Aerial view from south west
|Elevation||101 m (331 ft)|
|LGA(s)||Shire of Cardinia|
|State electorate(s)||Mainly Bass, some parts in Gembrook|
Pakenham is a satellite suburb of Melbourne on the edge of the West Gippsland region of Victoria, Australia, 56 km (35 mi) south-east from Melbourne's central business district. Its local government area is Cardinia Shire. At the 2011 Census, Pakenham had a population of 33,999.
Pakenham is in some aspects still considered as a regional suburb. New housing estates are boosting its population, such as Lakeside (developed by Lend Lease Group), Falling Waters and Heritage Springs.
Pakenham was named after Sir Edward Pakenham, a British general who fought in the Peninsular War. The Neville and Bourke family's arrived in Sydney on the Alquis in 1837, sponsored by the Governor Gipps to migrate and settle in Melbourne. They arrived in Melbourne on the John Barry in 1839 and selected 5 miles by 5 miles of land now known as the area of Upper Pakenham.
The original Pakenham Post Office opened on 1 February 1859, was renamed Pakenham West on 1 October 1971, and was closed on 15 January 1974. The existing Pakenham Post Office was opened on 11 June 1888 as Pakenham Railway Station Post Office, was renamed Pakenham East in 1908, and further renamed Pakenham on 1 October 1971. The railway station was opened on 8 October 1877 and was a part of the east link connecting Melbourne to Pakenham and other eastern towns.
In Pakenham 76.2% of people were born in Australia. The most common countries of birth outside of Australia were England 4.8%, New Zealand 2.3%, India 1.2%, Scotland 0.8% and Sri Lanka 0.8%.
Pakenham is on the main railway line between Melbourne and Gippsland, and its railway station marks the end of the suburban electrified service. Pakenham Station is the termination point of all services operated by Metro Trains Melbourne heading out of the city, but V/Line trains to and from Gippsland also serve Pakenham.
Cardinia Road Railway Station has been constructed in Pakenham, adjacent to the Lakeside estate. It carried its first train services on Sunday 22 April 2012, although it will only have off-peak services stopping there until an electrical upgrade, due for completion by the end of 2012.
Pakenham is also on the Princes Highway. The Pakenham bypass allows road traffic between Melbourne and Gippsland to bypass Pakenham, both shortening travel times and alleviating traffic congestion within Pakenham. The main north-south roads through Pakenham take one north to Healesville and south to Koo Wee Rup.
Pakenham is serviced by four local newspapers: Star News Group's The Pakenham Gazette, available every Wednesday for $1, and Star's widely distributed Pakenham News, which is dropped into mailboxes free every Thursday around the town, the Pakenham-Cardinia Leader, which also serves the nearby township of Cardinia, dropped into mailboxes every Thursday, and the Pakenham Journal, a weekly paper, delivered weekly to houses around the town.
The 102 year old Star News Group houses its main headquarters on the Princes Highway, Pakenham East.
Pakenham is in the coverage range of all the commercial radio stations in Melbourne, yet are also locally serviced by 94.3 Star FM, whose studios are situated in Warragul, about 45 kilometres (28 miles) away from the town.
Television services in the town are exactly the same as Melbourne's, yet being in the Gippsland area, regional television can also be accessed. Services such as WIN Gippsland and Southern Cross Ten are available to viewers, yet the signal strength tends to become stronger in the east of the town.
Pakenham's public facilities include a sports and aquatic centre and Council Offices.
The aquatic centre includes a 25m indoor pool, with a gym, group fitness, creche, eight multipurpose sports courts and food facilities all incorporated in the one building. The centre, named Cardinia LiFE, is owned by the Cardinia Shire and managed by YMCA Victoria. Pakenham also has an outdoor pool open during the warmer weather. This was originally opened in 1957, and was reopened on 17 November 2007 after undergoing a $1.1 million redevelopment. The outdoor pool centre, also managed by YMCA Victoria, consists of a 50m pool, toddlers' pool with splash features, updated change rooms, kiosk, and water treatment plant. Pakenham currently has one tennis club but proposals for a second are under consideration, with planned expenses for the clubhouse alone around $20 million.
Public schools include Pakenham Consolidated Primary School, Pakenham Hills Primary School, Pakenham Springs Primary School, Pakenham Lakeside Primary School and Pakenham Secondary College. Pakenham has one Catholic school, St Patrick's Catholic Primary.
Private schools include Beaconhills College (Valley Campus), Chairo Christian School (Pakenham Campus) and Lakeside Lutheran College.
Pakenham also has a community centre which is run by the Salvation Army and a vocational education provider LLINC (Living and Learning Incorporated).
Pakenham has many large national retail chains, these include an Aldi, Safeway – 18 Aisles, three Coles in Pakenham Town Centre – 12 Aisles, Heritage Springs Shopping Centre – 11 Aisles, and Lakeside Shopping Centre (ex Bilo) – 11 Aisles, Target, Bunnings and Mitre 10 MEGA. In August 2009 it was announced by Cardinia Shire Council that a $80 million retail development would be built at current vacant Council land behind the Pakenham Library at the corner of John and Henty street. It has a Woolworths supermarket and Big W store, with the development will be 1,150 car parking spaces at ground level and underground. The Pakenham Central Marketplace opened on 1 December 2011.
Sporting activities in Pakenham include horse racing, lawn bowls, golf, baseball, cricket, little athletics, tennis, netball, Floorball, Basketball and football.
The Pakenham Racing Club which schedules around eleven race meetings a year including the Pakenham Cup meeting in March. The Pakenham Picnic Racing Club also holds a meeting at the racecourse on New Years Day.
Pakenham's Australian Rules football team competes in the Mornington Peninsula Nepean Football League. Hawthorn premiership ruckrover Peter Russo was raised in Pakenham as was current Collingwood speedster Tyson Goldsack.
Recently the tennis club in Pakenham has had a major make over and now has six brand new courts, this is all part of the local councils "Whip into shape" plan that consists of the remodeling and updating of the local sports and recreation locations.
Golfers play at the Pakenham and District Golf Club on Oaktree Drive.
Since 2007, locals have been concerned by a re-occurring stench which has been regularly engulfing the town, impacting upon the amenity and health of residents and visitors. It has been described by some as a burning chemical gas smell, the stench of dead bodies and a putrid smell that is able to infiltrate homes. The smell has been found to originate from the Drovers Place area where Transpacific Industries, a leading organic waste recycler, is based. It is now gone.
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