Historical information

As the Yarra became unsuitable as a source of water, several attempts were made to find alternative sources for the growing population of Melbourne. It was not until 1891 that the efforts to sewer Melbourne came to fruition with the setting up of the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW), now known as Melbourne Water. From 1891 until 1992, it was the responsibility of the MMBW to safeguard public health by providing a sewerage system and a safe water supply system. In 1992, The MMBW merged with a number of smaller urban water authorities to form Melbourne Water.

The township of Cocoroc was created in 1894 at the Metropolitan Sewage Farm (now the Western Treatment Plant) to house the workers it employed. The name 'Cocoroc' means 'frog' in the language of the Wathaurung people — the Traditional Owners of the land the treatment plant was built on. By the early 1950s there were nearly 100 houses, a town hall, football ground (and team), swimming pool, tennis courts, four schools and a post office, and by the 1970s some 500 people were living in Cocoroc.

As it became too expensive for the MMBW to subsidise, Cocoroc was abandoned. By 1973 most of the houses and other buildings were demolished or moved to Werribee. All that is left now of Cocoroc are two small, empty, concrete swimming pools, a few weatherboard sheds and a big iron water tank.


This photograph detailing an exterior view of the North Cocoroc State Primary School, is historically significant as it captures children at play within a purpose built community. The School that was one of four was built to educate the children of the MMBW workers. As the school no longer exists, this photograph is the only tangible evidence left of the building, also showcasing the style of buildings in this era.