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About the Shire

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Our Shire

The Shire’s landscape provides an array of living options. Residents can enjoy an urban lifestyle in towns like Bacchus Marsh (45km west of the Melbourne CBD) and Ballan (70km west of the Melbourne CBD) or take advantage of Moorabool’s small towns and hamlets, rural open spaces and natural surrounds.

A stunning Shire spanning more than 2,110 square kilometres, Moorabool is made up of 64 localities, hamlets and towns. More than 74% of the Shire comprises of water catchments, state forests and national parks. Moorabool boasts breathtaking landscapes, national parks, forests, gorges, mineral springs and tourism attractions. Some of it's key attractions include the Wombat State Forest, Brisbane Ranges National Park, Lerderderg State Park, Werribee Gorge State Park and the Bacchus Marsh Avenue of Honour.

The district was settled by Europeans between 1830 and 1850 and the character of our towns and surrounding areas reflect this era.

Gold was discovered in the region and a timber industry quickly developed. The availability of water attracted many people and resulted in pastoral and agricultural development led by pioneers such as Sir William Henry Bacchus, who in 1834 settled on the fertile soil of what is now the township of Bacchus Marsh.

Moorabool Shire is positioned along the major road and rail transport corridors between Melbourne and Adelaide.

Moorabool’s eastern boundary is located just 40km west of Melbourne’s CBD and extends westwards to the City of Ballarat municipal boundary. The Shire straddles Victoria’s Western Highway and has excellent transport access to Melbourne, Ballarat and Geelong.

Bacchus Marsh is equidistant to Melbourne and Avalon airports and close to the sea ports of Geelong and Melbourne.

Traditional Owners

We acknowledge the Indigenous history of Moorabool Shire. The land was traditionally occupied by and connected to a number of Aboriginal communities, most notably the Wathaurung Tribe in the south and west and the Wurundjeri Tribe in the east. In February 2015, the Council adopted a Statement of Commitment to Indigenous People.

Our Population

Moorabool Shire is a popular tree change destination, growing as fast as any other local government area in inland regional Victoria.

According to the .id organisation, the estimated official population of Moorabool Shire in 2016 is 32,311. More than half the population lives in Bacchus Marsh and surrounds (18,535). The Shire’s second largest population can be found in and around Ballan (3,010). The remaining population is distributed throughout the large number of small towns, hamlets and farming areas within the Shire. The majority of people who relocate to Moorabool Shire are young families seeking a semi-rural lifestyle. Moorabool’s demographic reflects this trend.

Population Growth

When considering future growth of Moorabool Shire, Council has identified three key residential locations where the majority of that growth will occur. These locations – Bacchus Marsh, Ballan and Gordon – already have established infrastructure to accommodate new growth. As part of the Moorabool 2041 (Small Towns and Clusters Settlement Strategy) framework, Council is also consulting with other settlements such as Wallace and Bungaree in reference to the growth opportunities.

The population of the Shire is estimated to increase by 65% between 2016 and 2041 to 53,270. The majority of growth during this period will come from the new estates in Maddingley which are forecast to increase by over 200% during this same period.

Affordability and Liveability

Moorabool offers diverse living options. Bacchus Marsh, Ballan, Gordon and the smaller Shire townships offer a vital array of community infrastructure, established social and sporting networks, combined with the charm and character only experienced in rural areas.

Bacchus Marsh ranks in the top three of regional Australia’s housing markets that are likely to be the best suited for family living. Maintaining liveability for families is an important element for Council.

This national ranking was based on a range of factors including house prices, typical block size, average number of bedrooms, expected capital gains and a range of proximity attributes involving schools, health care facilities, child care centres and retail facilities. The analysis also includes socioeconomic wellbeing measures.

Bacchus Marsh was the first area in regional Victoria to receive the National Broadband Network’s (NBN) super high-speed Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) service, with further NBN rollouts planned. Fixed wireless and satellite NBN services are already available in parts of western Moorabool.

Last Updated:

Thursday, 30 June, 2016 - 16:52