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South Gippsland Shire

About the area

Name origin

South Gippsland is named for the southern part of Gippsland, which was named after Sir George Gipps, former NSW Governor.

Location and boundaries

South Gippsland Shire is located in south-eastern Victoria, about 100 kilometres south-east of the Melbourne CBD. South Gippsland Shire is bounded by Cardinia and Baw Baw Shires in the north, Latrobe City and Wellington Shire in the east, Bass Strait in the south, and Bass Coast Shire in the west.

Included areas

South Gippsland Shire includes the townships and rural localities of Agnes, Allambee Reserve (part), Allambee South (part), Arawata, Baromi, Bena, Bennison, Berrys Creek, Binginwarri (part), Boolarong, Boorool, Buffalo, Darlimurla (part), Delburn (part), Dollar, Dumbalk, Dumbalk North, Fairbank, Fish Creek, Foster, Foster North, Gunyah, Hallston (part), Hazel Park, Hedley (part), Inverloch (part), Jeetho, Jumbunna, Kardella, Kardella South, Kongwak (part), Koonwarra, Koorooman, Korumburra, Korumburra South, Krowera (part), Lang Lang (part), Leongatha, Leongatha North, Leongatha South, Loch, Mardan, Meeniyan, Middle Tarwin, Mirboo (part), Mirboo North, Mount Best, Mount Eccles, Mount Eccles South, Moyarra, Nerrena, Nyora (part), Outtrim (part), Poowong, Poowong East (part), Poowong North (part), Port Franklin, Port Welshpool, Pound Creek, Ranceby, Ruby, Sandy Point, Stony Creek, Strzelecki (part), Tarwin, Tarwin Lower, Thorpdale (part), Thorpdale South (part), Toora, Toora North (part), Trida (part), Turtons Creek, Venus Bay, Walkerville, Walkerville South, Waratah Bay, Welshpool, Whitelaw, Wild Dog Valley, Wilsons Promontory, Wonga, Wonyip, Woorarra East, Woorarra West, Wooreen and Yanakie.

Land use

South Gippsland is a rural, residential and holiday area. The Shire encompasses a total land area of about 3,300 square kilometres, including substantial coastal areas. The major towns are Leongatha, Korumburra, Mirboo North and Foster, with smaller townships at Dumbalk, Fish Creek, Loch, Meeniyan, Nyora, Poowong, Port Welshpool, Sandy Point, Tarwin Lower, Toora, Venus Bay and Welshpool, and many other small communities. Much of the rural area is used for timber getting and agriculture, with dairy, beef and snow pea farming being the main agricultural pursuits. There is also some fishing and viticulture. Tourism is an important industry, especially in the coastal areas.


South Gippsland Shire is served by the Bass Highway, the South Gippsland Highway and the Strzelecki Highway.

Settlement history

European settlement dates from the 1840s, with land used mainly for timber getting, farming and grazing. Population was minimal until the 1860s when land was opened for selection, leading to the development of a farming community (dairy, cheese making, agriculture, sheep and cattle breeding). Growth took place from the 1880s into the early 1900s, when many villages were established, spurred by coal mining and the construction of railway lines. Significant development occurred during the interwar period and the post-war years, aided by soldier settlement. The population increased slightly during the 1980s, rising from under 23,000 in 1981 to about 24,000 in 1991. The population was relatively stable to 1996, increased marginally to about 25,000 in 2006, and then increased to over 26,000 in 2011.

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of the South Gippsland area were the Gunnai, Bun Wurrung and Wurundjeri Aboriginal people.

Regional labour force

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