Thriving advanced manufacturing

Contributing $1.1B each year, strengths and opportunities lie in heavy manufacturing, food and beverages, agribusiness, and renewables.


High quality of living

Population expected to increase by 25% in 20 years as new residents, mostly from Melbourne, continue to migrate for lifestyle reasons.


Sophisticated, diverse economy

Growth in highly-skilled, service-oriented businesses – the arts, sustainability, technology, food, heritage and events.


Vibrant tourism

More than 100 annual festivals; 560,000 annual visitors; 388,000 overnight visitors; $63M in annual economic output.

A location of choice for talented and passionate people from diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Strong industries, skilled labour, and a growing population contributing creative and entrepreneurial expertise.

  • Home to 20,292 people, Mount Alexander supports 7,974 jobs and has an annual economic output of $2.703B (2022). 
  • Key towns for the shire are: Castlemaine, Maldon, Campbells Creek, Chewton, Newstead  and Harcourt.
  • 120km from Melbourne – a 90 min train ride; and 40km from Bendigo. 
  • Manufacturing’s the current leading industry in terms of economic output; it’s followed by Health Care and Social Assistance, Retail Trade, Public Administration, and Construction (2021). 
  • From 2017 to 2020 ABNs in construction rose in the region by 23% compared to 9% average growth in other parts of VIC.
  • Experiencing strong growth in service industries – healthcare provision, culture and recreation, accommodation and food services, and vehicle modification. Strong population growth is predicted to continue this trend. 
  • Proactively engaging with Indigenous leaders and businesses towards creating a regenerative, future-focused economy; and seeking to grow cultural tourism initiatives in partnership with the local Indigenous community. 
  • Mount Alexander doesn’t have an arts precinct – it is one. The shire highly values its substantial creative community and through initiatives like Get Lost is working to keep Arts and Culture as a key defining feature of the area. 

Key infrastructure ready to support investment and innovation

  • A range of available and suitably-zoned land – residential, agricultural, commercial, industrial. 
  • Highly connected to national and international markets – Castlemaine is on a major road and rail corridor. The region’s within 1 hr of Melbourne airport, and 30 mins from Bendigo airport. 
  • Frequent commuter train services to both Melbourne and Bendigo make Mount Alexander an accessible commute for widened employment, education and training opportunities. 
  • Workspace Victoria provides a business incubator in Castlemaine – the program accelerates the successful development of entrepreneurial companies and small businesses through an array of business support resources and services.
More Information
Employers and innovators in Mount Alexander Shire
  • Mount Alexander Shire offers 3 daycare centres, which include long daycare offerings.
  • 5 kindergartens, operating independently of Council, managed by committees of management.
  • More than 15 primary and secondary schools –  including Catholic school, Christian college, and Steiner curriculum options.
Further industry support
  • Mount Alexander Shire Council’s Economy and Culture team can provide a range of resources to anyone looking to do business in the region. 
  • Business Mount Alexander (BMA) – A business association dedicated to supporting, connecting and promoting the business community
  • Maldon Inc.An incorporated association dedicated to fostering and promoting business and opportunities in Maldon and beyond through a range of projects and events.
  • Get Lost – The Get Lost platform supports collaborative working across the region, with a focus on community development, publicly accessible activations and regional investment.
Significant projects funded or under construction
  • Welcome to Dja Dja Wurrung country – $400,000 VIC Government Regional Tourism Investment Fund. An interactive installation within the iconic Castlemaine Market Building, which will showcase the historic and contemporary stories of the local Jaara people of the region to a local and visitor audience.
  • Goldfields Track transformation – $1.9M (Stage 1) VIC Government Regional Tourism Investment Fund Stimulus. The existing Goldfields Track from Ballarat to Bendigo is the longest shared use mountain bike and bushwalking track in Victoria. Stage 1 implements consistent signage, interpretation, and improved visitor amenities. 
  • Maldon Streetscape – $4.5M VIC Government,COVID-19 Infrastructure Stimulus.  General improvement of the streetscape including traffic calming, improved pedestrian access, street furniture, lighting and signage, undergrounding of overhead power cables, and shop front restoration. 
  • Mount Alexander Shire small town streetscapes – $1.4M (Stage 3 and 4) VIC Government Regional Infrastructure Fund. Civil works for Chewton and Newstead. Streetscape plans for Guildford, Chewton and Newstead. 
  • Castlemaine Good Shed – $6M (Stage 2) VIC Government Creative Victoria Infrastructure Strategic Initiatives. Delivering a flexible performance and exhibition space.
Future projects and opportunities
  • Castlemaine – Maryborough Trail – Mount Alexander Shire has partnered with Council Central Goldfields Shire Council to conduct a feasibility study for a Castlemaine to Maryborough Rail Trail –  a 55km shared-use trail on the disused rail corridor between Maryborough and Castlemaine.
Future Plans

Case Studies

Learn more about some of the businesses in our region – why they chose Loddon Mallee, and their vision for the future.

Warral Maldon – Attracting more worker bees with honey

“Moving to a regional area is well worth considering. Land is readily available, there are cheaper set-up costs, and councils are supportive. We have excellent communities to draw on with a diverse range of networks to tap into, and activities to be involved in.” – Lindsay Callaway, Owner and Managing Director

Long Paddock Cheese – French style cheese with an Australian identity

“Castlemaine, Bendigo, and the numerous villages around them, have developed into a vibrant creative hub, attracting a real foodie and arts-based culture.” – Alison Lansley, Managing Director


Mount Alexander Shire highlights

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