Spotswood / South Kingsville Neighbourhood Profile

About the area

The Spotswood and South Kingsville neighbourhood is bounded by New Street to the west and the Yarra River to the east. The north boundary is shared with the City of Maribyrnong. Starting at the western end, it skirts the Westgate Freeway and Stony Creek before heading north into Hyde Street and then east into Francis Street. The southern boundary is formed by Blackshaws Road (starting at New Street); on reaching Melbourne Road, it then follows a line between Burleigh and High Streets.

European settlement

Development in Spotswood and South Kingsville began around the mid 1800s when John Spotswood purchased farm land there. In the early years, bluestone played an important role in the neighbourhood’s livelihood and was quarried along the Stony Creek.

The current land use zones are predominantly residential, located to the west of the passenger rail line, and larger industrial areas that are mainly on the eastern side of the line.

The neighbourhood’s residential development incorporates a mix of periods. Brick and weatherboard housing built between the1940s and 60s is common, together with more recent infill development. There is also a small heritage precinct, with examples of housing constructed between 1890 and 1915.

The neighbourhood has a public primary school and a Catholic primary school. The nearest high school is in Altona North.

Describing the neighbourhood, residents said “It’s got an old soul”, “it’s not overly pretentious and “it feels like a little hidden gem.” What they enjoyed about living there was that “it’s like living in suburbia but close to the city. You don’t feel constrained by the things about a city.” They also appreciated the strong sense of community. “When anyone gets into trouble there is always someone there to help you.”

Population

At the 2006 Census, Spotswood and South Kingsville had just on 4,000 residents. The current estimate is 4,325. By 2020, the population is expected to increase by a third to 5,890 residents.

Age structure

Between the 2006 Census and 2010, there were increases in numbers of very young children (0-4 years) and adults aged 35-69 years and 85 years and over. Forecasts to 2016 anticipate that all age groups, except those aged 70-84 years will increase. The most noticeable growth is expected in the numbers of young and maturing families.

Overseas born residents

Just over 26 per cent of the neighbourhood’s population was born overseas. The main countries of birth were the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Italy. Sixty two per cent of overseas born residents speak a language other than English.

Residents needing assistance

According to the 2006 Census findings, 130 of the neighbourhood’s residents (3.3 per cent) said they need help with a core activity involving self-care, communication and mobility.

Education

In 2006, 20 per cent of the neighbourhood’s residents were enrolled in education, slightly below the Hobsons Bay rate (22 per cent).

Just over 47 per cent of residents have completed Year 12 or an equivalent, 4.5 per cent above the municipal rate.

Labour force

In 2006, Spotswood and South Kingsville had a slightly higher rate of residents who were in the labour force, compared to Hobsons Bay as a whole (62.5 per cent and 59.1 per cent respectively).

  • almost 66 per cent had full-time work, about three per cent above the municipal figure
  • a further 27 per cent worked part time, slightly below the municipal rate
  • the neighbourhood’s unemployment rate was on par the Hobsons Bay rate (5.5 and 5.9 per cent respectively)

Income

Spotswood and South Kingsville had 1,906 residents (58 per cent) aged 15 and over with below average weekly incomes, lower than the Hobsons Bay figure of 64 per cent. At the top end of the income scale, 6.5 per cent of the neighbourhood’s residents had weekly incomes of $1,600 and over, similar to the municipal rate. (The average weekly income in Victoria was $815.40, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.)

Housing

There were 1,830 private dwellings in Spotswood and South Kingsville, in 2006. Almost two thirds were detached housing. Close to 30 per cent of households owned their home, compared to the Hobsons Bay figure of 36 per cent.

In recent times, the neighbourhood’s house prices have been on the rise. One newer resident commented that “the cost of housing has definitely gone up since we moved in. I wouldn’t want to be buying now.”