RDA Murraylands and RiverlandEconomic profile
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RDA Murraylands and Riverland region

About the area

Name origin

Loxton is named after William Charles Loxton, a boundary rider during the late 1800s. Waikerie is thought to be named from an Aboriginal word meaning "many wings" or referring to a species of ghost moth.

Location and boundaries

The District Council of Loxton Waikerie area is located in the Riverland Region of South Australia, about 250 kilometres north-east of the Adelaide CBD. The District Council of Loxton Waikerie area is bounded by Unincorporated South Australia, the Beri Barmera Council area and the Renmark Paringa Council area in the north, the Victorian border in the east, the Southern Mallee District Council area and the District Council of Karoonda East Murray area in the south, and the Mid Murray Council area in the west.

Included areas

The District Council of Loxton Waikerie area includes the localities of Alawoona, Bakara Well, Billiatt, Bookpurnong, Boolgun, Bugle Hut, Caliph, Devlins Pound, Galga (part), Golden Heights, Good Hope Landing, Holder, Holder Siding, Kanni, Kingston On Murray, Kringin, Lowbank, Loxton, Loxton North, Maggea, Malpas, Mantung (part), Markaranka, Mercunda (part), Meribah, Moorook, Moorook South, Murbko (part), Naidia, New Residence, New Well, Notts Well, Paisley, Paruna, Pata, Peebinga, Pooginook, Pyap, Pyap West, Qualco, Ramco, Ramco Heights, Schell Well, Stockyard Plain, Sunlands, Taldra, Taplan, Taylorville (part), Veitch, Waikerie, Wappilka, Wigley Flat, Woodleigh, Woolpunda, Wunkar and Yinkanie.

Economic region
District Council of Loxton Waikerie

Land use

The District Council of Loxton Waikerie area is predominantly rural, with small townships at Loxton and Waikerie, and smaller settlements at Kingston on Murray and Moorook. Land is used largely for agriculture, particularly grape, citrus and cereal growing and grazing, with some nut, berry, fruit and vegetable growing. The Council area encompasses a total land area of about 7,800 square kilometres.

Transport

The District Council of Loxton Waikerie area is served by the Sturt Highway.

Settlement history

European settlement of the area dates from the mid 1800s, although population was minimal until the 1880s. Growth took place during the late 1800s when several small townships were established, with land used mainly for sheep grazing and wheat growing. Expansion continued during the early 1900s, aided by the opening of the railway line in 1914. Significant development occurred in the post-war years, spurred by the War Service Land Settlement Scheme in Loxton and Waikerie and irrigation schemes which enabled citrus and grape growing to be established. The population increased from about 8,000 in 1933 to over 10,000 in 1961. Gradual growth continued from the 1960s to the 1980s, with the population rising to about 12,000 in 1986. The population was relatively stable during the 1990s, and then declined slightly, falling from about 11,900 in 2001 to about 11,300 in 2011.

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of the District Council of Loxton Waikerie area were the Ngawait Aboriginal people.

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