Home to the Gannawarra solar farm – Australia’s first large-scale solar farm and battery storage facility.
Intensive animal industries including feedlotting, poultry and pigs, medicinal cannabis, large-scale organic cropping including cotton and processing tomatoes.
A strong foundation for nature-based and adventure tourism – majestic landscapes, the Murray, Kerang Lakes, and Gunbower Creek described as Victoria’s Kakadu.
Home to some of Victoria’s renowned manufacturing businesses exporting food and agricultural products nationally and internationally.
The Gannawarra has a visionary plan to reduce its environmental footprint while increasing economic activity.
The ‘ART of Gannawarra’ (Agriculture, Renewables, Tourism) is a strategic direction for the future development of agriculture, renewable energy and tourism as focus areas for growing the local economy.
- Located on the Murray River, the Gannawarra is 1.25 hrs from Bendigo, 40 mins from Swan Hill and 3 hrs from Melbourne.
- A population of 10,438 (ABS 2021); and generating $0.5B in Gross Regional Product.
- Key towns include: Kerang, Cohuna and Koondrook.
- A diverse regional economy is dominated by a strong agricultural base and complemented by value-added processing industry, energy projects, manufacturing, retail, tourism and health services.
- The agricultural sector’s supported by a modernised irrigation system suited to a range of agricultural activities including dairy, cropping and horticulture.
- Global demand for protein is driving investment in intensive animal industries – the Gannawarra is in a position to capitalise on this through poultry, beef, pig, lamb and goat production; and creating further opportunity for manufacturing value-add food products.
- Tourism is identified as an area of growth, the region welcoming product development in the nature-based-tourism and adventure-tourism spaces to bolster the shire’s commitment to environmental sustainability.
- An early leader in renewables, Gannawarra was the first location in Victoria to develop a large-scale solar farm and is currently hosting the largest solar farm and battery storage facility in the world (May 2019).
- Climate and land is suited to energy generation – a number of large-scale solar and wind developments are underway.
Key infrastructure ready to support investment and innovation
- Affordable and suitably zoned land – residential, rural and industrial
- Transport and logistics links include road, rail and air.
- Located within 100km of major rural centres – Bendigo, Echuca, Swan Hill – with major road links via the Murray Valley Highway and the Loddon Valley Highway.
- Well-serviced and highly-developed industrial estates operate in Kerang and Cohuna; a further industrial estate is being developed in Koondrook.
- The whole of Gannawarra has access to the NBN through either fixed line or the Sky Muster network.
- KerangLink is the major tri-state interconnector that will provide more generation capacity in the Gannawarra.
- Kerang Hospital offers state-of-the-art medical facilities, complemented by a range of health and allied services including dental, physiotherapy, aged care, community health, child care and podiatry across the shire. Cohuna also has a hospital.
- Passenger rail services operate daily between Kerang and Melbourne, and Kerang and Swan Hill. A daily V/Line bus service connects the Gannawarra Shire with Adelaide, Albury, Bendigo, Echuca, Melbourne, Mildura and Swan Hill.
- Gannawarra has a plentiful supply of residential land in several subdivisions, and a median house price of $220,000.
- GoFarm – value-add investors in the regeneration of irrigated farmland, water and ecosystem assets.
- AMWA – Water Control Solutions
- Faucet Strommen – tapware manufacturer
- ECS Botanicals – medicinal cannabis
- Kerang Solar Farm
- Dunstan Farmers Engineering – grain handling equipment
- Kerfab – front end loaders and machinery handling equipment
- VHM Limited – Goschen Project – Rare earth and minerals mining
- Gannawarra Children’s Centre provides childcare services, including long daycare
- Gannawarra Council offers 3 and 4-year-old kindergarten programs in Cohuna, Kerang, Leitchville, and Koondrook.
- 9 primary schools; 2 secondary colleges; 1 Christian college (Prep – Year 12)
- A range of resources are available for anyone seeking to do business in Gannawarra. The Council’s Economic Development Unit welcomes enquiries and ideas, and provides the highest level of service possible.
- KerangLink – Due for completion in 2027, KerangLink will connect Victoria and New South Wales’ electricity networks. New transmission lines will enable local renewable energy facilities to feed into the national grid, setting up North West Victoria as the nation’s largest renewable energy zone.
- Cohuna CBD and waterfront connection – $1.7M Victorian Government Covid-19 Infrastructure Stimulus. Upgrading the Cohuna CBD to establish stronger connections to the Cohuna Waterfront along Gunbower Creek providing significant hospitality and relocation benefits.
- Tate Drive industrial Estate Stage 9 subdivision – The project provides an extra 13 allotments onto the market, with all sold prior to completion.
- Sustainable recreational water for Quambatook – $2.05M Victorian Government Regional Infrastructure Fund. The development of the Quambatook Weir pool will create significant tourism opportunities, generate substantial local employment, and transform and uplift the heart and liveability appeal of Quambatook.
- Koondrook all-abilities play facility – $0.39M VIC Government Regional Infrastructure Fund. Providing a new all-abilities play facility in the heart of Koondrook.
- Mining opportunities – Mineral sands and rare earth mining opportunities exist in the north west of the shire. Western Australian company VHM under ‘The Goschen Project’ are mining metals critical to the renewables industry for the production of batteries for electric cars and the generators used in wind turbines.
- Koondrook to Kerang Rail Trail – $0.5M VIC Government Investment Fast-track Fund. Gannawarra Shire Council will complete the necessary assessments, approvals, and planning to enable the Kerang to Koondrook Rail Trail project to move from planning to an investment-ready position.
- Future solar and wind projects – Gannawarra has 6 solar projects and 3 wind farm projects proposed. Construction would occur once the KerangLink project has commenced. These projects alone will create around 900 construction jobs over several years.
Learn more about some of the businesses in our region – why they chose Loddon Mallee, and their vision for the future.
Wind down in a tranquil bush setting in the historic town of Koondrook.
Koondrook Retreat – a hidden gem
Wind down in a tranquil bush setting in the historic town of Koondrook.
Kilter Rural – Investing in the future of farming
“Our overarching philosophy is to unlock value in rural irrigation landscapes to deliver financial returns with positive environmental and social impacts.” – Michael Neville, General Manager Farmland & Ecosystem
Get in touch
WE’RE HERE TO HELP
Do you have a question about starting up or scaling up in the Loddon Mallee?
Complete the form and we’ll provide expert local support.