Wyndham History

Producers Dairying Company factory,
Wattle Avenue (corner Princes Highway),
Werribee

Item

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Dublin Core

Type

Title

Producers Dairying Company factory,
Wattle Avenue (corner Princes Highway),
Werribee

Description

A vacant site located on the corner of the intersection of Wattle Avenue and Princes Highway.

Contributor

Date

1997

Publisher

Context Pty Ltd

Source

City of Wyndham Heritage Study 1997

Coverage

Format

text

Language

eng

Article Item Type Metadata

Text

A vacant site located on the eastern corner of the Wattle Avenue and Princes Highway (opposite the Wyndham City Civic Centre).  The site is also bounded by Bailey Street.  There are no apparent above-surface remains of the Factory, with the possible exception of some trees here and there on the site boundary.

From the 1890s, improvements in irrigation and better cultivation of fodder crops led to the establishment of large mechanised milk factories throughout Victoria that revolutionised the production of milk, butter and cheese.  The formation of the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission in 1905, following the amalgamation of local water supply trusts, also “resulted in improved irrigation and dairy production in both Bacchus Marsh and Werribee”.

Later, “by the mid-20th century economics of transportation of milk had made it cheaper to centralise dairies in big cities…so nearly all the small regional dairies progressively closed down”.

The Federal Milk Company founded at Bacchus Marsh in 1915 was “one of the two largest milk factories in Australia until after World War Two”.  This factory produced powdered and condensed milk for both the Australian and overseas markets.

During 1920 the Werribee Settlers Dairying Co-Operative Company had a milk factory in Station Street.  This was rated in 1920-21 as a factory on two roods of land, owned by the Company and the Railways Department.  In 1924, the Werribee milk producers sold their Station Street factory to the Federal Milk Company.

The Federal Milk Company erected a new brick factory “at the Melbourne end of town”.  The new site was in Wattle Avenue.  The Depression closed down this condensed milk factory.  Early in 1932 “the company found itself unable to dispose of anything like the full quota of milk products which it could manufacture at its Werribee factory”.  So the company decided that “its production at Bacchus Marsh would suffice to meet sales”.

The Werribee Settlers Dairying Co-Operative Company believed that the abandoned Federal Milk Company factory in Wattle Avenue would “make an excellent fresh milk factory”.  In May 1935, Co-Operative shareholders decided to erect new premises on the site.  This was on land “purchased from the estate of the late Mr W. Ison.  Rate records confirm that in 1934-35 about six acres of land in Allotment 1E of the Werribee Estate was purchased from Ison.  This was on the corner of Wattle Avenue and the Melbourne Road (now the Princes Highway).

The new building was designed in brick, concrete and steel.  No timber was provided for in the plans of the new building that would be partly two-storey and partly one-storey.  The company proposed to “convert all surplus milk into butter, as well as to manufacture other by-products”.

Citation

Wyndham City Libraries, “Producers Dairying Company factory,
Wattle Avenue (corner Princes Highway),
Werribee,” Wyndham History, accessed October 6, 2022, https://www.wyndhamhistory.net.au/items/show/1064.

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