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The Place to Grow                           2

Welcome to Loddon                           4

The Place to Invest                         9

About the Loddon Valley                    12

       Economy and Industry                14

       Infrastructure                      21

       Business Services and Facilities    24

Building the Loddon Valley                 26

       Education and Training              28

       Living in the Loddon                31

       Community Services and Facilities   32

Contact Details                            36
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   “The town showed a lot of character and enthusiasm, and the lake
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   was attractive as well. On top of this Boort Secondary College
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   consistently performed well on the VCE exams,” explains Marlies.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   “So from our point of view it had it all – lifestyle, community spirit,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   good schools and recreational facilities, with good sporting clubs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   and a beautiful lake.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Profile – Saluté Oliva, Boort
        The Loddon Valley has all the space you need to grow                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Established in 1998 by Peter and Marlies Eicher, Saluté Oliva
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  is a family-owned and operated organic olive business that
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Eichers are planning to double the production base of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Saluté Oliva over the next three to four years, although they

        your business, build your career, invest in something
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  produces first class Extra Virgin Olive Oil and table olives. The     are keen to keep the company within the family. They are full
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Eichers moved to Australia from Switzerland in the late 1980s,        of enthusiasm for their rural lifestyle, particularly due to the
                                                  Victoria                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        and settled in Boort to bring up their family.                        affordable cost of living, and the safety and friendliness of the
        new, or just create your perfect lifestyle – all within                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   “We were locked into the routine of leaving early for work and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Boort community.

        an easy drive of Victoria’s major regional centres.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  coming home late, and organising and managing the children.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This was not what we wanted, and we were looking forward to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        “They were very welcoming to us,” says Peter of the town’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        residents. “They have a strong sense of belonging, pride and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  a more family-involved lifestyle, where the children had some         community spirit, and social integration is very high. All these
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  space. We wanted a better social environment for us and the           positive attributes which people in cities are looking for are
  Whatever you’re looking for, you can find it in the Loddon Valley.                                                                                                                                              Melbourne                                                                                       children, and a more down-to-earth way of life.”                      right here on your door step.”
  High quality soils and unmatched scaled opportunities combine                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   The Eichers are very clear on what attracted them to Boort            Saluté Oliva has won a range of awards for its olive oil and
  with a perfect Mediterranean climate and world-class irrigation                   loddon                                                                                                                                                                                                                        as a place to live with their family. “The town showed a lot of       table olive products, including two Gold Awards at the Picnic
  infrastructure to make Loddon Valley a premier investment                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       character and enthusiasm, and the lake was attractive as well.        at Hanging Rock (2010 and 2008), a Gold Award at the National
  destination.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    On top of this Boort Secondary College consistently performed         Table Olive competition in Bendigo (March 2010), Best
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  well on the VCE exams,” explains Marlies. “So from our point          Commercial Blend – Medium at the Royal Melbourne Show
  The Loddon Valley is located approximately 200km north-west of                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  of view it had it all – lifestyle, community spirit, good schools     (2009), and a silver medal for spiced olives from the Australian
  Melbourne in the Goldfields region of central northern Victoria.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                and recreational facilities, with good sporting clubs and a           Olive Assocation in 2008.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      To Kerang
  The major rural city of Bendigo is about 30 minutes’ drive to                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   beautiful lake.”
  the south-east along the Calder Highway from Bridgewater on
  Loddon. Major towns such as Horsham, Ballarat and Echuca are                                                                                                  To Kerang                                                                                                                                         The Eichers created Saluté Oliva as a way to fund their rural
  all within a radius of approximately 160kms.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Pyramid Hill
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  lifestyle, recognising the potential for producing Extra Virgin
                                                                                                                                     Boort                                                                                                                                                                        Olive Oil as Australian consumers begin turning towards
  The Loddon Valley’s rich, productive soils support dairy farms,                                                                                                                               Pyramid Hill
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  healthier food products.
  olive groves, vineyards and tomato crops, as well as cereal and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             LODDON VALL

  fodder crops grown to sustain the region’s extensive livestock                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The olive grove of Saluté Oliva is located just outside the town of
                                                                                                                                                      LODDON VALLE

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 EY HWY

  industries. Long sunlit days and cool winter nights provide                           To Mildura                                                                                                                                                                                                                Boort, not far from the lake shore, where the clean environment
                                                                                                                                                          Y HWY

  perfect conditions for vegetables and fruit orchards.                To Mildura
                                                                                                                                                  Korong Vale                                                                                                                                                     and fertile soil convinced the Eichers to adopt organic principles
                                                                                            Korong Vale
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Dingee                                                                             Dingee       in growing their olive trees. The Saluté grove now supports
  For those seeking lifestyle advantages, Loddon Valley is                                      Wedderburn                                                      Serpentine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Serpentine                                                  2,150 established trees, which the Eichers manage with a best-
  characterised by historic and welcoming communities dotted
                                                                                                                                             E RD

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  practice drip irrigation system, soil preparation and management





  throughout the foothills of Victoria’s Central Highlands, or



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  techniques, organic fertiliser, and an annual pruning regime.




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 R SE

  sprawled across the northern river plains.




                                                                                                                                                          on loddon



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Bridgewater                                                      The entire process, from growing and tending the trees,
  Undulating fields, natural bushland, ironbark forests, granite
                                                                                    W                                                                                        R

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 on loddon
                                                                                        M                                                                                        HW

                                                                                                                           Logan                                                                                                                                                                                  through to irrigation management, harvesting, pressing the oil
                                                                                          ER                                                                                         Y
                                                                                                  Y                          Newbridge                                                          Marong
  outcrops, broad plains and natural lakes provide a vibrant                                                           Tarragulla
                                                                                                                                                             A HWY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  and pickling the olives, is done by the family. The capacity to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Bendigo                                   DE

  backdrop for the region’s strong agricultural sector – as well as
                                                                                                                                W                                                                                                                                 R
                                                                                                                                 IM                                                                                                                                   HW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  process the olives on the farm reduces the time from harvest
                                                                                                                                        Laanecoorie                                                                                                                     Y
                                                                                                                                            H                                                       L
                                                                                                                                                              W                                      DE

  offering a natural playground for bushwalkers, prospectors, wine
                                                                                                                                                                     Y                                      HW
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  to processing, and ensures that the highest possible quality oil
  connoisseurs, cyclists and water-sports enthusiasts.                                                                                                                                         Tarragulla
                                                                                                                                                                                                 To Melbourne                                                                                           Bendigo   is produced.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Laanecoorie                                          CA

  With so many enticing attributes and exciting opportunities, the

  Loddon Valley really is the place to grow...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    To Melbourne

2 LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS 3
                                                                                                 John McLinden,
                                                                                                 CEO Loddon Shire Council
                                                                                                                                                                                          The Loddon Valley
                                                                                                 Thank you for considering the Loddon Valley as your next investment destination.
                                                                                                                                                                                          is characterised
                                                                                                 Having lived in various areas around Victoria, I can honestly say that no place
                                                                                                 feels more like home than the Loddon Valley. I am sure that you will have this           by a diverse mix
                                                                                                 same experience.

                                                                                                 While it is impossible to describe the many opportunities that the Loddon
                                                                                                                                                                                          of traditional
                                                                                                 Valley offers in a few short paragraphs, there are some features that speak for
                                                                                                 themselves. The Loddon Valley is characterised by a diverse mix of traditional
                                                                                                                                                                                          agriculture, new
                                                                                                 agriculture, new horticultural investments, and broadacre and intensive farming,
                                                                                                 with a high quality modernised water supply system to support and sustain growth.
                                                                                                 These features, combined with the region’s ideal climate, clearly show why the
                                                                                                 Loddon Valley has previously been envisioned as the ‘new Mediterranean’.
                                                                                                                                                                                          investments, and
                                                                                                 With any new business, it is important to have a local government which supports         broadacre and
                                                                                                 growth and understands your needs. I genuinely feel that we have the right team
                                                                                                 of staff at the Loddon Shire Council that will help you to realise your desired goals,   intensive farming,
                                                                                                 and consequently your future. I sincerely hope that the Loddon Valley will have the
                                                                                                 chance to play a significant role in your investment and business planning.              with a high quality
                                                                                                 But it isn’t all about buildings, machinery and the economy. Loddon Valley residents     modernised water
                                                                                                 enjoy friendly, family-oriented communities, affordable housing, and a varying and
                                                                                                 beautiful natural environment – all of which make the Loddon Valley lifestyle so         supply system
                                                                                                 special. In particular, our communities are full of welcoming and enthusiastic people
                                                                                                 who are passionate about the region, making the Loddon Valley not only a great           to support and
                                                                                                 place to invest, but a truly rewarding place to create the perfect country lifestyle.

                                                                                                 I believe that nowhere else will you find such genuine, warm-hearted communities;
                                                                                                                                                                                          sustain growth.
                                                                                                 it may be the region’s diverse agricultural assets or premium investment opportunities
                                                                                                 that bring you here, but it will be the people that make you want to stay.

                                                                                                 I urge you to join us, and discover why this wonderful area truly is the best place
                                                                                                 to grow, build, invest, and create.

                                                                                                 Our friendly and approachable staff at the Loddon Shire Council are more than
                                                                                                 happy to answer any questions you may have and assist in pointing you in the
                                                                                                 right direction.

             Loddon Shire Council                Economic Development
             Municipal Office                    Loddon Shire Council
                                                                                                    John McLinden
             41 High St                          Wedderburn Office                                  CEO Loddon Shire Council
             Wedderburn VIC 3518                 41 High St, Wedderburn VIC 3518
             Office Hours
             Monday to Friday 8.15am to 4.45pm
                                                 Please contact us if you would like any
                                                 further information.
             Postal Address
             PO Box 21                           Our friendly and dedicated staff members will
             Wedderburn VIC 3518                 be happy to assist you with your enquiries.

             Ph. 03 5494 1200
             1300 365 200
             Fax 03 5494 3003



4 LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS                                                                                                                                                                     LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS 5
    The Loddon Valley…
    Whether you are looking for space to grow your business, a cost-effective place to
                                                                                          Grow your business                                                Invest in something new
    build a new enterprise, or a safe and friendly place to create your perfect country
    lifestyle, the Loddon Valley really is the place to grow.                             The Loddon Valley offers plenty of room to grow – in more         The place to grow… and grow!
                                                                                          ways than one. Growing a business in the city can be difficult,
                                                                                          and at times cost-prohibitive. There is constant competition      The Loddon Valley is perfectly poised to host new investment
                                                                                          to overcome – competition for premises and space,                 and foster growth of its existing enterprises. Unlike many
                                                                                          competition for customers, competition for market share…          parts of Victoria, where urban encroachment and spiralling
                                                                                                                                                            land prices have limited growth opportunities for many
                                                                                          By contrast, Loddon Valley offers business owners unlimited       agriculture enterprises, the Loddon Valley boasts unrivalled
                                                                                          space to grow and develop, with less competition and plenty       cost-effective scale for new development.
                                                                                          of exciting opportunities to create something truly original.
                                                                                          A far cry from crowded and overpriced city premises, Loddon       Add in a perfect Mediterranean climate and productive soils
                                                                                          business owners can enjoy lower set-up and overhead costs,        highly suited to agricultural production, particularly high-
                                                                                          allowing more capacity to grow.                                   value horticulture, and you will be compelled to consider the
                                                                                                                                                            Loddon Valley as part of your expansion plans or as a place to
                                                                                          Move into existing premises in the region’s historic buildings,   invest in something new.
                                                                                          or take advantage of development opportunities to build
                                                                                          something truly unique.                                           On top of this, the NVIRP modernisation program currently
                                                                                                                                                            underway will leave the Loddon Valley with a state-of-the-art
                                                                                          Much of Loddon Valley’s current retail, services and business     irrigation system that incorporates improved deliverability,
                                                                                          spending is exported to larger neighbouring centres, costing      sustainability and reliability.
                                                                                          residents in time and travel expenses. Plenty of opportunity
                                                                                          exists to establish your presence and capture a high              Affordable scale, soil, modernised infrastructure and the
                                                                                          proportion of local expenditure.                                  perfect Mediterranean climate: this is a combination that no
                                                                                                                                                            other Victorian agricultural region can boast. The Loddon
                                                                                                                                                            Valley is poised to take full advantage of its exciting potential,
                                                                                          Build your career                                                 and is without doubt a premier investment destination not to
                                                                                                                                                            be missed.

                                                                                          The Loddon Valley offers a working environment that is vastly
                                                                                          different from the steel-and-concrete corporate complexes         Create your perfect place
                                                                                          found in cities. If you are tired of the morning and afternoon
                                                                                          traffic crawl, crowded sidewalks and trains, and sterile office
                                                                                          towers, working in a rural location may be just what you are      The Loddon Valley’s small towns, quiet streets and
                                                                                          looking for.                                                      friendly communities offer lifestyle advantages not found
                                                                                                                                                            in larger centres.
                                                                                          Take the opportunity to drive your career in a new direction,
                                                                                          and to gain a wealth of alternate personal and professional       Easy commutes and a relaxed pace provide a work-life
                                                                                          experiences.                                                      balance that is hard to find in the city, allowing plenty of
                                                                                                                                                            time to spend on the things that really matter, while friendly
                                                                                          At the same time, you can escape the stress and rush of           and safe country communities offer the perfect family
                                                                                          metropolitan areas. No traffic and stress-free commuting          environment.
                                                                                          means a healthier work-life balance. The relaxed pace will
                                                                                          give you more time to spend on the things that really matter:     Natural reserves and state forests provide an abundance of
                                                                                          building a healthy and happy lifestyle for you and your family.   walking and cycling trails, and the Loddon River winds its way
                                                                                                                                                            through the Shire. The region hosts many local sporting teams
                                                                                                                                                            and facilities to help residents have fun and stay healthy.
                                                                                                                                                            On weekends, fossick for gold, fish the Loddon River for
                                                                                                                                                            Murray cod, hit the open road to discover Loddon Shire’s
                                                                                                                                                            national parks, or enjoy a leisurely day trip to the nearby
                                                                                                                                                            Murray River or Daylesford spa country.

                                                                                                                                                            The Loddon Shire’s southern towns are rich with Victorian
                                                                                                                                                            gold rush history, and stunning examples of period
                                                                                                                                                            architecture can be found throughout the region, along with
                                                                                                                                                            vineyards, olive groves, family farm-stays, and cosy bed-and-

                                                                                                                                                            This truly is the perfect place to create your own country idyll,
                                                                                                                                                            with fresh air and all the space you need to enjoy life.

6 LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS                                                                                                                                                                       LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS 7
                                                  “Decisions are made with a great deal of care for future
                                                  generations, the environment, and the benefit of all who are
                                                  part of the Simply Tomatoes chain right through to the end user.”

  Profile – Simply Tomatoes, Boort
  Simply Tomatoes is a family business started by Marilyn            This involvement within the community is clearly an
  and Ian Lanyon in 2002, after years of growing tomatoes on         important part of the Lanyon family’s business. “Support from
  a large scale in the Boort region. The Lanyon family grows,        family, friends, fellow manufacturers, the local community
  manufactures and markets their specialty green tomato              and the shire council has helped Simply Tomatoes develop,”
  products, which are sold globally direct from their central        says Marilyn.
  Victorian farm.
                                                                     It is just as clear that Simply Tomatoes is keen to give back
  According to Marilyn, the idea for Simply Tomatoes was born
  out of a favourite family recipe. “After many years of making
                                                                     to the Boort community. “For us, it’s important to know our
                                                                     employees well, and we get the satisfaction of employing local
                                                                                                                                                With a wide range of agricultural industries
  the green tomato product for family and friends, it became
  evident that it was enjoyed by all,” she explains. “We conducted
                                                                     people,” Marilyn says of her Boort-based team.
                                                                                                                                                represented in the region, including dairy,
                                                                                                                                                horticulture, viticulture, cropping, lamb and
  extensive market research, and discovered that this particular     “Small towns thrive together and take an ownership in the
  green tomato product was not found commercially anywhere –         community. We care about each other socially and through
  domestically or internationally.”                                  business relationships, whether it’s sending products through

  The Lanyons are conscious of their impact on the local
                                                                     the local post office, purchasing local extra virgin olive oil, or
                                                                     using the local carrier to bring in supplies.”
                                                                                                                                                intensive poultry and piggeries, the Loddon Valley
  environment, and their chemical-free drip irrigation system
  uses significantly less water than traditional flood irrigation,   Simply Tomatoes has also recently diversified by co-branding               has broad appeal as an agricultural destination.
  while producing between forty and sixty tonnes of tomatoes per     with Native Oz Cuisine, an indigenous company through which
  acre. On-site manufacturing and underground cool storage also      the Lanyons will now produce traditional indigenous saltbush
                                                                                                                                          As many have found, the Loddon Valley offers a uniquely            The Loddon Valley also incorporates a number of pre-
  assist in minimising the company’s environmental footprint.        products.
                                                                                                                                          attractive mix of elements that are essential to successful        designated ‘Prime Development Zones’, located within the
                                                                     The Lanyons have also taken over management of Aussie Wool           agribusiness: scale, a modernised irrigation system, quality       northern Loddon Valley Irrigation Area. These zones have
  “Decisions are made with a great deal of care for future
                                                                     Quilts, through which they produce 100% natural Australian           soils and Mediterranean climate.                                   been set aside for large-scale or intensive development,
  generations, the environment, and the benefit of all who are
                                                                     wool bedding.The Lanyons remain focused on growing their                                                                                and incorporate high quality soils in close proximity to the
  part of the Simply Tomatoes chain right through to the end                                                                              Cost of land and urban encroachment are challenges faced
                                                                     business, and are excited about the opportunities presented                                                                             modernised irrigation backbone.
  user,” explains Marilyn.                                                                                                                by many farming businesses. Whether you are looking to
                                                                     by overseas markets, particularly in the Middle East.
                                                                                                                                          expand, wanting to cater for the next generation, or are
  The Lanyon family hand-picks the tomatoes and immediately
                                                                     “We want to keep developing business opportunities by                considering a change in industry or location, the Loddon
  begins the four-day process of preserving the fruit in salt and
                                                                     following trends or demands as they arise, whether it be within      Valley’s agricultural diversity and established irrigation
  vinegar brine, to which is added extra virgin olive oil, garlic
                                                                     the Australian market, through exports, tourism, or whatever         industry present real opportunity.
  and oregano. From seed to packaged product, the entire
  process is overseen by the Lanyon family, ensuring exceptional     else may knock on our door.”
  taste and quality.                                                                                                                      Affordable scale
                                                                                                                                          The Loddon Valley boasts scale that sets it apart from most
  Simply Tomatoes also prides itself on supporting the local                                                                              other Victorian regions. The completion of the irrigation
  community, and is involved in the locally-based Loddon                                                                                  modernisation project will leave the Loddon Valley with a world-
  Valley Tours. All additional employees are also drawn from                                                                              class irrigation system, while large average farm sizes mean
  the surrounding community, demonstrating the Lanyons’                                                                                   less incumbent infrastructure to inhibit development potential.
  commitment to making Simply Tomatoes a local achievement.                                                                               The region is ideal for extensive greenfield development, with
                                                                                                                                          none of the scale and infrastructure restrictions that impede
                                                                                                                                          business growth in other regions.

8 LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS                                                                                                                                                                                                                       LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS 9
  Modernised irrigation system                                      High quality soils                                                    Mediterranean climate
  The federal and state government-funded Northern Victoria         The Loddon Valley has extensive areas of high quality soils,          The Loddon Valley possesses the ideal climate for agricultural
  Irrigation Renewal Project is currently modernising the           with large areas of Group I and Group II soils found within,          production, particularly enterprises in high value horticultural
  Loddon Valley’s irrigation infrastructure. This presents a real   or in close proximity to, the Loddon Valley Irrigation Area.          crops. The region’s ‘Mediterranean’ climate has already been
  opportunity for the district to redefine itself as a premier                                                                            successful in attracting significant horticultural investment,
  location for high value irrigated crops.                          The proximity of high quality soils to the Loddon Valley Irrigation   with the Southern Hemisphere’s largest olive grove established
                                                                    Area offers exciting development potential, particularly for high     at Boort. The climate has been identified as being highly suited
  Benefits of the modernisation scheme include improved             value horticultural enterprises. These areas of quality soils are     to a range of nut trees, stone fruits and vegetables, which is
  irrigation scheduling, the potential for year-round supply,       also closely aligned with the designated Prime Development            further demonstrated by the success of enterprises currently
  reduced system losses, and the ability for new projects to        Zones, providing strong investment opportunities that combine         operating in the Loddon Valley.
  utilise low volume systems such as pivot irrigators or drip.      scale, superior soils, and access to a worlds-best-practice
                                                                    irrigation system.                                                    The dry summers and high number of sunlight hours provide
  The Loddon Valley already has one of the more efficient                                                                                 perfect growing conditions for the region’s crops, while cool
  irrigation systems in the Goulburn Murray region, with local      Soils of similar quality have been extensively developed              winters allow sufficient chilling hours for bud initiation in
  soils preventing much of the leakage seen in other districts.     in regions to the north of the Loddon Valley, indicating the          most fruit varieties. Annual rainfall is relatively low, with
  The current modernisation project will incorporate the latest     potential for this region. Loddon farmers have also testified         the southern rising country experiencing wetter and cooler
  technology to see the Loddon Valley’s irrigation infrastructure   to the productive capacity of the region’s quality soils, with        conditions than the northern alluvial plains.
  developed to a world-class standard.                              Australian-record vegetable crops recently produced in the
                                                                    Pyramid-Boort area.

10 LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS                                                                                                                                                                                   LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS 11
                                                                                                                                                                                                       Loddon’s small towns offer many
                                                                                                                                                                                                        advantages over larger centres,
                                                                                                                                                                                                         with quiet streets and friendly,
                                                                                                                                                                                                              welcoming communities.

        The Loddon Shire in northern Victoria is the largest                                                                                production of many pasture species, as well as the horticultural
                                                                                                                                            crops that are grown across the region.

        and most diverse municipality within Victoria’s                                                                                     The Loddon Valley has large areas of high quality (Group
                                                                                                                                            I and Group II) soils, particularly within the Loddon Valley
        Foodbowl. The region is approximately 200km north of                                                                                Irrigation District. This region supports a variety of agricultural
                                                                                                                                            enterprises, including dairy farming, horticulture crops and

        Melbourne, and its proximity to major centres such as                                                                               mixed-enterprise farming. The Loddon Valley also contains
                                                                                                                                            extensive dryland farms, which produce quality prime lamb as
                                                                                                                                            well as cereal and fodder crops.
        Bendigo, Kerang and Echuca allows residents to enjoy                                                                                Population and the labour market
        a rural lifestyle without compromising on amenity.                                                                                  Country towns and communities

                                                                                                                                            The Loddon Valley has a population of approximately 8,095
  The Loddon Valley is predominantly rural, with its population         The region’s rainfall averages between 250mm and 450mm              residents, spread among the region’s towns and across the rural
  spread among a number of towns and rural areas. The Loddon            annually, reflecting the north-south spread of the valley. The      areas. The largest towns are Wedderburn, Inglewood and Boort.
  Valley’s economy is characterised by agricultural production,         southern hills are wetter and cooler than the northern plains.
  with most of the local labour force employed in this industry.        For this reason, irrigation water is essential for the successful   Loddon’s small towns offer many advantages over larger
                                                                                                                                            centres, with quiet streets and friendly, welcoming
  Goldfields magic                                                       Loddon Shire
                                                                                                                                            communities. The majority of households are comprised of
                                                                                                                                            family groups, many with younger children, and the local
  The Loddon Valley is part of the larger Goldfields tourist             Location                     200km north of Melbourne Boort –      council provides all the services required to combine family
  region, and incorporates most of the world-famous ‘Golden                                           36.12°S 143.72°E Elevation 90m        living with a regional lifestyle.
  Triangle’, reputed to have produced nearly 80% of the world’s
  gold nuggets. Two of the largest gold nuggets ever found were          Distances to...              Bridgewater to Bendigo – 37km         Labour force
  discovered within this region. The Welcome Stranger was                                             Pyramid Hill to Echuca – 77km
  unearthed at Moliagul in 1869, while the Hand of Faith nugget                                       Boort to Kerang – 52km                The Loddon Valley is characterised by its agricultural
  was found using a metal detector at Kingower in 1980, less than                                                                           production, with almost 40% of the region’s working population
                                                                         Population                   8,095                                 employed in this sector, across a mixture of small, family-
  30cm beneath the surface.
                                                                         Land area                    6,709km2                              owned farms and larger corporate enterprises.
  The Loddon Valley’s southern towns are rich with Victorian gold
                                                                         Main towns                   Wedderburn, Inglewood, Boort          Other key employers within the Loddon Valley include the
  rush history, and stunning examples of period architecture
  can be found throughout the region, along with vineyards, olive        Transport                    National and state highways           manufacturing sector (9.89%) and health care services (8.19%).
  groves, family farm-stays and cosy bed-and-breakfasts.                                              Rail and V-Line bus network
                                                                                                                                            The Loddon Valley has comparable unemployment rates that
                                                                         January temperature          Max 29.5° – Min 14.8°                 are easily in line with state and national averages. In December
  Environment and climate                                                                                                                   2008, the Loddon Valley recorded an unemployment rate of
                                                                         June temperature             Max 14.4° – Min 4.4°
  The Loddon Shire encompasses the majority of the Loddon                                                                                   4.6%, compared to 4.4% for Victoria and 4.2% for Australia as
                                                                         Annual rainfall              250mm – 450mm                         a whole. The Victorian unemployment rate for rural areas was
  River valley, and its diverse landscapes range from hills and
  natural forest in the south, to northern plains dotted with granite    Industries                   Agriculture (39.1%)                   estimated as 4.7% in December 2008.
  outcrops and characterised by rich, highly productive soils.           (by employment)              Manufacturing (9.89%)
                                                                                                                                            In addition to the Loddon Valley’s resident workforce, the close
                                                                                                      Health care services (8.19%)
  The valley’s climate is particularly suited to agricultural                                                                               proximity to Bendigo, Kerang and Echuca, allows businesses
  production. Loddon summers are relatively mild, with an                Total agricultural output    In excess of $200 million p.a.        to import skilled trades not already present in the region. New
  average daily maximum temperature of 29.5°C in January.                Total agricultural           532,289ha                             businesses can be confident in the level of support that they
  Winters in the Loddon Valley are cool, with an average daily           holdings                                                           will receive when building or developing new enterprises in
  maximum of 14.4°C in June, and an average minimum of 4.4°C.                                                                               the region.
                                                                         2009 Median house            Boort – $118,000
                                                                         prices                       Wedderburn – $102,500
                                                                                                      Inglewood – $125,000

12 LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS                                                                                                                                                                                                    LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS 13
                                                                                                                                                                                 Many of the Loddon Valley’s
                                                                                                                                                                              dryland enterprises are mixed,
                                                                                                                                                                          producing both crops and livestock
                                                                                                                                                                            products such as meat and wool.

                                                                                                                  Livestock and cropping                                              Horticulture
        Loddon is very much a rural district. The agricultural                                                    In 2006, the livestock and cropping industries were the key
                                                                                                                  drivers of the local economy, contributing $115.3 million (meat
                                                                                                                                                                                      Based on the 2006 census data, the Loddon Valley horticulture
                                                                                                                                                                                      industry contributed $16.4 million to total agricultural output.
        sector is the key driver of the local economy, and                                                        and products) and $83.9 million (gross) respectively in FY2005-
                                                                                                                  06. Lamb, beef and pork are important components of the local
                                                                                                                                                                                      In the intervening period to 2010, there has been a significant
                                                                                                                                                                                      expansion and maturing of horticulture enterprises, which is

        provides employment for a significant percentage of                                                       livestock sector, with most livestock and cropping production
                                                                                                                  carried out in the dryland districts.
                                                                                                                                                                                      expected to push total output to over $30 million.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Olives are the region’s main horticultural crop, with extensive
        the regional workforce. The Loddon Valley’s diverse                                                       Many of the Loddon Valley’s dryland enterprises are mixed,
                                                                                                                  producing both crops and livestock products such as meat and
                                                                                                                                                                                      groves managed by integrated olive oil companies Boundary
                                                                                                                                                                                      Bend Olives and Red Island. The region supports approximately

        regions support extensive olive groves and tomato                                                         wool. Some livestock and cropping also occurs in the northern
                                                                                                                  irrigation district. Dairy farming remains a notable component
                                                                                                                                                                                      4,000ha of olive groves, with oil production expected to expand
                                                                                                                                                                                      in coming years.

        crops, as well as broadacre cropping, prime lamb
                                                                                                                  of Loddon Valley’s agricultural industry, particularly in the
                                                                                                                  northern irrigation areas, despite recent industry contraction      The Loddon Valley has also traditionally been a major tomato
                                                                                                                  and drought.                                                        production region and, while this industry may have contracted, it
        production, vineyards, dairy farms, piggeries, poultry,                                                   The lamb and pork sectors are also important components of
                                                                                                                                                                                      provides insights into the productive capacity of the region’s soils.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Other horticulture crops present in the region include
        and mixed-enterprise farms.                                                                               the local livestock industry. Prime lamb production contributed
                                                                                                                  an estimated $36.4 million to the Loddon Valley’s agricultural      winegrapes, walnuts, cherries, vegetables and apples,
                                                                                                                                                                                      demonstrating the suitability of the regions soils to a diverse
                                                                                                                  output in FY2005-06. There are also a number of intensive pork
                                                                                                                  farming systems operating within the Loddon Valley, and the         range of crop types.
  Agriculture                                                                                                     value of pork production was estimated at $10.9 million in the
                                                                                                                  same financial year.
  In FY2005-06, the total gross value of agricultural production in
  the Loddon Valley was estimated at $199.1 million. The Loddon       Loddon Valley Agricultural Output –                                                                              Horticultural Production in FY2005–06 ($’000)
  Valley’s agricultural output predominantly consists of mixed        2005-06 ($’000, Gross)
                                                                                                                    Loddon Valley Agricultural Facts
  enterprises, which include dryland livestock and cropping                                                                                                                            Olives             13,709.9       Nuts                 471.8
  production. More intensive forms of agriculture are sustained       Total agricultural output      199,138.89     •   532,289ha of agricultural land holdings, the largest in
                                                                                                                                                                                       Tomatoes             1,286.5      Cherries             147.4
  where irrigation is available. Dairy farming and horticultural                                                        the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District
  production (olives, winegrapes, tomatoes) are also centred in       Crops                           83,866.71
                                                                                                                    •   Significant land areas are devoted to grain crops              Winegrapes             499.8      Apples                 68.9
  these irrigation districts.
                                                                      Crops (excl. hay)               67,429.48         (141,500ha), and non-cereal broadacre crops
  Irrigation water is sourced from the Goulburn Valley via the                                                          (18,786ha)                                                    The combination of Loddon Valley’s high quality soils, climate,
                                                                      Horticulture                    16,433.37
  Waranga Channel, the Loddon River, and the Loddon Deep                                                                                                                              modernised irrigation infrastructure, and the extensive
                                                                                                                    •   Over 4,000ha devoted to high value horticulture
  Lead. The Waranga Channel is the dominant source of irrigation      Livestock (meat)                62,242.77                                                                       opportunities for large scale development make the region
  water, and is administered by Goulburn-Murray Water.                                                              •   One of Victoria’s largest prime lamb production areas         ideally suited to the establishment of new agricultural and
  The Waranga Channel services the Loddon Valley Irrigation           Livestock (products)            53,029.41                                                                       horticultural enterprises.
  Area, which is the largest irrigation district in the region.                                                     •   A large and well established piggery industry, with
                                                                                                                        over 70,000 head
                                                                                                                    •   Significant expansion is occurring in the Loddon
                                                                                                                        Valley poultry industry, supported by a progressive
                                                                                                                        Loddon Shire

                                                                                                                    This demonstrates the sheer breadth and scale available for
                                                                                                                    agricultural enterprise in the Loddon Valley. It also indicates
                                                                                                                    that the region is already an established producer of prime
                                                                                                                    lamb, while remaining a highly competitive producer of beef,
                                                                                                                    pork, grain, and non-cereal broadacre crops.

                                                                                                                    The Loddon Valley also maintains a competitive and
                                                                                                                    established horticulture industry, predominantly due to
                                                                                                                    large-scale olive production at Boort and Serpentine.

14 LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS                                                                                                                                                                                                 LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS 15
                                                                                                                                                                                             “We recently took some growers to New Zealand to look at
                                                                                                                                                                                             intensive production systems and how we can adapt this to our
                                                                                                                                                                                             situation, which is something I would like to do more of in the
                                                                                                                                                                                             future. The benefits of benchmarking growers to show different
                                                     “The Prairie project will have a huge, positive effect on the                                                                           management strategies at work would highlight opportunities
                                                     region... with this project there will be new jobs for the area,                                                                        for further development. The introduction of new or modified
                                                     and also stimulation of the local economy.”                                                                                             finishing systems is another area for investigation.”

  Profile – Hazedene’s Chicken Farm Pty Ltd,                                                                                              Profile – Dean and Natalie Harrington, Boort
  Lockwood, Newbridge and Prairie                                                                                                         Dean Harrington and his wife, Natalie, have been living in the
                                                                                                                                          Boort area since 2002, when they purchased their first farm at
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 “In the past, information sharing between growers has been
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 limited. The work we have done on forage brassicas has begun
                                                                                                                                          Yando, north-east of the main township.                                to highlight what can be achieved by taking a focused look at
  Hazeldene’s Chicken Farm is a 100% family-owned business           “I think that the continued investment by the Hazeldene family                                                                              intensive production,” says Dean. “Now growers compare what
  based at Lockwood, Victoria. Operating since 1957, it is           in our rural area is of real benefit to those communities.”          Dean, an agronomist with agribusiness company Rodwells,                they do, and what works and what doesn’t, albeit in an ad hoc,
  currently Australia’s only fully-integrated regional poultry                                                                            is also a successful farmer who has instigated a move towards          low key manner. I have worked on getting growers to look at
  producer, and the fifth-largest producer nationally.               Hazeldene’s is one of the region’s largest employers, and enjoys     using brassica, or forage canola, to finish store lambs to             utilisation and how to improve this area, particularly for red
                                                                     the support of the local communities that surround its farms.        supermarket specifications during the winter months.                   meat yields per hectare, as well as how to increase this number
  Hazeldene’s produces a wide range of poultry products,             It also strongly believes that the business’ regional location and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 to drive profitability.”
  including whole birds, a wide variety of chicken pieces,           processing methods allow the production of the highest-quality       Balancing these dual roles of agronomist and farmer have been
  and value added and smallgood products. Hazeldene’s also           chicken possible.                                                    difficult, “as both roles have peak seasons that clash,” explains      “We recently took some growers to New Zealand to look at
  produces Accredited Free Range chickens in a range of sizes,                                                                            Dean. “Having the support of Natalie makes the difference.             intensive production systems and how we can adapt this to our
  as well as frozen duck and turkey.                                                                                                      She plays a critical role in running things while I’m at the office,   situation, which is something I would like to do more of in the
                                                                                                                                          from sowing crops to preparing lambs for delivery to market.”          future. The benefits of benchmarking growers to show different
  While the business is centred around Lockwood, Hazeldene’s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 management strategies at work would highlight opportunities
  operates poultry farms across the region, with several large                                                                            The Harringtons have successfully negotiated a contract with
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 for further development. The introduction of new or modified
  rearing sheds currently based in the Newbridge area of the                                                                              Woolworths to supply finished lambs for slaughter.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 finishing systems is another area for investigation.”
  Loddon Valley.
                                                                                                                                          “Our dealings with Woolworths came about by our agent
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 For Dean and Natalie, Boort and its surrounding area are the
  A further extensive broiler farm is currently under construction                                                                        introducing us to the lamb finishing concept. Rather than
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 perfect place to continue growing their business.
  at Prairie, near Pyramid Hill. This development will be split                                                                           breeding our own lambs, we buy in store lambs and finish them
  across four sites in the Prairie region. The six state-of-the-                                                                          to trade lamb specifications for Woolworths, particularly during       “Living and working in an area like Boort offers many
  art broiler shed complexes are scheduled for completion                                                                                 winter when supply is traditionally limited,” says Dean.               opportunities, as we have a climate and soils suitable to any
  in September 2012, and the facility will have the capacity to                                                                                                                                                  agricultural pursuit you may wish to be involved with, as well as
  expand to eight shed complexes in the future.                                                                                           “To work with a company such as Woolworths is an enjoyable
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 support industries within close proximity and access to markets
                                                                                                                                          experience as they give us market signals for the coming
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 and export facilities,” explains Dean. “As an agronomist, the
  The four-site Prairie complex will also utilise a reverse-                                                                              months, which enables us to make informed decisions on our
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 area presents the opportunity to work on all sorts of crops,
  osmosis water plant, to ensure that the highest quality water                                                                           buy-in price for store lambs, and what we will get in return at
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 from broadacre dryland and irrigated, to intensive dairy
  is used to produce its chickens. The farm’s secure water                                                                                the end. Woolworths tend to look after us with what they pay on
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 pastures and summer and horticulture enterprises. This gives
  allocation and good water quality were major factors in                                                                                 the day when compared to the market rates. The relationship
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 me the ability to broaden my horizons and experiences without
  Hazeldenes’ decision to develop the farm.                                                                                               has made us make changes to our business for the better to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 having to leave the area.”
                                                                                                                                          ensure that we supply lambs at the right size, fat score and skin
  Karl Lawson, Hazeldene’s General Manager, Farming, is                                                                                   quality, which all have an impact on the bottom line.”                 “From a family point of view, we have access to good schools,
  excited by the scale that his new operation will enjoy in the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 doctors and sporting facilities, as well as being close to regional
  Pyramid Hill region.                                                                                                                    “The flow-on effect of these changes has seen us change our
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 centres,” Dean adds.
                                                                                                                                          finishing system from a feedlot base to a pasture base that
  “The Prairie project will have a huge, positive effect on the                                                                           utilises more efficient species such as forage brassicas and           According to Dean, the Loddon Valley has plenty to offer both
  region... with this project there will be new jobs for the area,                                                                        dual-purpose cereals during winter, and sorghum and lucerne            new and existing residents and investors. “This is an area that
  and also stimulation of the local economy,” says Mr Lawson.                                                                             over summer. This has lifted our turn-off rate immensely               has good soils, access to irrigation water, proximity to market
                                                                                                                                          compared to actually breeding lambs,” Dean explains.”                  centres, value-for-money property, service suppliers and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 support industries, all of which are first class.”
                                                                                                                                          Dean also believes that there is greater scope for lamb
                                                                                                                                          producers within the Loddon Valley to work more closely
                                                                                                                                          with each other.

16 LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS                                                                                                                                                                                                                          LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS 17
                                                                                                                                               Loddon Valley Irrigation Area                                         Manufacturing and retail
                                                                                                                                               The Loddon Valley Irrigation Area (LVIA) is unique among
                                                                                                                                               Goulburn Valley irrigation districts. Due to a different
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Loddon Valley supports relatively small manufacturing and
                                                                                                                                               establishment process, the LVIA enjoys greater scale with
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     retail sectors, although these industries continue to generate
                                                                                                                                               larger farm sizes. There is less encumbering infrastructure
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     valuable local employment and wealth creation.
                                                                                                                                               to limit growth potential, and the scale so often sought in the
                                                                                                                                               eastern shires exists here in plentiful supply.                       Manufacturing is predominantly based around food processing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     and stock feed production, and employs approximately 10% of
                                                                                                                                               As most farms support dryland areas in addition to irrigated
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     the working population. Major manufacturing companies in the
                                                                                                                                               land, the LVIA has traditionally maintained a high number of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     region include Fremantle Stockfeeds and Laucke Flour Mills.
                                                                                                                                               mixed farms that produce wool, crops and lamb. This diversity
                                                                                                                                               of production regimes has provided the Loddon Valley with the         Each of the Loddon Valley’s main towns each support a small
                                                                                                                                               flexibility of a broader economic base, and the ability to adapt to   but bustling retail centre, including supermarkets, banks,
                                                                                                                                               changing economic and environmental circumstances.                    mechanics, petrol stations, pharmacies, hardware stores and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     agricultural suppliers.
                                                                                                                                               Of particular advantage is the minimal amount of incumbent
                                                                                                                                               infrastructure, which allows extensive opportunity for
                                                                                                                                               greenfield development close to existing water infrastructure.        Industry expansion
                                                   “We have that perfect combination of good soils and a perfect
                                                                                                                                               In this respect especially the LVIA holds an advantage over           Much of the Goulburn-Murray region’s manufacturing and retail
                                                   climate for olive production. The trees do really well in the sandy-                        other Victorian irrigation districts, which are limited in scale      production occurs in the larger towns of Swan Hill, Kerang,
                                                   loam Mallee soils and we seldom experience the sort of extreme                              and soil quality.                                                     Echuca and Bendigo. As these towns capture a considerable
                                                   heat or cold that can really affect production.”                                                                                                                  portion of Loddon Valley’s retail spending despite the commute,
                                                                                                                                               A chance to grow…                                                     it appears that substantial opportunity exists to take advantage

  Profile – Boundary Bend Limited, Boort
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     of the gaps in Loddon Valley’s retail and manufacturing
                                                                                                                                               The establishment of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     industries. A reduced amount of competition, not to mention
                                                                                                                                               olive grove in the western Loddon Valley Irrigation Area
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     lower establishment costs and overheads, position the
  Boundary Bend Limited is a fully vertically integrated olive          The quality of Boort olive estate’s groves, along with other           demonstrates the Loddon Valley’s potential to attract
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Loddon Valley as a key place to establish and grow retail and
  business and the largest producer of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in        significant groves in the Loddon Valley, provides an insight into      high-value agricultural and horticultural enterprises.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     manufacturing businesses.
  Australia. Founded in 1998, Boundary Bend now manages over            the productive capacity of the region’s soils, and acts as an          The combination of high quality soils, a suitable climate, the
  2.5 million trees across approximately 6,530ha, including the         excellent guide for future tree crop horticulture development          potential for large-scale development and the proximity of
  Southern Hemisphere’s largest single grove of 2,777ha located         in the Loddon Valley’s remaining prime development zones.              newly-modernised irrigation infrastructure make the Loddon
  near Boort in the Loddon Valley.                                                                                                             Valley an attractive prospect to would-be investors, as virtually
                                                                        Boundary Bend’s presence in the Loddon Shire has been                  no other region in the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District can
  Boundary Bend has been involved with the Boort olive grove            positive for the Boort community, both in terms of support             boast this combination of attributes.
  estate since 2004, first as operational manager and more              for local business, and for community and sporting clubs.
  recently as the owner/operator. It was an acquisition that will       The scale of the operation provides career opportunities for           Scope also exists for dryland development in the southern
  provide the company with a strong platform for continued              local residents, while also attracting skilled trades to the region.   area of the region. Prime lamb is already a key element of
  global market expansion.                                                                                                                     the region’s livestock industry, and there is strong potential
                                                                        Gerard, who moved to the Boort area to take up his role,               to develop a Prime Lamb Cluster to produce and market
  Boundary Bend has become a dominant force in the Australian           believes that “this is an excellent place to live and work, which      high-quality prime lamb. In addition to this, the southern part
  domestic market, with the company’s Cobram Estate brand               is important when you need to attract people to an enterprise          of Loddon Valley has been suggested as a potential site for
  now the leading supermarket brand, with a market share of             as large as ours.”                                                     bio-fuel and carbon-conscious timber regimes, as much of
  around 40%. All olives are processed on site at either Boort,                                                                                the available land in this region is undulating and unsuited
  or at the company’s headquarters at Boundary Bend. The oil            The Extra Virgin Olive Oil being produced by the Boort olive           to traditional agricultural production.
  is then bottled, warehoused and marketed by the company to            estate is of excellent quality, as demonstrated by the raft of
  buyers throughout Australia and internationally.                      awards won by Boundary Bend, including ‘Best Oil in Show’
                                                                        at the Australian Olive Association Awards in 2009.
  Scale, high quality soils, access to irrigation water and a perfect
  climate for growing olives were the key reasons why the Boort
  site was selected. For Boundary Bend’s Boort Estate Grove
  Manager Gerard Healy, the climate and quality soils have made
  all the difference to performance.

  “We have that perfect combination of good soils and a perfect
  climate for olive production. The trees do really well in the
  sandy-loam Mallee soils and we seldom experience the sort
  of extreme heat or cold that can really affect production,”
  explains Gerard.

  Developed on one of Loddon Shire’s prime development zones,
  the groves are directly adjacent to the Waranga Western
  channel, which wends its way across the Loddon Valley from
  the Waranga Basin, and is fed via the Goulburn River system.

18 LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS                                                                                                                                                                                                                             LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS 19
                                                    “Our Bridgewater site benefits from a comprehensive grain silo
                                                    complex that allows far greater levels of segregation than our
                                                    competitors. Site location and storage capacity affords us greater
                                                    access to raw material with reduced lead times, resulting in lower
                                                    net transport costs and more flexible production capabilities when
                                                    compared to competitors.”

  Profile – Laucke Flour Mills, Bridgewater
  Laucke Flour Mills was founded in 1899 by Friedrich Laucke at
  the Greenock Mill in South Australia. The company has endured
  and flourished for more than a century, and in this time Laucke
  has retained its emphasis on premium quality flour for all
  commercial applications.
                                                                       “Relationships between local farmers and Laucke are important,
                                                                       and are reinforced with daily contact, grain testing, and follow-up
                                                                       discussions. These relationships ensure that Laucke is able to
                                                                       source specific grain types and qualities, and to provide a good
                                                                       feedback mechanism for farmers to judge cropping performance
                                                                       and varietal return,” says Peter.
  The company recently expanded to take up operations at the
  Bridgewater Mill at Bridgewater on Loddon, which is supplied         Significant opportunities exist for local farmers to obtain premiums
                                                                                                                                              Water supply and irrigation infrastructure                          Irrigation renewal… will
  by the Loddon Valley’s extensive broadacre cropping industry.        through organic grain supply. “Laucke has especially encouraged        Goulburn-Murray Water is the main irrigation water provider
  Laucke remains proud of its heritage as a company that has
                                                                       and assisted producers in obtaining Organic Certification, which is
                                                                       a major component of our business,” says Peter.
                                                                                                                                              to the Loddon Valley. As with most other northern Victorian          fuel the region’s future,
                                                                                                                                              irrigation districts, the condition of the water delivery
  resisted corporatisation, and is now the oldest independent
  family-owned flour miller in Australia.                              The company also preferentially sources ancillary materials and
                                                                                                                                              infrastructure in most parts of the Loddon Valley is generally    attracting investment and
                                                                                                                                              poor. This is mainly due to the fact that many of the assets
  General Manager Peter Cobb is adamant about the secret of
                                                                       services from the Loddon Valley and Bendigo areas.
                                                                                                                                              are old and outdated.                                                 business, creating new
  Laucke’s longevity. “Laucke Flour Mills has survived and grown
  by staying true to its core values of customer service, quality
                                                                       Peter Cobb sees the Loddon Valley as having ideal qualities for
                                                                       investors and business-owners alike.                                   Schemes such as the Northern Victoria Irrigation Renewal         jobs and pumping millions
  and reliability. Laucke has fostered strong relationships over                                                                              Project (NVIRP) are aiming to address the problem by
  generations with key customers and suppliers to forge a niche in     “The region is ideal for agribusiness investment, as it is a core      modernising the existing water delivery infrastructure in             of dollars into the local
  the Victorian and South Australian flour markets. Laucke does not    competency and focus of the shire. The Victorian government            the Loddon area.
  chase commodity trade; instead, we utilise our knowledge and         has lead Australia in identifying ‘food’ as a major contributor to
                                                                       employment, the economy, and ultimately GDP, and this flows            NVIRP is the largest investment of its kind in Australia, and
                                                                                                                                                                                                               economy, further boosting
  experience to produce differentiated products that are tailored to
  specific end products or processes. Our customers appreciate the
  direct support and responsiveness of all our employees to ensure
                                                                       on to Bridgewater and the Loddon Valley.”                              provides the most significant upgrade to the Goulburn-Murray
                                                                                                                                              irrigation system in the past hundred years. The project
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     regional development.
  their requirements are met.”                                         According to Peter, Laucke remains a strong supporter of ‘industry-
                                                                       government’ interfacing, and has participated in several round
                                                                                                                                              involves the installation of automated technology and repairs                           – NVIRP
                                                                                                                                              to outdated channels, which will improve water delivery and
  The opening of the Bridgewater on Loddon Mill presented some         tables and discussion panels arranged and led by Loddon Shire          efficiency across the system. The modernisation works are
  unique opportunities for Laucke. “Unlike our competitors located     Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development
                                                                                                                                              also intended to mitigate the effects of water lost through
  in Melbourne or interstate, Laucke Flour Mills’ Bridgewater on       (DIIRD) representatives.
                                                                                                                                              seepage, leaks and evaporation.
  Loddon site is located closer to our main wheat sourcing regions,”
  explains Peter.                                                      “Loddon Valley businesses tend to work together, communicate
                                                                                                                                              The newly automated channel system will be sensitive enough
                                                                       and share experiences more than other regions, especially those
                                                                       located in capital cities where the advantages of community            to detect any inconsistencies in delivery, and will be able to
  “Our Bridgewater site benefits from a comprehensive grain silo
                                                                       support networks are lost to the daily hum of business.”               identify areas where maintenance is required. Automated
  complex that allows far greater levels of segregation than our
                                                                                                                                              gates will enable water level and flow monitoring, to ensure
  competitors. Site location and storage capacity affords us greater
  access to raw material with reduced lead times, resulting in lower   And where to for Laucke?                                               that exact amounts of water are delivered as required. This
  net transport costs and more flexible production capabilities when                                                                          will reduce ordering times and allow a more consistent and
                                                                       “Our vision is to be the Australian market leader and supplier of      reliable delivery of water to irrigators.
  compared to competitors.”
                                                                       choice for value-added, grain-based food ingredients. Laucke has
  Laucke Flour Mills is proud to have been awarded Loddon Shire’s      a range of capital modifications and upgrades planned across our       NVIRP is currently being rolled out across northern Victoria,
  ‘Business of the year’ and ‘Best Large Business’ in both 2004 and    Bridgewater site, coupled with a strong sales and marketing plan to    with many automated gates already installed. Works will
  2007, and were finalists in 2009.                                    ensure this vision becomes reality.”                                   continue in the Loddon Valley Irrigation Area during 2010
                                                                                                                                              and 2011.
  Laucke also has a tradition of strong relationships with farmers,
  and annually sources grain from local producers throughout
  the region.

20 LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS                                                                                                                                                                                                       LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS 21
                                                                                                                             Water trading                                                        Road and rail infrastructure
                                                                                                                             The level of water trade in the southern Murray-Darling Basin        The Loddon Valley, Calder, and Wimmera Highways service
                                                                                                                             has increased significantly in recent years. Water reform has        the Loddon Valley. The Loddon Valley Highway provides access
                                                                                                                             meant that water can be more easily transferred between              to Bendigo, which is the second largest regional centre in
                                                                                                                             regions, while lower water allocations have resulted in              Victoria, while the Calder Highway and Freeway provide access
                                                                                                                             businesses actively purchasing additional water on a temporary       to Melbourne.
                                                                                                                             basis to ensure that sufficient volumes are available throughout
                                                                                                                             the season.                                                          The Murray Valley Highway is also located just north of the
                                                                                                                                                                                                  municipality, and provides access to Adelaide (via the Mallee
                                                                                                                             Prime Development Zones                                              Highway) and Sydney (via the Hume Freeway).
                                                                                                                             In response to increasing demand for high value horticulture         The freight and passenger rail network from Melbourne to
                                                                                                                             land, the Loddon Shire Council has been active in identifying        Swan Hill runs through the Loddon Valley, with stations at
                                                                                                                             suitable land within the Loddon Valley that has high quality soils   Dingee and Pyramid Hill. The Korong Vale to Robinvale rail line
                                                                                                                             and is close to key water delivery infrastructure.                   also runs through the region, although this network only allows
                                                                                                                                                                                                  the delivery of freight.
                                                                                                                             Consequently, four Prime Development Zones have been
                                                                                                                             identified, totalling over 10,000ha, the largest of which (PDZ4
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Industrial estates
                                                 “The changes allowed us to dilute some of our bore water with               Wychitella, 4,224ha) has been planted with extensive olive
                                                 channel water and use this over a greater majority of our farm              groves that are managed and owned by Australia’s two largest         The Loddon Valley supports number of industrial estates. The
                                                                                                                             olive oil companies, Red Island and Boundary Bend Olives.            largest industrial estates in the municipality are in Boort (49ha)
                                                 with the pipes and risers.”                                                                                                                      and Bridgewater (17ha). Inglewood and Wedderburn support
                                                                                                                             Detailed soil, landform and hydrology studies are available for      industrial estates of 9ha each.
                                                                                                                             each PDZ. All four PDZs are located on elevated Mallee soils
  Profile – Trevor and Jade Clymo, Calivil                                                                                   in close proximity to low-lying riverine plains. The relatively
                                                                                                                             depressed groundwater levels in this area greatly reduce
                                                                                                                                                                                                  The Loddon Valley’s council has specified that industrial land
                                                                                                                                                                                                  remains available in these towns, and that the municipality is in
                                                                                                                             the risk of groundwater salinity which affects many Victorian        the process of developing additional industrial areas.
  When neighbours work together everyone benefits, and that        This resulted in:                                         irrigation areas. The productive capacity of Mallee soils is well-
  is what happened at Calivil near Pyramid-Boort when NVIRP                                                                                                                                       In keeping with this, Rural Development Victoria approved
                                                                                                                             known, with the majority of high value horticulture development
  staff worked with three individual farm modernisation projects   • Decommissioning 2.8km of leaky spur channel                                                                                  a grant of $49,875 in FY2008-09 for the improvement of the
                                                                                                                             in the past two decades taking place on these soil types in
  as one.                                                                                                                                                                                         Serpentine Industrial Estate, approximately 50km south-east
                                                                   • Relocating 3ML/day of delivery share back to the        northern Victoria and South Australia’s Riverland region.
  Jade and Trevor Clymo are dairy farmers supplied by the                                                                                                                                         of Boort.
                                                                     backbone supply                                         The proactive steps taken by Loddon Shire to identify PDZs
  Loddon Valley Irrigation System. They have been dairying in
  the region for almost 30 years. Son Jade is keen to continue     • Eliminating two regular gates and five backbone
                                                                                                                             ensure that prospective investors into the region’s irrigation       Communications
                                                                                                                             industry have a sound knowledge base on which to make
  managing the family farm and pursue ongoing sustainable            Dethridge wheels that were to be replaced during this                                                                        Broadband is available in the Loddon Valley’s major towns, and
                                                                                                                             informed decisions. The soil, landform and hydrology studies
  farming practices into the future.                                 year’s Winter Works                                                                                                          is available via satellite in rural areas.
                                                                                                                             will allow the fast-tracking of irrigation system design and
  In consultation with NVIRP Modernisation Coordinators and a                                                                development, making the transition to the Loddon Valley just
                                                                   • Removing two Dethridge wheels which were currently on   that much simpler and less costly.
  Farm Designer, the Clymo’s were able to develop a proposal to
  convert most of their farm to a modern supply using a pipe and     the spur channel
  rise system and improving their on-farm production system.
                                                                   • Decommissioning five other G-MW structures thereby
  The project was also dependent on two other landowners             eliminating ongoing operating and maintenance costs
  agreeing to changes in their supply points as well.
  “We started in thinking about what we could do with this farm
  early last year and it is something we always wanted to do but
  we did not realise that getting rid of channels and changing     Milking 650 head of Holstein cows, watering
  supply points would make our property more manageable,”          64ha of lucerne and 240ha of annual pasture
  Trevor Clymo says.

  “The changes allowed us to dilute some of our bore water with
  channel water and use this over a greater majority of our farm
  with the pipes and risers.

  “This farm restructure had us really thinking outside the
  square and it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make the
  changes we would never have been able to afford before,”
  Trevor says.

22 LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS                                                                                                                                                                                                           LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS 23
 Business Services
 and Facilities
                                                                                                                                                                                     “Our services include web design, copywriting, graphic design,
                                                                                                                                                                                     training and online business coaching, guest speaking, Search
                                                                                                                                                                                     Engine Optimisation services, the registration of domain names
                                                                                                                                                                                     for Australian and international domains.”

                                                                                                                                     Profile – Bushsong Web Design, Wedderburn
        The Loddon Valley council provides a range of                                                                                Bushsong Web Design is owned and operated by Ric and Jude
                                                                                                                                     Raftis. Ric is a former accountant with considerable experience
                                                                                                                                                                                                        “Bushsong is far more than just a web design firm. We simply
                                                                                                                                                                                                        use that term because that is generally the terminology used in
                                                                                                                                     in business advice, sales and marketing. Jude is a mosaic artist   the offline world when looking for a website. In fact, we would
        advice and support for new and existing businesses                                                                           with a great eye for colour and design. Ric has been writing and
                                                                                                                                     designing web pages since 1998, and recognised Wedderburn
                                                                                                                                                                                                        regard ourselves as a ‘web development’ business in every
                                                                                                                                                                                                        sense of the term. In addition to the design of websites, we also
        within the region. As part of the service, the council                                                                       as an ideal place to develop his web design business.              provide a full range of services to take offline businesses to the
                                                                                                                                                                                                        online world.”

        provides business planning and advice, and referral
                                                                                                                                     For Ric, the region’s bush landscapes and scenery played
                                                                                                                                     a large part in his decision to settle there. “The topography      “Our services include web design, copywriting, graphic design,
                                                                                                                                     and the bush surrounding the town makes Wedderburn an              training and online business coaching, guest speaking, Search
        to state and federal funding/assistance bodies.                                                                              extremely attractive area. The town offered all the essential
                                                                                                                                     services, but was also within easy striking distance of the
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Engine Optimisation services, the registration of domain names
                                                                                                                                                                                                        for Australian and international domains, and the hosting of

        The council has indicated that it has provided small                                                                         major regional centre of Bendigo. Melbourne was only 225km
                                                                                                                                     away and offered good access, which has been greatly improved
                                                                                                                                                                                                        sites on our own private server securely based in first-class IT
                                                                                                                                                                                                        facilities in Canberra.”

        assistance grants in the form of cash and rate
                                                                                                                                     with the freeway all the way from Bendigo. Another aspect
                                                                                                                                     was that Wedderburn, like most country towns, had a great          Since its inception in 2003, Bushsong Web Design has
                                                                                                                                     community feel.”                                                   accumulated clients across all states of Australia, as well
        subsidies in the past.                                                                                                       Bushsong itself was originally established as part of a project
                                                                                                                                                                                                        as throughout the United Kingdom and the United States of
                                                                                                                                                                                                        America. Ric is determined to grow Bushsong even further,
                                                                                                                                     to create a community website for the town of Wedderburn.          with plans to broaden the company’s international client base.
                                                                                                                                     The site has now grown to encompass the whole Loddon region,
  Visiting business services                                                                                                         and is a project about which Ric is clearly passionate. He
  A number of business professionals service the Loddon Valley       allow the visiting legal and accounting services to maintain    continues to maintain the site through Bushsong, although the
  from larger neighbouring centres such as Bendigo and Kerang,       a continuous part-time presence within the Loddon Valley,       enterprising web designer has his eyes set on a wider market,
  and have established operating hours each week in Boort and        thereby improving their services to local residents and         with an increasing pool of Australian and international clients.
  Wedderburn. Legal firms including Radford Legal and Dwyer          expanding their client base within the region.
                                                                                                                                     “I started Bushsong Web Design to formalise my web design
  Mahon & Robertson maintain a number of clients in the region,
                                                                     Opportunities exist for IT and computing businesses to          and development ventures, which I had been doing on a
  which is also serviced by several accounting firms with set
                                                                     establish a client base within the Loddon Valley. As more and   part-time basis since 1998 in my own name,” explains Ric.
  weekly appointment times.
                                                                     more of the region’s established farmers take up internet       “I believed that Wedderburn would sooner or later offer
  Demand for improved business services within the Loddon            usage, the number of users within the Loddon Valley is set to   the access speeds to the internet required to trade on an
  Valley is growing along with the increase in agricultural          increase dramatically in the coming years.                      international basis.”
  production and large-scale enterprise, and the local council is
                                                                     Web hosting, domain names and web design are provided by        According to Ric, the region’s ADSL1 internet speeds are
  currently investigating the potential to establish a permanent
                                                                     local company Bushsong Web Design, whose staff members          more than adequate for himself and other local businesses
  serviced office in Boort, which could be hired out for meetings,
                                                                     also offer ad hoc IT support as well as sourcing software and   to conduct business internationally using email, Skype, and
  and for small business administration. This would also
                                                                     hardware requirements on request.                               video conferencing. Reasonable upload speeds to web hosting
                                                                                                                                     services are also available for local web sites, and Bushsong
                                                                                                                                     Web Design provides a range of web-related services within
                                                                                                                                     the area.

24 LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS                                                                                                                                                                                                                 LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS 25
        The Loddon Valley is currently undergoing a period
        of intense strategic development, and a number of
        exciting projects are currently being investigated for
        implementation by the Loddon Shire Council.
  The Council’s aim is to fully capitalise on the world-class        The Loddon Shire Council is also firmly committed to promoting
  modernisation works currently being undertaken by NVIRP to         agriculture as a ‘first choice’ career to young people in the
  the benefit of irrigators and businesses in the region.            region, with the aim of lifting school retention rates and
                                                                     providing career opportunities for students in the region after
  The Council is also committed to boosting skills training          the completion of tertiary studies. Boort Secondary College
  opportunities in the Loddon Valley to support growth. Central      currently has an agriculture program available to students,
  to this approach will be support for the establishment of an       which can draw on the region’s established agribusiness
  irrigation-focused research facility, which will aim to provide    companies and, in the future, the research and development
  extensive research and development opportunities to Loddon         facility being considered by the Loddon Shire.
  Valley irrigators, and which will ultimately position the Loddon
  region as the ‘thought leaders’ of the wider Goulburn-Murray       These and other Loddon Valley initiatives are being
  Irrigation District.                                               implemented to support further growth in the region’s
                                                                     irrigation industry. By boosting skill levels in the Loddon Valley,
  This is a long-term project, which is expected to gain strong      supplemented by an influx of skilled workers and tradespeople
  support from across the full spectrum of Loddon Valley             from other neighbouring shires, the Loddon Shire Council is
  stakeholders.                                                      helping to eliminate impediments to growth.
  Other projects being considered include implementation of          The Loddon Shire Council believes that there is real scope for
  a cluster strategy for Loddon Valley lamb producers, which         growth in the Loddon Valley’s irrigation industry. The region
  aims to improve farmer-to-farmer knowledge transfer and            has a mix of excellent soils, affordable scale, a modernised
  will promote the Loddon Valley as Victoria’s premier producer      irrigation system and a climate that suits a very broad range
  of prime lamb, with potential for regional branding and            of irrigated crops. Loddon is a proactive shire that supports
  coordinated direct marketing of lambs to processors. The focus     growth, backed by a state government that is keen to support
  on the Loddon Valley lamb industry follows on from the success     regional development in northern Victoria. This is a great mix
  of the regional poultry cluster (of which Loddon Shire was a key   and should allow the Loddon Valley to build on the success of
  driver), which has seen the Loddon Valley emerge as an ideal       the numerous businesses already operating in the region.
  area for expansion, as demonstrated by the Hazeldenes’ recent
  large-scale development of broiler sheds in the northern part of
  the Loddon Shire.

26 LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS                                                                                                                 LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS 27
                                                                                                                                                                                              “I feel privileged to lead a school with such an enthusiastic,
                                                                                                                                                                                              professional staff, and wonderfully balanced students with strong
        The Loddon Valley has a wide range of primary and                                                                                                                                     family and community support.”

        secondary education services. The Loddon Valley’s                                                                                   Profile – Boort Secondary College, Boort
        five preschools offer kindergarten and playgroup                                                                                    Boort Secondary College is located on spacious grounds in            “The drought is stalling this process a little,” he explains,” but
                                                                                                                                            the northern town of Boort, and enjoys a reputation within           there is still optimism here. The school has linked with three
        programs, while the municipality also has four                                                                                      the Loddon Valley for the quality of its teachers, curriculum
                                                                                                                                            and results.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 other rural schools in the Gateways program, which focuses on
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 local agricultural practice and opportunities to engage with
        primary schools, two secondary colleges, two                                                                                        Malcolm Goldsworthy is now in his second year as principal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 the community.”

                                                                                                                                            of Boort Secondary College after spending many years                 At the same time, the school continues to develop and grow.
        Catholic primary schools, and two P–12 colleges.                                                                                    at a large school in Bendigo. He is full of praise for his
                                                                                                                                            new school, and the benefits of teaching in a more rural
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 “The school communities of the Secondary and Primary school
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 are currently working through a process which will deliver a
        Playgroups are also active within the region.                                                                                       community environment.                                               new P–12 school to Boort on the current Secondary school
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 site,” says Malcolm. “This is a reflection of the regard that is
                                                                                                                                            “The best features of the school are a result of its size and        given to education, and the cooperation within the community.
                                                                                                                                            close links with the community,” Malcolm explains. “It would         The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
  Preschools and primary schools                                        Secondary and P–12 Colleges                                         be true to say that all our staff know all the students in the       is supporting this climate with a new school build.”
  The Loddon Valley’s preschools offer children a place to              The Loddon Valley also incorporates a number of secondary           school, and throughout their time at the school the students
  play, learn and thrive in a safe, welcoming, and challenging          colleges, located at Boort, East Loddon (P–12), Pyramid Hill,       would be taught by all the teachers. All our current staff live in   Malcolm is equally full of praise for the wider Boort community.
  kindergarten environment. The caring and qualified staff              and Wedderburn (P–12).                                              the town, which strengthens the link between community and           Although his wife lives and works south of Bendigo, he lives in
  members are approachable and professional, and favour an                                                                                  school considerably.”                                                Boort during the week and often stays over weekends as well.
  approach to early childhood learning that sees each child as          The Loddon Valley’s secondary schools offer a progressive                                                                                “The district is a very welcoming place to newcomers, and there
                                                                        and broad variety of curriculum options for students, and are       This is particularly evident on weekends in Boort, when the          is a definite spirit of cooperation and community. Local people
  a unique individual.
                                                                        committed to high quality teaching. Dedicated agricultural          local sporting competitions are notable for staff, student and       take responsibility for making things happen, as opposed to
  Facilities are clean and modern, with full use of technology          programs provide students with valuable experience and              parent interaction.                                                  sitting back and waiting for someone else to do it,” he says.
  and hands-on equipment. Several of the region’s preschools            vocational training, and encourage the Loddon Valley’s younger
                                                                                                                                            Malcolm also believes that the Boort Secondary College easily        “I feel privileged to lead a school with such an enthusiastic,
  offer transition programs, with visits to neighbouring primary        residents to engage with local industries and businesses.
                                                                                                                                            meets the expectations of a quality rural school. “Despite the       professional staff, and wonderfully balanced students with
  schools and libraries.
                                                                        Extra-curricular activities including exchanges and cultural,       school’s size it provides a very good, balanced education which      strong family and community support.”
  Preschools are located throughout the district, at Boort,             sporting, and social events offer students a range of additional    values the community we live in, but also exposes our young
  Dingee, Inglewood, Wedderburn and Pyramid Hill.                       experiences, and all schools utilise technology to improve          people to experiences beyond Boort through camps, excursions
                                                                        students’ learning experiences. The Loddon Valley’s secondary       and work experience,” says Malcolm.
  There are primary schools in each of the main towns in                schools also enjoy well-developed sporting facilities, including
  Loddon Valley, including four public and two Catholic schools.                                                                            “Technology is breaking down the old issues of distance and
                                                                        a dedicated sports stadium at the Pyramid Hill College.
  Strong emphasis is placed on continual curriculum review                                                                                  isolation, and the school offers a broad curriculum choice
                                                                        Sporting facilities are often shared with the local communities,
  and improvement, particularly through the introduction of new                                                                             in VCE, with a tradition of very strong results.” As Malcolm
                                                                        and students are closely involved in local sporting competitions.
  initiatives such as awards, education programs and                                                                                        explains, the college also works in collaboration with other
  co-curricular activities.                                             Strong links are maintained with the region’s communities, and      schools in the North Central Cluster to support Vocational
                                                                        the Loddon Valley’s northern schools enjoy ties to the North        Education and Training (VET) and a range of programs.
  The Loddon Valley’s primary schools have also established             Central Schools Cluster. This link augments the schools’ own
  close links with neighbouring secondary colleges, and work                                                                                The rural location also offers unique study opportunities
                                                                        resources and facilities.
  to maintain close and positive ties with their communities.                                                                               to students, and Malcolm believes that the increased
                                                                        The North Central Schools Cluster is comprised of seven             diversification of local agriculture will help to create
  Travel to all schools is available by bus, or by walking or cycling   secondary schools – Boort, Charlton, Donald, Pyramid Hill,          employment opportunities for school leavers, and will
  safely along designated routes.                                       St. Arnaud, Wedderburn and Wycheproof. The schools assist           encourage young people to remain in the Loddon Valley.
                                                                        each other with curriculum provision, facilities and resources,
                                                                        as well as teachers’ professional development.

28 LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS                                                                                                                                                                                                                          LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS 29
                                                   “There are many experiences of growing up on a farm that
                                                   could not be had in a city: learning to ride a motorbike
                                                   when I was eight, being able to have pet sheep, riding in
                                                   the header, tractors and trucks, driving cars, and really just
                                                   enjoying the open spaces of the country.”

  Profile – Phillippa Wright,
  Boort Secondary College, Boort
  Phillppa Wright is a successful student at Boort Secondary          Phillippa has a particular interest in maths and English studies,   Housing and real estate
  College, and is currently completing her VCE studies. A             enjoying the challenge presented by following formulae and
  local student who has grown up in the town, she is full of          working on the quality of her writing. Her hopes for the future     A variety of housing options are available throughout the           at Boort and Bridgewater, and a limited amount of
  enthusiasm for her rural lifestyle and studies.“There are many      are high, and echo her enthusiasm for a country lifestyle.          Loddon Valley. Housing is generally more affordable than in         accommodation is available in the local pubs and hotels. Bed
  experiences of growing up on a farm that could not be had in                                                                            metropolitan areas, or even large rural centres.                    and breakfasts and farm-stays are dotted across the Loddon
  a city: learning to ride a motorbike when I was eight, being        “I hope to become a gynaecologist, a paediatrician or                                                                                   Valley, and the adventurous traveller can even meander along
                                                                      obstetrician when I leave school,” says Phillippa.“When I do,       Most houses are situated on generous blocks, with plenty of         the quiet southern lanes by horse-drawn wagon.
  able to have pet sheep, riding in the header, tractors and                                                                              space for your lifestyle choices: pets, hobbies, dad’s tool shed,
  trucks, driving cars, and really just enjoying the open spaces      hopefully I will be able to work in a regional area.”
                                                                                                                                          children’s play areas, barbecues, even the traditional backyard     Houses in the Loddon Valley are notable for their affordability,
  of the country,” Phillippa says.                                                                                                        cricket pitch.                                                      period charm and quality, particularly compared to the more
  “The best thing about living in a rural area is knowing                                                                                                                                                     heavily developed neighbouring shires.
                                                                                                                                          Many of the houses within the Loddon Valley are older
  everyone within the community, which breaks down to many                                                                                residences, with a large number of historic homes, particularly     At the same time, price trends over the past decade clearly
  different facets. Even at my age, people can know up to three                                                                           in the southern gold-mining towns such as Inglewood.                indicate that the region’s property market is consistently
  generations of any one family, and feel comfortable in striking                                                                         There are also a number of more modern brick veneer houses.         vibrant, with marked increases in house prices making the
  up a conversation with someone from any of those generations.                                                                           The Loddon Valley also has a variety of rental properties, with     Loddon Valley an ideal place to invest as well as to settle.
  Playing sports such as football, netball and hockey against our                                                                         plenty of housing options available to suit everyone.
  neighbouring towns allows us to build relationships and make
  friends with people throughout the whole region.”                                                                                       The Loddon Valley has various short-term accommodation
                                                                                                                                          options available, with motels in Bridgewater, Wedderburn,
  For Phillippa, the small size of the Boort community is                                                                                 Inglewood, and Pyramid Hill. Caravan parks are located
  clearly a strength of the area. “Growing up in such a tight-knit
  community, with everyone knowing everyone else, it’s a much
  safer place to be,” she explains.

  Phillippa is also an enthusiastic student, and enjoys the school
  environment of Boort Secondary College. “Our secondary                                                                                   Loddon Valley – Annual Median House Prices
  college is only very small, with approximately 125 students,
  but because it is so small all the teachers, parents and students
  know each other on a personal level,” says Phillippa.
                                                                                                                                           Town                  2000            2005            2009

  “Unlike many larger schools and communities, we interact with                                                                            Boort               $59,000        $110,000        $118,000
  our teachers outside of school; we play sport alongside them or
  meet them in the street. These student/teacher relationships
                                                                                                                                           Bridgewater         $89,500        $163,750        $112,500
  also have an impact on our academic lives. The teachers really
  understand how we learn best and strive alongside us students
  to help us succeed.”                                                                                                                     Inglewood           $54,000        $108,500        $125,000

                                                                                                                                           Pyramid Hill        $33,500         $69,500        $115,000

                                                                                                                                           Wedderburn          $43,000         $73,000        $102,500

30 LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS                                                                                                                                                                                                                       LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS 31
                                                                                                                                                     “As a young person I defied the trend and
                                                                                                                                                     moved from the city to the country. I am so
                                                                                                                                                     thankful that I was given the opportunity
                                                                                                                                                     as I have enjoyed every moment. After
                                                                                                                                                     six years in Boort there is no chance of
                                                                                                                                                     me ever returning to Melbourne. Country
                                                                                                                                                     people enjoy a special kind of life and I
                                                                                                                                                     am convinced that those who have always
                                                                                                                                                     had the luxury of living here don’t actually
                                                                                                                                                     appreciate how special it is.”

                                                                         Profile – Kathryn Lanyon,
                                                                         Boort Netball Club, Boort
                                                                         Kathryn moved to Boort from Melbourne in 2004 after marrying         Kathryn is clearly very passionate about the town’s sporting
                                                                         a local farmer, and wasted no time getting involved in the           teams, and the place of sporting competitions in a rural town.
                                                                         Loddon Valley’s sporting and social scene. Now, after nearly         “The community is very supportive of all sporting teams
                                                                         six years living in the town, she well and truly considers herself   within our town. People realise that these clubs provide such
                                                                         a member of the local community. Her husband Steve farms             an important link between players, coaches, sponsors and,
                                                                         with his parents, and together they have two children, aged          most importantly, the many supporters,” she says. “Our clubs
                                                                         three and one.                                                       provide a great opportunity to socialise and interact with many
  Sports and recreation                                                                                                                       people and they improve the confidence and team-building
  The Loddon Valley is home to a wide range of sporting teams,           For Kathryn, the local sporting teams are a vital part of the        skills among all who contribute.”
  community groups, and clubs, with a variety of recreation              community, and provide the perfect way to meet new people
  facilities available.                                                  and make new friends.                                                Sporting teams are a vital part of our life,” Kathryn explains.
                                                                                                                                              “They provide an identity for individuals as well as our town,
  A number of sporting teams operate throughout the year,                “I had always played netball in Melbourne, so it was a natural       a sense of belonging and a terrific atmosphere to be a part of.
  including football and netball in winter, as well as tennis, cricket   progression to play country netball. I was playing for Boort         The simple things in life are often the most enjoyable – catching
  and lawn bowls during the summer months. Other sporting                even before I had moved here, as I was already visiting on           up with friends, sharing a hotdog while cheering on your local
  groups include hockey, badminton, horse riding, and golf clubs,        most weekends.”                                                      side, volunteering your time for the benefit of others while
  in addition to harness racing and clay target clubs at Boort.                                                                               watching the next generation enjoy time on the play equipment.
                                                                         “There are three senior teams within the Boort Netball
  The Loddon River and the Little Lake at Boort both provide                                                                                  It’s all part of a typical sporting day in the country – something
                                                                         Club,” explains Kathryn, who previously spent three years as
  ample opportunities for water sports, including kayaking,                                                                                   that hundreds of locals enjoy each week.”
                                                                         club president. “When I first began playing I was surprised
  canoeing, water-skiing, swimming and fishing.
                                                                         at the competitiveness, both at club level and between the           Kathryn is equally enthusiastic about the ways her lifestyle has
  There are a large number of walking and bicycle tracks                 seven regional clubs. We have a wide range of age groups             changed since making the move to Boort.
  throughout the region, covering a wide variety of different            playing in senior ranks – promising young players who have
  environments and landscapes.                                           been promoted from the junior ranks, right through to very           “As a young person I defied the trend and moved from the city
                                                                         experienced players in their 50s.”                                   to the country. I am so thankful that I was given the opportunity
  The region also hosts a number of interest societies, including                                                                             as I have enjoyed every moment. After six years in Boort there
  the Boort Aviation Group and the Wedderburn Motorcycle                 In her tenure as club president, Kathryn has also overseen           is no chance of me ever returning to Melbourne. Country
  Group, as well several historical societies and community              various developments at the club. “Our sporting facilities in        people enjoy a special kind of life and I am convinced that those
  service groups. Returned Servicemen’s League (RSL) and                 Boort are continually being upgraded. After several years of         who have always had the luxury of living here don’t actually
  Probus groups also operate throughout the Loddon Valley,               planning the netball club was very pleased to construct a brand      appreciate how special it is,” says Kathryn.
  in addition to Development groups and Progress Associations.           new court, along with a new lighting system, which was ready
                                                                         for the 2009 season. The club is currently constructing a new        “The sense of belonging, the warmth and kindness shared by
                                                                         shed and landscaping to complete the project.”                       many, the extraordinary level of volunteering from people of all
                                                                                                                                              ages, the strong local team spirit, the fresh air and beautiful
                                                                                                                                              surrounds, being greeted by people in the street... It is also
                                                                                                                                              a wonderful place to raise a family. I have two small girls who
                                                                                                                                              love farm life, enjoy a huge backyard, and see the same kids
                                                                                                                                              at kinder, down the street, and at the footy. I feel they are very
                                                                                                                                              lucky to enjoy this childhood.”

32 LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS                                                                                                                                                    LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS 33
  Health services                                                      in this region, which rests at the heart of Victoria’s famous
                                                                       ‘Golden Triangle’. The region’s natural attractions are a must-
  The region is serviced by a number of general practices in           see, with the Kooyoora State Park containing some of the most
  Boort, Pyramid Hill, Inglewood and Wedderburn. There are             significant indigenous sites in Victoria. The Melville Caves,
  also three hospitals in the Loddon Valley – the Boort District       named after a notorious bushranger, are also worth exploring,
  Hospital, the Dingee Bush Nursing Centre, and the Inglewood          and offer panoramic views of the local countryside.
  Hospital (Inglewood and Districts Health Service).
                                                                       The Loddon Valley’s central region incorporates Bridgewater
  The Northern District Community Health Service (NDCHS)               on Loddon, Inglewood, Dingee, Serpentine and Wedderburn,
  provides a wide range of health and welfare services across          and shares the south’s gold mining history, with the largest
  the area, including nursing and 24-hour emergency aid support        gold nugget currently in existence discovered at Kingower. Gold
  in Pyramid Hill. The local council also provides a range of          can still be found by fossickers and those willing to comb the
  health services.                                                     bush with detectors in what is considered the world’s richest
                                                                       gold-producing region, while those who enjoy a slower pace                                                                             “Gary fell in love with the town,” explains Myra.
  The Loddon Valley also provides a range of services for the
                                                                       can discover the area’s eucalyptus oil trade, cellar door wine                                                                         “He couldn’t stop raving over how great the town
  aged and disabled. This includes the Home and Community
                                                                       tastings, and gracious gold rush-era architecture.
  Care (HACC) Program, which encourages people to remain at                                                                                                                                                   and the people were.” Taking over management
  home through home-based health and care services. Services           In the north, where the irrigated plains stretch towards the                                                                           of the Wedderburn Motel has presented a new
  include home care and maintenance, personal and respite care,        distant Murray River, extensive grasslands separate striking                                                                           set of challenges to the Swanns, but they have
  and delivered meals.                                                 granite outcrops, native forest and natural wetlands. Eco-                                                                             strong plans for the hotel’s refurbishment, and are
                                                                       tourism is a key drawcard of this region, due to the abundant
  The local council also provides immunisations for school
                                                                       native fauna, birds and wildflowers. The region’s wide array of
                                                                                                                                                                                                              enjoying the changes presented by life in a rural
  children, with session details provided by local schools. Monthly                                                                                                                                           Victorian town.
                                                                       produce, including olives, walnuts, tomatoes and vineyards,
  infant immunisation sessions are also conducted at Boort,
                                                                       can all be sampled in local eateries. The major northern towns
  Inglewood and Serpentine.
                                                                       include Boort, Mitiamo and Pyramid Hill.

  Tourism and environment                                              The Loddon River and the Little Lake at Boort are also
  The Loddon Valley is a diverse region and enjoys a variety of
  different landscapes, from wide riverine plains and sparkling
                                                                       major scenic attractions, and offer a variety of recreational
                                                                       opportunities such as fishing, kayaking, water-skiing and
                                                                                                                                          Profile – Goldseeker Motel, Wedderburn
  lakes to dramatic granite outcrops, rolling hills, and extensive     swimming. The Boort lakes in particular offer an oasis of
                                                                                                                                          Myra Swann moved to Wedderburn to take up the freehold              The flow-on benefit to the local community is clearly a driving
  areas of native forest. It is an ideal spot for those wanting to     greenery amidst the wide plains, and are a popular spot for
                                                                                                                                          of the Goldseeker Motel, following the departure of the             factor for the Swanns. “My motto is the more people in the
  spend time in the great outdoors, with its peaceful and unspoilt     campers and picnickers.
                                                                                                                                          previous owners. With the experience of many years in the           motel, the more staff we employ, the more the town benefits.”
  national and state parks, rivers, and lakes offering numerous        There are a range of accommodation options within the Loddon       accommodation industry, Myra is keen to revitalise the old
  opportunities for bushwalking, cycling, water sports, or just                                                                           motel and to help bring a new vitality to the main street           Myra is therefore determined to continue improving the motel,
                                                                       Valley to suit all visitors, including motels, caravan parks and
  relaxing with a picnic and a cold drink.                                                                                                of Wedderburn.                                                      and to encourage more people to visit. “We want people to
                                                                       camping, farm stays, bed and breakfasts, and self-contained
                                                                                                                                                                                                              come and stay, and see the sights that the Loddon Valley has
  The southern region of the Loddon Valley is part of the              units. There are also eateries to cater for everyone, from
                                                                                                                                          Myra and her family have plenty of experience in the motel          to offer.”
  Goldfields tourism area, and includes the towns of Tarnagulla,       takeaway stores and bakeries to hotels and coffee lounges.
                                                                                                                                          industry, having moved from Mackay to Shellharbour to run
  Newbridge, Laanecoorie, and Eddington. These towns are               The Loddon Visitor Information Centre operates from the            a 3.5 star motel, which they improved to 4 stars after several
  clearly marked by their gold rush heritage, with wide historic       Wedderburn Community Centre, and is open seven days from           years of hard work.
  streetscapes nestled in natural bush settings. Gold is still found   9am to 5pm.
                                                                                                                                          “The experience we gained was tremendous,” notes Myra of
                                                                       The local council also operates a range of Loddon Discovery        their hands-on work in Shellharbour.
                                                                       Tours that take in the region’s natural scenery, food and wine,
                                                                                                                                          Myra and her husband, Gary, had retired to Adelaide with their
                                                                       craft, and gold rush history. For more information, please
                                                                                                                                          family when they discovered that the Wedderburn Motel was
                                                                       contact Robin Vella at the Loddon Shire Council on 03 5494 1200
                                                                                                                                          up for lease.
                                                                       or email to
                                                                                                                                          “He fell in love with the town,” explains Myra. “He couldn’t stop
                                                                                                                                          raving over how great the town and the people were.”

                                                                                                                                          Taking over management of the Wedderburn Motel has
                                                                                                                                          presented a new set of challenges to the Swanns, but they have
                                                                                                                                          strong plans for the motel’s refurbishment, and are enjoying
                                                                                                                                          the changes presented by life in a rural Victorian town.

                                                                                                                                          Myra and Gary, and brother-in-law Bob Armstrong, have
                                                                                                                                          already re-opened the motel’s restaurant and renovated several
                                                                                                                                          of its nineteen rooms. They regularly host to the Loddon Valley
                                                                                                                                          tours run by Robyn Vella and the Loddon Shire Council, and are
                                                                                                                                          full of enthusiasm about the motel’s future potential.

                                                                                                                                          “We have introduced karaoke into the restaurant. We have had
                                                                                                                                          four tour busses stay since this development, and our guests
                                                                                                                                          have thoroughly enjoyed delicious meals and singing – so much
                                                                                                                                          so that I have had to confiscate the microphone once or twice
                                                                                                                                          so that they will actually go to bed!”

34 LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS                                                                                                                                                                                                                       LODDON SHIRE PROSPECTUS 35
  Contact Us
  Loddon Shire Council                Economic Development Office
                                      Loddon Shire Council
  Municipal Office                    Wedderburn Office
  41 High St                          41 High St, Wedderburn VIC 3518
  Wedderburn VIC 3518                 Email:
  Office Hours                        Please contact us if you would like
  Monday to Friday 8.15am to 4.45pm
                                      any further information. Our friendly and
  Postal Address                      dedicated staff members will be happy
  PO Box 21                           to assist you with your enquiries.
  Wedderburn VIC 3518
  Ph. 03 5494 1200
  1300 365 200
  Fax 03 5494 3003

Loddon Shire Council

Municipal Office
41 High St
Wedderburn VIC 3518

Postal Address
PO Box 21
Wedderburn VIC 3518

Ph. 03 5494 1200
1300 365 200
Fax 03 5494 3003
                        TMB 8037

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