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(3031, 5 km NW, Melbourne City, Moonee Valley City)

Flemington is a mainly residential suburb between the historically flood-prone flats of the Maribyrnong River in the west and Moonee Ponds Creek in the east, with a retail strip along Flemington Road.

On 3 March 1840 the first horse race was held on the Saltwater Flat, on ground later to become Flemington racecourse. At the first land sales in December 1840, James Watson, a partner of pastoral company Hunter & Watson, purchased Lots 14 and 15 of Doutta Galla Parish, County of Bourke, extending from the area of the racecourse to Mains Bridge on the Moonee Ponds Creek. Watson married Elizabeth Rose of Flemington, Morayshire, Scotland, and by 1849, when their Flemington estate was sold, it included the Flemington Hotel (licensed by James Dunbar on 7 March 1848) and gardener's house, Watson's residence, including coach house and stables, a butcher's shop, blacksmith's and brick cottages.

With the discovery of gold in 1851, what had been a main route out of Melbourne to Sydney became a major route to the Castlemaine goldfields, and was named Mount Alexander Road. The natural supply of water attracted manufacturing and noxious trades to the area, and by the end of the decade there were abattoirs adjacent to the racecourse, flour mills, candle works, a tannery, a bone mill and brickyards, putting heavy demands on the road network. In 1859 stockyards were moved to the area, becoming an increasing hazard to health and safety as the decades passed.

By 1865 Flemington was part of the Essendon and Flemington Borough Council. In 1882 the Flemington and Kensington Ward separated and was proclaimed a borough, which, on 30 October 1905, with North Melbourne, became part of the Hopetoun Ward of the City of Melbourne.

Debney's Tannery burnt down in 1909 with the land becoming a rubbish tip. Construction of Victorian Housing Commission high-rise flats on Debney's Paddock was completed in the 1960s. An influx of immigrants, many Italian, created one of Melbourne's most diverse multicultural communities.

The abattoir site was rezoned in 1985, allowing the development of 300 town houses. Although railways and major highways such as the Western Link and Tullamarine Freeway intrude on the landscape, in 1998 plans to establish apartments from outdated commission flats indicated the high residential value of land so close to Central Melbourne.

Historic buildings in the suburb include Nathan's Terrace (Wellington and Shields streets, 1889), the Newmarket railway sub-station (which began operation in 1918 as part of the electrification of the suburban railway network), Park View (Racecourse Road, 1924) and the former Burge Brothers Factory (Racecourse Road, 1945-46).

Judy Macdonald