Benalla Rural CityCommunity profile

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Rural South

About the profile areas

The 2016 Estimated Resident Population for Rural South is 2,296, with a population density of 0.02 persons per hectare.

Location and boundaries

Rural South is bounded by the Hume Highway in the north, the Rural City of Wangaratta in the east, the Shire of Mansfield in the south and the Shire of Strathbogie in the west.

Settlement history

Settlement of the area dates from the 1840s, although little growth occurred until the 1860s and 1870s. Lots in the township of Winton were surveyed in 1857, with much settlement in the 1860s, especially of Irish migrants. Gold was discovered at Reef Hills in 1860, with the area worked for both reef and alluvial gold until the early 1900s. Initially timber cutting was an important industry at Reef Hills, but in more recent years this has ceased and is only carried out in the pine plantation at Warrenbayne. During the late 1800s many small farms were in existence, mainly being used for dairying, potato growing and orcharding. The growth of most of the townships began to decline in the early 1900s as the township of Benalla took more prominence. The population has fluctuated slightly since the early 1990s, a result of small changes in dwelling stock, dwelling occupancy rates and the average number of persons living in each dwelling.

Land use

Rural South is a mainly rural area, with townships at Swanpool, Tatong, Warrenbayne and Winton. Rural land is used largely for dairy farming and agriculture, along with meat and wool production.

Major features

Major features of the area include Mount Samaria State Park, Reef Hills State Park, Winton Motor Raceway, Loombah Weir, McCall Say Reservoir, Moorngag Bushland Reserve and Benalla Golf Club.

Included areas

Rural South includes the localities of Archerton (part), Baddaginnie (part), Barjarg (part), Benalla (part), Boho South (part), Bridge Creek (part), Creek Junction (part), Glenrowan West (part), Lima, Lima East, Lima South (part), Lurg, Molyullah, Moorngag, Myrrhee (part), Samaria, Strathbogie (part), Swanpool, Tatong, Tolmie (part), Upper Lurg (part), Upper Ryans Creek, Warrenbayne and Winton (part).