Yarra Ranges Shire is located on metropolitan Melbourne’s eastern fringe. It was formed in 1994 after the amalgamation of the former Healesville, Lilydale, Sherbrooke and Upper Yarra Shires.
Home to a population of 145,000, Yarra Ranges covers approximately 2,500 square kilometres. The shire stretches from the densely populated outer suburbs up into the surrounding foothills, agricultural valleys and forested areas of the Great Dividing Ranges. It is one of Victoria’s largest, most varied and scenic municipalities. It is also the largest area of any metropolitan council. There are more than 55 suburbs, townships, small communities and rural areas in the Yarra Ranges.
The Yarra Ranges is home to a large number of families and young people aged between 5 and 17, which is why it is know as a ‘young shire’.
Around 70 per cent of the population live in the urban areas, which represent approximately three per cent of the landmass. The rest of population is distributed across the remaining area.
The diversity and dispersement of communities in the Yarra Ranges is significantly different to other metropolitan councils and this has an impact on service and infrastructure provision, particularly to rural areas.
Yarra Ranges has long been recognised as a special place for its natural beauty and diverse habitats. The combination of national parks, state forests, private gardens, and its location on Melbourne’s door step combine to make the area unique in both natural and cultural amenities.
Some of Victoria’s most environmentally important areas are located in the Yarra Ranges and play a significant role in attracting residents to the area. The mountainous landscapes and Yarra Valley contain significant remnant native vegetation, much of which is botanically and zoologically significant, providing important habitat for wildlife.
The Yarra Ranges has a diverse economy of around 10,000 businesses , employing more than 35,000 people. Manufacturing is the most valuable industry in, yielding $2.8 billion in regional output. Other important industries include agriculture (including wine making), tourism, construction, property and business services and retail trade.
The Yarra Valley is gaining local and international recognition as a fine food and wine producing area. Each year more than 2 million tourists visit the wineries of the Yarra Valley as well as the gardens and townships of the Dandenong Ranges.
To access interactive, economic data, check out Yarra Ranges’ Economic Profile
For more information contact the Yarra Ranges Council on 1300 368 333.
All details from www.yarraranges.vic.gov.au