South Gippsland Shire CouncilCommunity profile

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About the profile areas

The 2016 Estimated Resident Population for Leongatha is 5,735, with a population density of 1.39 persons per hectare.

Location and boundaries

Leongatha is bounded by the locality of Ruby, Wild Dog Valley Road and the locality of Leongatha North in the north, the Strzelecki Highway, Myers Road, Mardan Road and the Tarwin River West Branch in the east, the locality of Nerrena, the Tarwin River West Branch, Carmodys Road, the South Gippsland Highway, the locality of Leongatha South and Racecourse Road in the south, and the localities of Korumburra South and Kardella South in the west.

Name origin

Leongatha is thought to be named from an Aboriginal word meaning "teeth".

Settlement history

Settlement of the area dates from 1845, with land used mainly for farming and grazing. The township was established in the 1880s, when dairying became an important industry. Growth took place from the 1890s into the early 1900s, spurred by the opening of the railway line from Melbourne. A labour colony operated from 1893 to the early 1900s, clearing land for farming. The labour colony was subdivided in 1919 into dairy farms for returned soldiers. Leongatha developed as the largest township in South Gippsland Shire. The most significant development occurred during the post-war years. The population has gradually increased since the 1980s, a result of new dwellings being added to the area, particularly between 2006 and 2011.

Land use

Leongatha includes a township surrounded by rural hinterland. Rural land is used mainly for dairy, beef, lamb and vegetable farming, with some viticulture.

Major features

Major features of the area include South Gippsland Tourist Railway, Leongatha Golf Club, Murray Goulburn Co-operative, Gippsland Southern Health Service (Leongatha Memorial Hospital,) Shire offices, South Gippsland SPLASH, GippsTAFE (Leongatha Campus), Leongatha Recreation Reserve, Arthur Bentley Reserve, Ellen Lyndon Park, Garden Reserve, Griffin Road Reserve, Horticultural Park, Kings Park, Mary Checkley Reserve, McIndoe Park, Shinglers Ridge Playground, Sloan Avenue Reserve, St Andrews Drive Reserve, Tania Park and numerous schools.