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Baw Baw Shire

About the area

Name origin

Baw Baw Shire is named after the Baw Baw Ranges, which were thought to be named from an Aboriginal word meaning "echo".

Location and boundaries

Baw Baw Shire is located in the West Gippsland region of Victoria, about 100 kilometres east of the Melbourne CBD. Baw Baw Shire is bounded by the Yarra Ranges Council area and Mansfield Shire in the north, Wellington Shire and Latrobe City in the east, South Gippsland Shire in the south, and Cardinia Shire in the west.

Included areas

Baw Baw Shire includes the localities of Aberfeldy, Ada, Allambee, Allambee Reserve (part), Allambee South (part), Amor, Athlone, Baw Baw, Bona Vista, Boola (part), Brandy Creek, Bravington, Buln Buln, Buln Buln East, Caringal, Childers, Cloverlea, Coalville, Coopers Creek, Crossover, Darnum, Delburn (part), Drouin, Drouin East, Drouin South, Drouin West, Ellinbank, Erica, Ferndale, Fumina, Fumina South, Gainsborough, Gentle Annie, Glengarry North (part), Hallora, Heath Hill (part), Hernes Oak (part), Hill End, Icy Creek, Jacob Creek, Jericho, Jindivick, Labertouche, Lardner, Lillico, Loch Valley, Longwarry (part), Longwarry North, Mirboo North (part), Modella (part), Moe (part), Moe South (part), Moondarra (part), Mountain View (part), Narracan (part), Nayook, Neerim, Neerim East, Neerim Junction, Neerim North, Neerim South, Nilma, Nilma North, Noojee, Nyora (part), Piedmont, Poowong East (part), Poowong North (part), Rawson, Ripplebrook, Rokeby, Seaview, Shady Creek, Strzelecki (part), Tanjil, Tanjil Bren, Tanjil South (part), Tetoora Road, Thalloo, Thomson, Thorpdale (part), Thorpdale South (part), Toombon, Toongabbie (part), Toorongo (part), Torwood, Trafalgar, Trafalgar East, Trafalgar South, Trida (part), Vesper, Walhalla (part), Warragul, Warragul South, Warragul West, Westbury, Willow Grove, Yallourn North (part), Yarragon and Yarragon South. Baw Baw Shire does not include the Mount Baw Baw Alpine Resort.

Economic region
Baw Baw Shire

Land use

Baw Baw Shire is a predominantly rural area, with rural-residential and urban areas in numerous townships. The Shire encompasses a total land area of about 4,025 square kilometres. The northern part of the Shire is heavily forested, while the southern part is used largely for dairy farming and agriculture. The middle part of the Shire is more densely populated, particularly along the Princes Highway and the Gippsland railway line. The main population centres are Warragul and Drouin, and to a lesser extent, Longwarry, Trafalgar and Yarragon. Smaller townships include Darnum, Drouin South, Drouin West, Erica, Jindivick, Neerim South, Noojee, Rawson, Tanjil Bren, Thorpdale, Walhalla and Willow Grove. Land is used largely for dairying, farming (particularly beef, potatoes and fruit and vegetables) and forestry. Tourism is also an important industry.

Transport

Baw Baw Shire is served by the Princes Highway and the Gippsland railway line.

Settlement history

European settlement dates from the 1860s, with land used mainly for farming and timber production, and mining in some areas. Population was minimal until the 1870s, with growth through to the 1890s, spurred by the opening of the Gippsland railway line. Expansion continued during the early 1900s, particularly in the townships nearest the railway line. Growth took place in the larger townships of Drouin, Trafalgar and Warragul during the post-war years. Several water storage facilities were constructed, particularly during the 1970s. The population of the Shire gradually increased from the 1990s, with more substantial growth from 2006. Most of the recent growth has been in Drouin and Warragul. Population growth is expected to continue.

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of Baw Baw Shire were the Kulin and Kurnai Aboriginal people.

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