| Page Last Updated:
Monday, 8 November 2010
The Alpine Shire is a vibrant community located about 300 kilometres north east of Melbourne, and 70 kilometres south of Albury / Wodonga.
|It is a regional community with the three major townships of Bright, Mount Beauty and Myrtleford located in the two major river valleys; the Ovens and Kiewa valleys. |
The Alpine Shire covers an area of 4,839 square kilometres, and encompasses the Buffalo, Ovens and Kiewa Rivers and their tributaries.
About 92% of the Shire is public land, including large tracts of the Alpine National Park, as well as the whole of the Mount Buffalo National Park.
The remaining 8% of land comprises townships and farming land which exist along the flood plains of the river valleys, rising up to meet public land on the hill slopes.
The major townships are nestled in the valleys, located along the river systems.
The Shire extends from the heights of the mountains, snowfields and National Parks down to rich, fertile river valleys at its floor.
The Shire boasts a number of natural features including the Bogong High Plains, the Kiewa Valley, Ovens Valley and the Buffalo River Valley.
The Shire also surrounds some of Victoria’s major ski resorts at Mount Hotham, and Falls Creek, with smaller snowfield attractions at Dinner Plain and Mount Buffalo.
The Shire has a vibrant history, with agriculture, gold prospecting and the construction of the Kiewa hydro electric scheme all playing their part in creating what is today a wonderful mix of history, culture and experience.
Around 13,000 people call the Alpine Shire home, but the population swells as tourists make their way to enjoy the delights that the Shire has to offer.
Alpine has a large population of over 55s, with the 2006 Census revealing that 33.7% of the population is aged over 55, compared to an Australian average of 24.3%.
This provides unique challenges to the Council in order to provide adequate services for an ageing population.
Alpine Shire has an industry mix that covers goods producing industries (agriculture, manufacturing, construction) and services.
The key sectors are tourism, timber and forestry, agriculture (livestock and horticulture), services (health, education, community services), and retail.
Tourism is a major driver of the economy. Combined with the Alpine ski
resorts, tourism is worth around $300 million per annum to the region.
Water is an important part of the Alpine Shire, with the Buffalo Dam (Lake Buffalo) being a major storage on the Buffalo River, providing water to the Ovens River downstream of Myrtleford.
The Kiewa River is regulated by the Kiewa Hydro Electric Scheme, leaving the upper Ovens River and the Buckland River as unregulated streams in the Shire.
The Alpine Shire continues to be a prosperous community and an attractive region in which to live, work, invest and visit.
|The Alpine Shire was formed by order of the Governor in Council on Friday, 18 November, 1994. |
It is made up of parts of the former municipalities of the Shires of Bright, Myrtleford, Oxley and Yackandandah and parts of the United Shire of Beechworth.
Three commissioners were appointed to oversee the amalgamation and the first two years of operation; Chief Commissioner Mr Kevin Howard and Commissioners Mr Les Hocking and Mr Angie Rigoni.
“The Alpine Shire was formed in recognition of its enormous potential to grow socially and economically in balance with the surrounding Alpine environment.”
Taken from the Council’s Annual Report 1994 – 1995.
In March in 1997, the first elected councillors of the Alpine Shire were sworn in.
They were Councillors Lindsay Smith, Julie Carroll, Charles Duncan, Fran Bentley and Tony Bennett.
The results of subsequent elections were as follows:
2000 Charlie Duncan, Tony Bennett, Jason Reid, Zuvele Leschen, Julie Carroll
2003 Julie Carroll, Andrew Randell, Zuvele Leschen, Bill Best, Sally Rose
2005 Jan Vonarx, Bill Best, Nino Mautone, Greg Lee, Zuvele Leschen, Daryl Pearce, Mario Vaccaro
An election was held in 2005 to align all municipal elections throughout Victoria to the same cycles.
An electoral representation review undertaken in 2005 resulted in the number of councillors being increased to seven.
An election was held in November 2008, after which all Victorian councils now serve four-year terms.