe University, the Northern Metropolitan TAFE Campus and the Preston and Northcote Community Hospital (PANCH) all contribute to the amenity of the City. The La Trobe Technology Precinct which includes an R&D park and the Technology Enterprise (Business Incubator) Centre places this City in an enviable position benefiting from this research and new economic development opportunities.
The City of Darebin is also ideally situated to take advantage of key regional transport linkages. These include major bus interchanges at La Trobe University and the Northland Shopping Centre, the Hurstbridge and Epping rail lines, High Street and St Georges Road tramlines.
Major arterial highways include Bell Street and Plenty Road and there is ready access to the Western Ring Road, Hume Freeway and Melbourne International Airport.