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(3028, 21 km W, Wyndham City)

Taking its name from Langhorne's Laverton pastoral station at nearby Altona, Laverton embraces the Princes Freeway west of Melbourne. After the railway station on the Melbourne-Geelong line opened in the 1880s, land speculator C.R. Staples laid out a 'model suburb' with 66 ft-wide streets and 25 acres (10 ha) reserved for parks and public buildings. A small settlement, with two stores and a butcher's shop, developed.

By 1901 Laverton had a population of only 125, which fell by 20 in the next ten years. In 1925 only a few years after Australia's first airforce base was established at nearby Point Cook, a second, designed to serve as a depot and store, workshop and receiving agency opened in Laverton. Although a large Housing Commission estate was built adjacent to the base to accommodate the service families in the late 1950s and 1960s, population amounted to only 1700 people in 1966.

The suburb was known familiarly in the 1960s as 'Lavvy', perhaps because of its proximity to the Werribee sewerage farm. At the beginning of the 1970s a large area at Laverton North was zoned for use by industry, some of it for noxious trades. This industrial area, along with the RAAF bases, provided local employment to a growing population which in 1974 was 10 000. Declared surplus to requirements by the Defence Forces Structure Review, the airfield is no longer active but the base remains open with plans to offer the land for sale to technological industries yet to materialise. Laverton's labour force is now concentrated in the manufacturing and defence sectors.

Jill Barnard