In yet another The Watsonia Bugle exclusive, we are able to reveal the true reason behind Nillumbik’s bold attempt to cash their chips and join Banyule. Following some of our best ever investigative journalism, we discovered that the optimistic council merger idea was all just a crude attempt to cash in on Watsonia North’s burgeoning reputation as a booming area that is expected to become one of Melbourne’s most profitable suburbs by the end of 2022.

News circulated this week of an in-depth report released by Select Residential Property Research Group that ranked Watsonia North in the top four Melbourne suburbs for an increase in real estate values by the year 2022. According to the report, Watsy North property values will increase by 18% in the next three years, ranking the idyllic suburb alongside decidedly more fashionable locations such as Balaclava, Carlton, and South Melbourne.

What does this have to do with Nillumbik Cr Peter Clarke’s suggestion of merging his council with Banyule? Well, inside sources have exclusively alleged that Clarke had seen an early version of the real estate report and decided to try to muscle in on the growing popularity of Watsonia North. The anonymous source claimed, “Yeah, yep, he saw how Watsy North was rising through the roof and felt that the Nillumbik coffers could really benefit from that kind of financial stability and zeitgeist clout. He wanted in, big time.”

While that rumour has not been confirmed beyond the anonymous source, it’s hard to find reasons why Nillumbik would not want to join in with burgeoning popularity of Watsonia North, otherwise known as the self-proclaimed Jewel of the North. Despite the region’s well-reported poor walkability, it does boast the gorgeous Binnak Park, and a growing retail precinct. And who could forget the Diamond Valley’s only reported instance of an abandoned oBike back when that was kind of a cool thing?

Whether the proposed merger goes anywhere further than the esteemed pages of the Diamond Valley Leader remains to be seen, with multiple sources telling the Bugle that it’s very unlikely. How would you feel about sharing the wealth and trimmings from Watsonia North’s growing popularity in the Melbourne property market?