10989 sq km


Wellington Shire is geographically the third largest in Victoria and extends from the Great Dividing Range and Victorian High Country (Licola and Dargo) to the 90 Mile Beach in the South (Yarram and Loch Sport).

Approximately 200km east of the state capital Melbourne, it is also linked to Sydney by the Princes Highway/Freeway A1. Wellington’s population is concentrated around the administrative centre of Sale and the surrounding towns of Maffra, Yarram, Heyfield, Rosedale and Stratford. It is also experiencing significant development growth in coastal areas, particularly around Port Albert, Golden Beach, Loch Sport and Seaspray.

Wellington is located in rural country with and encompasses a local economy of primary production and agriculture, offshore oil and gas extraction, RAAF base, timber harvesting and sawmilling, service industries, retail, health and community services, with tourism and recreation being key growth areas.

Rail – Melbourne-Gippsland railway (continues to Bairnsdale) with passenger stations at Rosedale, Sale and Stratford. Three V/Line services to Melbourne and Bairnsdale per day, Monday – Friday. Road – Princes Highway runs east to west along Wellington which connects Sale to Melbourne via Latrobe Valley, South Gippsland Hwy, Sale to Melbourne via Yarram, and Hyland Hwy linking Traralgon to Yarram. Air – Yarram Aerodrome and West Sale Aerodrome are open to civil traffic, however, no regular commuter service operates out of either aerodrome. There are also private bus and coach operators within the Shire. Freight handling facilities provided at Sale Railway Station and Wurruk Industrial Estate West Sale (both unused). Freight from Bairnsdale uses the section Monday – Friday.

Economic Information


Wellington is the third largest municipality in Victoria and geographically is situated in the centre of Gippsland. Around two hour’s road or rail travel from the eastern suburbs of the state capital Melbourne, it is also linked to Sydney by the Princes Highway/Freeway A1, and has direct links to Canberra and East Coast holiday regions. Wellington covers an area of more than 10,900 square kilometres and has a resident population of 40,080 (ABS 2006). Wellington is one of the most diverse and dynamic rural environments in the State.

Wellington Shire’s residential population has increased by 0.66% in 2006 to add an additional 522 new residents over the past five years, making the Shire the second largest local government are in the Gippsland region. Employment within Wellington Shire improved considerably with an increase in the number of people employed in the region and unemployment has deceased by 79% within the Shire.

Wellington Shire has an extremely diverse economy including major industries in agriculture, aviation, defence, oil and gas, forestry, education, fishing and tourism. The dairy industry is the predominant agriculture sector within the Wellington Shire, which produces around 10% of the state’s income at-farm-gate for milk production. The area includes several major food producing facilities including Murray-Goulburn’s export milk product factory at Maffra. The Bass Strait oil and gas fields transport product via pipelines to the Longford gas processing and oil stabilisation plants near Sale. This facility produces the majority of Victoria’s gas requirements whilst a large number of specialist oil and gas industry engineering service providers are located in Sale.

The RAAF Base East Sale is a major defence force facility, providing training to flying instructors, air combat officers, air traffic controllers and photographers. In January 2008, the Officer Training School from Point Cook relocated to a $65m purpose built facility on site. The timber industry sources two distinctly different raw materials, softwoods, as plantation pine; and hardwoods, as eucalyptus from both plantation and forest. The timber sector has an annual output of $180m and employs nearly 800 staff in processing facilities, plantations and logging. Wellington houses a number of significant service sector industries including Government services, tourism, secondary education, health and regional retailing. It also includes a privately operated State prison facility at West Sale.

Major employers in Wellington Shire include Murray Goulburn, Carter Holt Harvey, Esso BHP Billiton, Hancock Victorian Plantations, Howe Leather, Australasian Correctional Management, Southern Rural Water and RAAF Base East Sale.

Profiles of Main Industry Sectors generating economic wealth to LGA

  1. Agriculture, Forestry and FishingThe primary industry sector within Wellington Shire is the dairy industry which employs four per cent of the population. Over a quarter of the dairy farms in Gippsland are located within the Shire boundaries with milk production for Wellington Shire in 2005-2006 being valued at over $181 million for 2006/07.A major supplier of live dairy cattle for exportation and beef production is Victorian Livestock Exchange which acquired the operation of the saleyards located at Sale in 2006.

    Vegetables are grown in many areas of Wellington, most in the vicinity of Longford, Meerlieu, Stratford and Boisdale. Major vegetables produced are exported to the overseas markets and distributed to the domestic markets. Covino Farms Produce in Longford and Mulgowie situated in Boisdale, 30km from Sale produce high quality vegetables.

    Wellington Shire’s timber production is provided from native public forests and plantations and preservation plants located at close proximity to the townships of Sale, Longford, Yarram and Gelliondale. The majority of the plantations are owned by Grand Ridge Plantations, a subsidiary company of Hancock Timber Resource Group. Two thirds of Gippsland’s softwood plantations are located in Wellington Shire and hardwood plantations are highly represented with approximately a quarter of Gippsland’s hardwood plantations being located at Wellington Shire.

    Processing plants include Carter Holt Harvey located at Yarram and Canningvale Timber located at Heyfield, Alberton Timber and Treatment Plant located at Alberton and ITC Limited located at Heyfield.

    Approximately 14.0% of Wellington Shire residents are employed in the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry sector, being the largest industry employer in the Shire.

    Wellington Shire containing a number of fishing operations within the region. Small fleets of boats operate out of Port Albert, with the main catch consisting of abalones, southern rock lobster and scallop.

    East Coast Eels is a farming business, located at Stratford which produces a $2 million operation exporting live eels to Asia.

    K&C Fisheries, located in Sale, specialise in frozen carp with exporting targets exceeding 1000 tonnes. Approximately 70% of frozen carp production is sent to nations in the Middle East and Europe and 30% of produce are sold to the domestic market.

  2. Electricity, Gas and Water SupplyThe Bass Strait oil and gas felids are situated roughly 20 kilometres from Sale and is one of the largest industries located in the Shire. Natural gas was first discovered in 1965, and two years later oil was discovered, leading to the construction of the first Bass Strait platform, Barracouta, which commenced operations in 1969. The oil and natural gas fields are owned by Esso Australia and BHP Billiton in a joint venture each with an equal share of 50%.There are currently 18 offshore platforms and 3 subsea developments in the Bass Strait, all connected by an underwater. The pipeline network is roughly 660 km is linked to the Longford plant which encompasses three gas plants and one crude oil plant which act as the receiving point of the oil and gas output from the Strait.

    The oil and gas fields contribute greatly to the local and national economy, fuelling growth and industry development within Wellington and Australia. The Gippsland Basin’s gross output totals $4.3 billion with an investment of $6 million in the exploration and infrastructure development. It has also lead to approximately 14,000 jobs for residents in Gippsland, with currently 3.7% of Wellington Shire’s work force working in the Bass Strait.

    Monash Energy is owned by Anglo American and Shell, this company Monash Energy have developed a multi billion dollar project to produce coal near Rosedale. The project envisages developing and constructing a coal to liquid facility, with the capacity of producing 60,000 – 70,000 barrels per day of high grade synthetic diesel fuels. Community consultation is being undertaken and a feasibility study is in currently being developed.

  3. Government Administration and DefenceWellington Shire is home to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) based located at East Sale. The East Sale base is the post-graduate flight training base for the RAAF and has under gone a $66.7 million upgrade to be Australia’s premier officer training base for the RAAF. The upgrade involves the relocation of the RAAF colleges from Point Cook and Edinburgh and will provide training facilities, working accommodation and live-in accommodation for staff and students.Currently, East Sale is home to over 400 uniformed staff supported by 300 public servants. The training college will provide initial officer training courses for three months and six to eight week live-in courses for officers. This will increase staff to an extra 100 permanent staff and additional 100 members with over 700 extra students completing courses in Sale annually.

    Public administration is also a major sector where approximately 8 per cent of the labour force in the Shire being employed in the public sector. This reflects the large amount of employees working at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Federal and State government agencies and Local Government.

10 Top Freight Generating Industries

Industry Sector Company Name Type of Freight Freight Inwards Freight Outwards Mode Source Mode Destination Manufacturing Fertiliser products Road Melb – export Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing Processed foods Road Melb – export Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing Logs/timber products Road Melb & Maryvale Manufacturing Fuel Road inter-transportation Road Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing Horticulture Road Melb Construction Quarrying Road Melb Retail Trade General freight Road/Rail

Transport Infrastructure

Airports Ownership/Manager Shire RAAF Shire CASA Classification Registered Aerodrome Registered Aerodrome Passengers Pax/Yr No RPT service. Charter Ops only (includes helo charter) 1450 pax/pa na No RPT service. Charter Ops only. 210 pax/pa. Freight Tonne/Yr ~ 15 tonne /pa na ~ 1 tonne/pa Sea Ports Locality Port Albert Ownership/Manager Gippsland Ports Tonnage Inwards Tonne/Yr na Type of freight Fish Destination Melbourne Rail Locality Sale Ownership/Manager V/Line (State Gov) Tonnage Inwards Tonne/Yr nil * Log freight ex Bairnsdale is railed through the Shire Passengers Pax/Yr 200,000 (Rosedale, Sale & Stratford) Freight Intermodel Locality Sale (unused) Wurruk (unused) Ownership/Manager V/Line Shire Tonnage Inwards Tonne/Yr nil nil Roads (major freight routes) Name Starts Finishes Higher Mass Limit routes Local Roads Approved for B-Doubles and higher Mass Limit trucks refer vicroads Publication or web site Approved B-Double routes Local Roads Approved for B-Doubles and higher Mass Limit trucks refer vicroads Publication or web site General Mass Limit routes All local roads max 19m or 50t with restriction on all timber bridges. Permit required for all other vehicles. Permits can be obtained for specific routes and vehicles or general access permit can be obtained for all General Mass limit vehicles for all rural roads with restriction to all timber bridges Political

Local Council

Name: Wellington

Physical address: 70 Foster Street, Sale, VIC

Postal address: PO Box 506 Sale, Vic

Phone: 1300 366 244




Gippsland South: Peter Ryan (Nat)

Gippsland East: Craig Ingram (Ind)

Morwell Narracan: Russell Northe (Nat)


Gippsland: Bye-election

Census 2006


1996 2001 2006 Total Population 39,817 39,288 40,080 Age Distribution 0-19 13,112 11,830 10,860 20-54 18,630 18,310 17,829 55 and over 8,075 9,148 11,441 Median Age 34 37 40 2021 2031 Projection 41473 41446

Labor Force

1996 2001 2006 Total LF 29,486 30,322 32,063 Agriculture, forestry & fishing 2,743 2,576 2,364 Mining 541 236 629 Manufacturing 1,229 1,320 1,338 Electricity, gas, water & waste services 241 338 294 Construction 966 976 1,272 Wholesale trade 570 503 375 Retail trade 1,565 1,846 2,043 Accommodation & food services 833 912 938 Transport, postal & warehousing 440 576 551 Information media & telecommunications 180 128 113 Financial & insurance services 319 249 244 Rental, hiring & real estate services 142 148 157 Professional, scientific & technical services 466 522 497 Administrative & support services 307 406 438 Public administration & safety 1,328 1,166 1,338 Education & training 1,207 1,273 1,355 Health care & social assistance 1,344 1,515 1,900 Arts & recreation services 113 156 144 Other services 552 525 564 Inadequately described/Not stated 460 351 474 Total 15,546 15,722 17,028

Household Income

1996 2001 2006 Medium $/wk 498 660 773