Decades of tense negotiations and bureaucratic posturing have forged what has become known as the final frontier between rival suburbs Watsonia and Macleod. An exclusive The Watsonia Bugle investigation has revealed the location of this gravel-strewn stretch, as the stand-off continues to divide two otherwise peaceful locations.
It seems the residential thoroughfare of Wattle Drive, which splices the oddly-shaped borderline between the two suburbs, has inadvertently found itself wedged between the battling ‘burbs, with the main sticking point being who will fund the application of bitumen to the road. That ongoing fiscal feud has left the residents of Wattle Drive in a wild vortex of constantly washing their cars and openly pondering when the warring suburbs will finally broker a peace deal.
The ongoing stand-off seems particularly odd, as Wattle Drive does seem to sit entirely within the Banyule Council’s border, meaning the feud must be confined to some underground powerbrokers that still operate on suburb loyalties rather than local councils. After doing some digging on the matter, it seems the borderline has been a bone of contention for over a century, when instead of being divided into suburbs, the region was merely the farmlands of rival pastoralists Frank Watson and Marmaduke Macleod.
The story goes that Watson and Macleod were constantly bickering about the fenceline that spliced their two landholdings, with bold accusations flying around like terse comments on a community Facebook page. In an ultimately failed attempt to bring peace to the area, government surveyors worked with the two farmers to draw up an extremely odd borderline (see below) around the same time the train line was extended from Macleod to Watsonia.
That anomaly means that next door neighbours on the south side of Wattle Drive are often living in different suburbs. How that odd example of cartography relates to the lack of bitumen on Wattle Drive remains unclear, but we just found it interesting while compiling this fanciful and ultimately fictional account of local history. While our hard-working team of investigative journalists continue to search for causal links between the borderline and the gravel road surface, it’s undeniable that Wattle Drive is the final frontier in the ongoing tension between Watsonia and Macleod. And to water down any rivalry would be disrespectful to the founding fathers of the two suburbs.