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.
Cocoroc throughout history
An 1894 plan of the township shows there were 72 allotments. By 1897, there were 32 houses, a town hall, football ground (and team), swimming pool, tennis courts, four schools and a post office. By the early 1950s there were nearly 100 houses, and by the 1970s some 500 people were living in Cocoroc.
As it became too expensive for the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works 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.
Cocoroc comes back to life
Cocoroc's heritage-listed water tank has been granted a new lease on life through an extensive restoration project.
The tank was originally located in East Melbourne and stored water from the Yarra River in Melbourne’s early days. It was moved to Cocoroc in 1893 as a back-up water supply for the workers. It was de-commissioned in 1925 after the township was connected to mains water, and finally drained in 1929. For many years, soil used by the treatment plant’s tree nursery was stored beneath the tank.
The tank has been converted into an interpretive centre, which together with remnant buildings and structures from the former township will be used to house displays interpreting the rich cultural history of the site.