Colac Otway ShireCommunity profile

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Rural North

About the profile areas

The 2016 Estimated Resident Population for Rural North is 3,295, with a population density of 0.03 persons per hectare.

Location and boundaries

Rural North is the northern-most part of the Colac Otway Shire. Rural North is bounded by Golden Plains Shire in the north, Surf Coast Shire in the east, generally by Birregurra-Deans Marsh Road, Deepdene Road, Colac-Murroon Road, Colac-Forrest Road, Trasks Road, Collins Road, Drapers Road, Colac-Ballarat Road, Lake Colac, Kennys Lane, Browns Lane, Bullens Lane, Nalangil Road and McGrath Road in the south, and Corangamite Shire in the west.

Settlement history

Settlement of the area dates from the 1840s when Cressy developed as a coach stop. The townships of Beeac and Birregurra emerged in the 1850s, when the timber industry was established. Growth was slow until the late 1870s, following the opening of the railway line. Some development occurred in the interwar period, mainly in Irrewarra where land was purchased for soldier settlement. The most significant development occurred in the post-war years, especially between 1947 and 1961 as land was subdivided, particularly in Irrewarra. In recent years smaller settlements such as Birregurra and Cressy have become more popular as lifestyle villages. The population generally declined slightly from the early 1990s, a result of few new dwellings being added to the area and a decline in the average number of persons living in each dwelling.

Land use

Rural North is a predominantly rural area. Rural North includes the small townships of Alvie, Beeac, Birregurra, Cororooke, Cressy, Irrewarra and Warrion. Land in the rural areas is used mainly for grazing, cropping, dairy farming and sheep farming.

Major features

Major features of the area include Lake Beeac, Lake Colac, Lake Cundare, Lake Weering, Beeac Golf Club, Birregurra Golf Club, Irrewarra Airfield, Ramsar Wetlands, Colac Livestock Selling Centre, Alvie Recreation Reserve, Balintore Foreshore Reserve, Beeac Recreation Reserve, Birregurra Park, Birregurra Recreation Reserve, Corunnun Foreshore Reserve, Cressy Recreation Reserve, Irrewarra Recreation Reserve, Meredith Park, Red Rock Scenic Reserve, Warrion Recreation Reserve, Birregurra Heritage Walk and a number of schools.

Included areas

Rural North encompasses the localities of Balintore, Barunah Plains, Beeac, Coragulac, Cororooke, Corunnun, Cundare, Eurack, Irrewarra, Ondit, Warncoort, Warrion, Weering and Whoorel, the Colac Otway Shire parts of the localities of Alvie, Birregurra, Cressy, Cundare North, Dreeite, Dreeite South, Ombersley, Winchelsea, Wingeel and Wool Wool, and the northern part of the locality of Colac.