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Our Shire

About Mount Alexander Shire

Mount Alexander Shire has much to offer, from beautiful heritage streetscapes and picturesque townships to stunning natural surroundings, a thriving local economy and a strong and vibrant cultural life.

Our elected Councillors provide local governance to a thriving community of more than 18,000 residents, inhabiting an area of 1,529 square kilometres, divided into five wards.

Located in Central Victoria, there are properties and facilities for all lifestyles, from young families to retirees. From health and education to sporting and retail, Mount Alexander has it all, without compromising the importance of the environment and a peaceful and relaxed lifestyle.

For visitors, the region offers wonderful opportunities to explore its rich heritage, the natural environment, a wide selection of award winning local produce and a range cultural activities and events.

People

More than 18,000 people call Mount Alexander home with most residents living in the close knit townships of Castlemaine, Harcourt, Newstead and Maldon.

The people of Mount Alexander Shire are an engaged and active community, with strengths in arts, culture, and sustainability. With a strong sense of community, our Shire benefits from above average levels of volunteering, community engagement and participation in artistic and cultural activity.

Read more about our community profile and the beautiful townships of the Shire. The community profile provides a map along with a full socio-demographic profile the Shire and the nine smaller geographic areas within it.

Traditional Owners

The Dja Dja Wurrung people are recognised as the first peoples of Mount Alexander Shire. As Traditional Owners, the Dja Dja Wurrung have been custodians of the land and waters for many centuries and continue to perform age old ceremonies of celebration, initiation and renewal. We acknowledge the Dja Dja Wurrung as the Traditional Owners of the lands and waters of the Shire and we also recognise all other Indigenous people of the Shire. We acknowledge the vital role the local Jaara people have played as custodians of the region. Read Council's Commitment to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Peoples of the Shire.

Transport and commuting

Located just 120 kilometres north-west of Melbourne, Mount Alexander Shire is an accessible and well-serviced location. The Calder Freeway allows a 80-90 minute commute to Melbourne and around a 30 minute commute to Bendigo, with train and bus services providing regular access to Melbourne, Bendigo and other destinations.

Employment and economy

Mount Alexander Shire enjoys an enviable variety of employment options andeconomic opportunities. In an area previously known for its gold rush history and strong agricultural sector, today manufacturing is a key industry. Employment within the Shire extends to health, retail, education and community organisations. Tourism and the art sector also provide a strong platform for local businesses. The hospitality industry is flourishing, with many eateries, wineries and other producers helping to attract visitors to the Shire. Read more about the Shire’s economic development strategy and economic profile .

Recreation

Exhilarating mount bike and scenic bushwalking trails offer people of all levels of fitness the opportunity to get outside and enjoy the Shire’s beautiful natural surrounds. The Shire also offers recreational options including swimming pools, a skate park, the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens, sporting clubs and playgrounds.

Parks Victoria provides park notes including maps and visitor information. Read more about the Shire's mountain bike trails.

Sustainability

The Mount Alexander community is taking action to improve the sustainability of the community and reduce its impact on the environment. One of Council’s goals is to support work towards sustainability such as supporting renewable energy projects and community gardens and actively encouraging sustainable energy use and building design by the community and Council.

Fast facts

  • The estimated population of Mount Alexander Shire is 18,130
  • There are 11,536 rateable properties
  • More than one in five residents are aged 65 years or over.
  • Children up to 14 years make up about 16 per cent of the population, compared to a state average of 18.6 per cent.
  • Local businesses employ 60 per cent of workers living in Mount Alexander.
  • About 71 per cent of jobs in Mount Alexander are held by people living in the Shire.
  • About 11 per cent of residents were born overseas.
  • Less than 3 per cent speak a language other than English at home.
  • Around one third of households have children.
  • Our population is expected to increase by 25 per cent by 2031.
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