Benalla Rural CityCommunity profile

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Rural North

About the profile areas

The 2016 Estimated Resident Population for Rural North is 2,690, with a population density of 0.03 persons per hectare.

Location and boundaries

Rural North is bounded by the Shire of Moira in the north, the Rural City of Wangaratta in the east, the Hume Freeway in the south and the Shire of Strathbogie and City of Greater Shepparton in the west. It excludes the urban area of Benalla.

Settlement history

Settlement of the area dates from the 1840s, although little growth occurred until the 1860s when farming settlement centred around Devenish and Goorambat. Development was boosted when the Benalla to Wodonga railway line was opened in 1873, and the branch line to Yarrawonga in 1883. Land was mainly used for pastoral purposes, with some fruit orchards and wineries established in the late 1800s. In the early 1900s there were some industries in the towns, such as butter factories, bacon factories, silos, flour mills and wood yards. Wheat and sheep farming has replaced dairying in much of the area. The population has been relatively stable since the early 1990s, a result of some new dwellings being added to the area, but a decline in dwelling occupancy rates and the average number of persons living in each dwelling.

Land use

Rural North is a mainly rural area, with townships at Baddaginnie, Devenish, Goorambat and Thoona. Land is used largely for wheat and sheep farming.

Major features

Major features of the area include Warby Range State Park, Mount Meg Nature Conservation Reserve, Lake Mokoan, Benalla Racecourse, Golden Vale Golf Club, Auldstone Cellars, Baileys of Glenrowan (Vineyards), Booths Taminick Cellars and Goorambath Winery.

Included areas

Rural North includes the localities of Baddaginnie (part), Benalla (part), Boweya (part), Boxwood (part), Broken Creek, Bungeet, Bungeet West, Chesney Vale, Devenish, Glenrowan (part), Glenrowan West (part), Goomalibee, Goorambat, Major Plains (part), Mount Bruno, Stewarton (part), Taminick, Tarnook, Thoona, Winton (part) and Winton North.