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Golden Plains Shire

About the area

Name origin

Golden Plains is named for the rich gold mining history of the area.

Location and boundaries

Golden Plains Shire is located in south-western Victoria, about 100 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD. Golden Plains Shire is bounded by the City of Ballarat and the Moorabool Shire in the north, the City of Greater Geelong in the east, the Surf Coast and Colac Otway Shires in the south, and the Corangamite and Pyrenees Shires in the west.

Included areas

Golden Plains Shire includes the localities of Anakie (part), Bamganie, Bannockburn, Barunah Park, Batesford (part), Berringa, Berrybank (part), Cambrian Hill, Cape Clear, Corindhap, Cressy (part), Dereel, Durdidwarrah, Durham Lead (part), Enfield, Garibaldi, Gheringhap, Grenville (part), Haddon, Happy Valley, Hesse, Illabarook, Inverleigh (part), Lethbridge, Linton (part), Mannibadar, Maude, Meredith (part), Morrisons (part), Mount Bute (part), Mount Mercer, Murgheboluc, Napoleons, Newtown, Nintingbool, Piggoreet, Pitfield, Pittong (part), Rokewood, Rokewood Junction, Ross Creek, Russells Bridge, Scarsdale, She Oaks, Shelford, Smythes Creek (part), Smythesdale (part), Springdallah, Staffordshire Reef, Steiglitz, Stonehaven, Sutherlands Creek, Teesdale, Wallinduc, Werneth (part), Willowvale and Wingeel (part).

Land use

Golden Plains Shire is a predominantly rural area with numerous small townships. The largest town is Bannockburn, with smaller townships at Enfield, Inverleigh, Lethbridge, Linton, Meredith, Smythesdale and Teesdale. The Shire encompasses a total land area of 2,705 square kilometres. Rural land is used mainly for sheep and cattle grazing and cropping, gold mining and viticulture, with some poultry farming and pig growing.


Golden Plains Shire is served by the Glenelg Highway, the Hamilton Highway and the Midland Highway.

Settlement history

European settlement of the Shire dates from the 1830s. Land was used mainly for grazing, farming and timber-cutting, especially near the rivers. Growth took place in the 1850s and 1860s, particularly in the townships of Bannockburn, Linton, Scarsdale, Smythesdale and Steiglitz, spurred by gold discoveries. Growth continued through to the late 1800s, aided by the construction of the railway line in the 1860s. Significant development occurred during the post-war years. The population has increased since the early 1990s, rising from about 12,000 in 1991 to over 18,000 in 2011. The majority of recent population growth has been in the south-east and north-east of the Shire, in the areas closest to Geelong and Ballarat.

Regional labour force

Golden Plains Shire labour force region is defined by an area in which a significant percentage of workers travelled into Golden Plains Shire to work at the 2011 Census. Details of this calculation and a list of areas included can be found in the data notes.