The most puzzling thing about Waterways – aside from its comparitive lack of waterways compared to nearby Patterson Lakes – is that nowhere in the names of its streets will you find Schiaparelli Avenue, Road or Boulevard. Which is unjust, for without the pioneering work of Giovanni Schiaparelli, Waterways would have a far different name (probably “Dustbowl”).

For it was Schiaparelli who first discovered the canals of Mars, setting in motion an inexorable series of events that led to the Martian invasion of the planet Earth in the year 1898, when with their fearsome tripods, horrible red plant life and deadly black smoke, they landed on this world much the English had landed on Tasmania – and proceeded to treat the Earthlings much like the English had treated the Tasmanians.

The Martian assault on Melbourne was as deeadly as any other aspect of it, but Melbourne was lucky in that the tripods landed south and east of the city centre, allowing time to regroup and mount defences. The Martians landed in the area now occupied by Moorabbin Airport, and realising that the human forces were all located to their north-west, and that they thus faced virtually no resistance in the opposite direction, they began to areoform an area behind their emplacements.

The Battle of Highett was the decisive encounter in the Martian campaign in Melbourne, with several tripods brought down by hastily dug concealed pits but enormous loss of life on the human side (notably, young labour leader Augustus Cheltenham, who was widely tipped to be Australia’s first Labour Prime Minister – had he but lived long enough). Fortunately, a change in the winds carried the deadly common cold virus from the human lines to the Martian ones, and within a few days, all the Martians had succumbed to the malady.

Reclaiming the area, it was discovered that the Martians had begun digging canals, and using strange and unknown technologies to convert the brown soil of the Mordialloc plain into the thin red dust that reminded them of home. The dust is all long blown away today, but the canals were eventually filled with water as the Martians had intended, although they had presumably not expected the shores of the canals to become the home of middle class split level McMansions. The remains of several tripods were converted into household barbecues, several of which still remain in the surrounding areas even today.

Suburbs near Waterways: