An abundance of space
Buloke Shire stretches over 8,000 square kms. Land is some of the least expensive in Victoria, reducing cost for start-ups in any industry.
Primed for a sustainable future
The right conditions for wind and solar investment. Donald envisions becoming the first off-grid town in Victoria.
Diverse agribusiness opportunities
The region’s known for wheat, oats, barley, and legume production; and sheep grazing.
Burgeoning tourist destination
The picturesque Lake Tyrrell is an emerging tourist hotspot attracting a growing number of domestic and international visitors.
Poised to play a growing role in feeding the world. A region known for agriculture and home to pre-eminent organisations such as the Birchip Cropping Group, supporting smart, sustainable farming using applied science and tech innovation.
- 8,000 square kms of land with a population of 6,100 people (2022).
- Key towns include: Birchip, Charlton, Donald, Sea Lake, and Wycheproof.
- Buloke’s Gross Regional Product is estimated at $749M (2022).
- Agriculture makes the greatest contribution to economic output; the sector’s also the region’s largest employer.
- After Agriculture, the major employing industries are Health and Social Assistance, Education, Retail Trade, and Construction.
- The ideal environment for broadacre cropping, coupled with over 150 years of intergenerational expertise in growing grains.
- Known for extensive livestock and intensive livestock production – sheep grazing, pig production, cattle lot feeding, and an emerging poultry (meat and eggs) production industry.
- Victoria’s largest salt lake, Lake Tyrrell, plus a number of recreational lakes, attract a growing number of tourists, campers, and water-sports enthusiasts.
- Buloke is one of the safest places in the world to live; and one of the most affordable in Victoria – median house price is $90,000 (2021).
- Abundant space, wind and sun make Buloke an inviting location for large-scale solar and wind farming.
- Economic development opportunities exist for smaller-scale alternative energy programs including: integrated water management, battery storage, small-scale township projects, self-powered intensive animal husbandry developments.
Key infrastructure ready to support investment and innovation
- Buloke’s part of the GWM Water Pipeline, providing a quality supply of water for agriculture, manufacturing and other industries.
- Excellent road networks throughout the shire – two main highways, the Calder and the Sunraysia, and several trucking companies operating locally.
- Rail networks across the region connect primary producers with the ports of Geelong and Melbourne and are ready to meet growing demand for rail freight.
- Birchip, Charlton, Donald, Sea lake, and Wycheproof have adjacent airports.
- Workspace Australia offers business incubator sheds in Donald – 108sqm – 144sqm factories ideal and affordable for startups, especially in the manufacturing sector.
- Buloke Shire schools, through to Year 12, consistently produce some of the best results in the state.
- Lake Tyrrell infrastructure project – $2.575M secured to install a series of visitor information and infrastructure works to improve visitor experience, and protect environmental and cultural sites. A cultural heritage study is also underway by Aboriginal Victoria.
- Birchip Cropping Group – not-for-profit agricultural research and extension organisation
- Australian Eatwell and Simply Better Foods – plant-based food products
- Kookas Country Cookies – cookies and biscuits
- Boral Concrete – concrete Supplier
- TMC Enviro – environmental and agricultural contracting services
- Diverse range of educational choices, both public and private, from kindergarten through to Year 12.
- The region’s secondary schools regularly appear in the top 10 in the state for VCE results.
- Both schools and teachers play strong roles in Buloke communities providing a rounded, impactful education.
- Buloke Shire Council operates kindergarten facilities in Birchip, Charlton, Donald, Sea Lake and Wycheproof.
- The North Central Trade Training Centre (NCTTC) located at Charlton College offers a range of training and addresses skills in local demand including: agriculture, aged care and allied health, and trades (carpenter, cook, engineer, hairdresser, beautician, community services, music, animal studies, and sport and recreation).
- A true competitive strength for the shire, the Birchip Cropping Group (BCG) uses science-based research to improve prosperity for broadacre farming. BCG partners with several tertiary institutions, the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), the CSIRO and its subsidiary Data61, and the Bureau of Meteorology; plus regional, state and commonwealth government agencies, and philanthropic organisations.
- Northern Poultry Cluster (NPC) works to enhance the long-term sustainability of poultry production, processing and value-adding in the Northern Victoria region. NPC has worked with Buloke Shire to produce investment guides for poultry and other intensive livestock enterprises (piggeries and lot-feeding) and a regional approach to planning for intensive livestock.
- Wimmera Mallee Tourism exists to boost the tourism profile of the shire.
- ‘Internet of things’ – funded by the Victorian Government, Buloke’s agribusinesses are testing cutting-edge on-farm tech to improve everything from security and logistics, to stock, soil and water monitoring.
- Cabin infrastructure for tourism and short-term accommodation – $2.340M VIC government. Construction of quality cabin accommodation at 7 of Buloke’s caravan parks.
- Brightening Broadway Wycheproof – $0.45M VIC Government Regional Infrastructure Fund. Reinvigorating Wycheproof’s main street and CBD area.
- Buloke play spaces trail – $2.6M VIC Government Regional Infrastructure Fund. Construction of 5 destination play space complexes with play equipment, adventure activities, and innovative design.
- Buloke Shire streetscape renewal project – $4M VIC Government COVID-19 Infrastructure Stimulus. Upgrading the streetscapes of the 5 large townships in the Buloke Shire.
- Buloke Silo Art Trail activation – $790,000 VIC Government Tourism Infrastructure Program. A 4-part project: Launching a Business Innovation Pilot, construction of Buloke Accommodation for lakes, installation of Night Activation and creating a Street Art Festival.
- Lake Tyrrell tourism infrastructure development project – $2.305M VIC Government Regional Tourism Infrastructure Fund. Key infrastructure to protect the environment and enhance the visitor experience.
- Sea Lake housing development – $300,000 VIC Government Regional Recovery Fund. Subdivision and housing development in Sea Lake.
- Birchip Cropping Group, Nexus Prospectus – Aims to deliver headspace and physical space to facilitate tomorrow’s challenges. Aims to provide suitable accommodation to support the work of researchers.
- Donald independent living village project – Aiming to attract investment in partnership with a developer to establish a new independent living gated community for up to 200 villas with associated quality facilities to help grow the rural township of Donald.
- Bolstering rental housing supply in Birchip – Birchip Community Housing aims to deliver 6 new housing units for older aged residents.
Learn more about some of the businesses in our region – why they chose Loddon Mallee, and their vision for the future.
Australian Eatwell – Automation innovation in food production
“Australian Eatwell benefits by developing innovative products and production methods. It develops the need for new technologies and innovation in production, marketing and financial control.” – Graham Harris, Financial Controller
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