Alpine Shire

Alpine Shire (1994-) is a municipality in north-east Victoria formed on 18 November 1994, by the union of Bright and Myrtleford Shires and small parts of Beechworth, Omeo, Oxley and Yackandandah Shires. Its area is 4839 square km. The Council offices are in Bright.

The shire contains much of Victoria's alpine country, mostly in its south, including the Mount Buffalo plateau, the western Bogong high plains and Mount Hotham. The ski resorts at Mount Buffalo, Falls Creek, Mount Hotham and Dinner Plain are in Alpine Shire, placing much of the shire's economy in the recreation and tourism sector. The sub-alpine and mountain-valley areas such as Bright and the Ovens Valley also have a strong tourism industry.

The Ovens and Kiewa Valleys are in the north of the shire. They have dairying, agricultural and orchard holdings that are enhanced by irrigation. There is also considerable beef-cattle grazing. The Ovens River with headwaters at Mount Hotham, flows through the shire's larger valley, passing through Harrietville, Bright, Porepunkah and Myrtleford. The Great Alpine Road follows the valley, ascending to Hotham Heights and crossing to Dinner Plain and Omeo. Near Bright, the road is linked by road to Tawonga on the Kiewa Valley road. The Kiewa road begins at Falls Creek snowfield (the river's headwaters) and descends to Mount Beauty, Tawonga and the farmlands of Gundowring and Dederang are in the north of the shire.

There are hospitals at Bright, Mount Beauty and Myrtleford.

The median age of Alpine Shire's residents at the 2011 census was 48 years (Australia and Victoria 37 years), indicating its attraction for retirees. The shire's leading employment sector in 2011 was accommodation (7.5% of all employment).

Alpine Shire's census populations have been:

census date enumerated resident
1996 17,917 12,180
2001 17,581 -
2006 - 12,001
2011 - 11,881

Further Reading

Bright and Myrtleford Shires entries