Langtree Avenue, Mildura
|Elevation||51 m (167 ft)|
|Time zone||AEST (UTC+10)|
|• Summer (DST)||AEST (UTC+11)|
|LGA(s)||Rural City of Mildura|
Mildura is a regional city in northwestern Victoria, Australia and seat of the Rural City of Mildura local government area. It is located in the Sunraysia region, and is on the banks of the Murray River. The current population is estimated at just over 30,000 in 2009.
Mildura is a major agricultural centre notable for its grape production, supplying 80% of Victoria's grapes. Many wineries also source grapes from Mildura.
Its name is taken from the Mildura homestead, an early sheep station which covered most of the area.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Climate
- 4 Economy
- 5 Culture
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Notable residents
- 8 Media
- 9 Sport
- 10 Transport
- 11 Education
- 12 In popular culture
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 External links
Mildura has a long history of orange and grape farming.
There are several theories as to the origin of the name Mildura. While it was the name of the sheep station, without precedent in the English language, most historians believe it to have originated from Indigenous Australian words. However, the etymology of Mildura is not entirely certain as in several of the local dialects the words have different meanings. The word "dura" is generally thought to mean "earth", "sand" or "rock", at least in Latje Latje language. However, usage of the word 'mill' can vary in dialect and is used to mean "red" or "water", and thus, interpretations of the name can vary from "red earth" to "water rock".
Prehistory and European settlement
The first Europeans in the area arrived in 1857 and sheep to graze the rich pastures.
A major drought in Victoria from 1877 to 1884 prompted Alfred Deakin, then a minister in the State Government and chairman of a Royal Commission on water supply to visit the irrigation areas of California. There he met George and William Chaffey.
In 1886 George Chaffey came to Australia and selected a derelict sheep station known as Mildura as the site for his first irrigation settlement signing an agreement with the Victorian government to spend at least £300,000 on permanent improvements at Mildura in the next twenty years.
After much political wrangling, the settlement of Mildura was established in 1887. The Post Office opened on 23 January 1888.
The nearby towns of Wentworth, Gol Gol, Curlwaa and Yelta sprang up in the mid-to-late 19th century. In the 1890s came the scourge of the rabbit. This devastated the sheep farmers, especially south of the Murray. There was also a financial recession at this time. Combined, these factors restricted growth of the new settlement.
After this period, the new settlement grew and grew. It was soon the main town of the district. Suburbs and new satellite towns sprang up. From the 1920s, a number of 'suburban' train services were established to Merbein and Red Cliffs. These were operated by railcars.
Post war Mildura experienced a large influx of migrants particularly from Mediterranean countries including Italy and Greece. Many of these migrants were attracted by the unskilled labour offered by the fruit picking industry.
In 1934 Mildura was officially proclaimed a city.
Nowingi toxic waste proposal
In 2004 there was a controversial proposal by the Victorian Government to build a state-level Long Term Containment Facility (LTCF) for Industrial Waste in Nowingi, approximately 50 km south of Mildura. The site is a small enclave of state forest surrounded by national park, and contains habitat important to a number of threatened species.
The abandoning of the LTCF proposal was received with jubilation by opponents of the LTCF not only in the Mildura area and elsewhere in Victoria, but also across the border in South Australia where there were fears that in reputation, if not in substance, the toxic waste could affect the water supply via the Murray River and thereby the fruit-growing industries of the Riverland and Murraylands.
The Mildura Rural City Council and residents spent almost $2 million fighting the Government's proposal for the LTCF at Nowingi. On 10 January 2007 the Victorian Government did not rule out some form of reimbursement for the Rural City of Mildura council's legal and other costs in opposing the LTCF. "The general rule is that people bear their own costs, that is most likely to apply in this case ... but I've indicated and I am prepared to talk to the council and mayor about the whole issue of how Mildura moves forward and I'll do that," John Thwaites said.
Mildura is situated on flat land without hills or mountains on the southern bank of the Murray River and surrounded to the west, north and east by lakes and billabongs including Lake Hawthorn, Lake Ranfurly and Lake Gol Gol. Several towns surround Mildura on the flat plains including Merbein to the west as well as Irymple and Red Cliffs to the south which could be considered suburban areas or satellite towns separated by small stretches of open farmland.
While the land along the river and irrigation channels is fertile, much of the land around Mildura is also dry, saline and semi-arid.
Mildura is a largely low-rise and low density urban area that is overwhelmingly dependent upon private automobiles for transportation. Residential dwellings consist almost solely of single-family detached homes on relatively large allotments. The population has been growing rapidly for several decades and most of the residential growth has occurred in the south-western and southern parts of the urban area.
The central business district is located at the northern end of the urban area, fronting onto the Murray River. The main shopping street of Mildura is Langtree Avenue, which features a pedestrian mall and shopping centre. However, this shopping precinct competes with the Mildura Central Shopping Centre, located at the opposite end of the urban area on the corner of Fifteenth Street and Deakin Avenue. Fifteenth Street is also the main strip of big box stores and other commercial enterprises.
The tallest buildings are the two storey 1934 Old Mildura Base Hospital, two storey Marina Dockside apartments completed in 2010 and the three storey tower/spire of the 1920s T&G building.
Mildura has a as a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk) with hot summers and cool winters. It is only about 50 metres above sea level despite being several hundred kilometres from the coast.
Rainfall totals are about 280 mm a year and are spread evenly across the months and seasons with Winter and Spring having the most rainy days.
Average maximum temperatures range from a hot 32 °C (90 °F) in summer to 15 °C (59 °F) in winter. Minimum temperatures range from around 17 °C (63 °F) in summer to 4 °C (39 °F) in winter, when frost is common and often destructive to irrigated crops. Mildura experiences some very hot days in summer with temperatures exceeding 40 °C (104 °F) on a number of days per year.
|Climate data for Mildura|
|Record high °C (°F)||46.9
|Average high °C (°F)||32.2
|Average low °C (°F)||16.6
|Record low °C (°F)||7.6
|Precipitation mm (inches)||20.5
|Avg. rainy days||3.5||3.0||3.5||4.3||6.7||7.9||9.4||8.9||7.4||6.9||5.6||4.4||72.5|
Mildura is also known as the centre of Victoria's Food Bowl and is a major producer of citrus fruits (especially oranges), and wine. It is also notable for its grape production, supplying 80% of Victoria's grapes. Many wineries also source grapes from Mildura.
Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone
Mildura is part of the Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone, in which fruits or vegetables may not be taken into the area (they can, however, be taken out). This is to stop the fruit fly from invading crops and plantations which could have a devastating effect on the economy. Disposal bins into which fruit can be disposed of are located along highways entering the zone.
Mildura Central’s (Formerly Centro Mildura) extensive redevelopment in 2005 has positioned the centre as the major shopping destination within the Sunraysia region. Mildura Central is also the only fully enclosed, air-conditioned centre in this area and offers a strong retail mix including representation from a number of key national fashion stores. Serving a primary trade area population of 60,000 residents, Mildura Central also attracts consumers from beyond the trade area including the Riverland, Swan Hill, Robinvale and Broken Hill. It includes a large Target and an 19 aisle Woolworths.
Mildura's location in Victoria and consistently strong local lobbying has seen the Government of Victoria take an interest in the city as a possible centre for population and industry decentralisation programs. There have been numerous proposals involving the state government for large scale developments and investments, many ambitious and speculative that have been shelved indefinitely. Given the large amount of sunlight the city receives, it has been proposed as the site for several proposals for large scale Solar power in Australia including a massive Solar updraft tower proposals in 2004 and 2010 which have not yet eventuated. Another large development which has been the controversial proposal for Mildura to be the site for Victoria's second casino. The Mildura region has also been controversially proposed as a site for a waste disposal facility at Nowingi.
The city's situation on the Murray River makes it a hub for watersports, paddlesteamers and boat cruises. The still conditions make Mildura ideal for hot air ballooning and the Mildura International Balloon Fiesta attracts many visitors. The Australian Inland Botanic Gardens, located nearby in Mourquong is another popular attraction which draws visitors to the city.
Ever since the early settlement, Mildura has been home to artists, writers, and creative people. Organisations such as the Red Cliffs Musical Society, Eisteddfod, Mildura Ballet Guild and Mildura Country Music Festival have helped grow a reputation for home grown talent and creative community. The hub of this community is the MIldura Arts Centre, which began as a gallery space at Rio Vista House in the 1950s and became fully established in 1956 with the building of a new regional art gallery and performing arts theatre. In 2012, after two years of construction, the new Mildura Arts Centre opened as Sunraysia's new cultural venue.
Mildura is host to many annual festivals such as the Mildura Country Music Festival, the International Balloon Fiesta, the Jazz Food & Wine Festival, Mildura Wentworth Arts Festival, Murray River International Music Festival, Mildura Writers Festival, Mildura Palimpsest and the Mildura Show. there is also the annual Mildura masters coarse fishing competition held in November which attracts a number of international and local coarse anglers and the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show
As of the 2006 Census, there were 30,016 people residing in 13,053 households. 82.8% of Mildura residents are Australian born. Of those born overseas: England (1.5%), Italy (1.4%), Turkey (1.4%), New Zealand (1.1%), Greece (0.5%). English is the only language spoken at home for 86.2% of households.
Notable people from the Mildura district include:
- Leigh Adams, motorcycle speedway rider
- Jason Akermanis, Australian Rules footballer
- Chris Tarrant, Collingwood Football Club defender
- Matthew Knights, former Richmond Football Club captain and former Essendon Football Club coach
- Patricia Edgar, founding director of The Australian Children's Television Foundation
- Matt Dea, Australian Rules Footballer
- Julia Zaetta, editor of Better Homes and Gardens
- Rick Kelly, and younger brother Todd Kelly both Australian V8 Supercar racecar drivers
Local newspapers include the Sunraysia Daily, Mildura Midweek and Mildura Weekly. Online news sources include the Mildura Independent Star and Easymix 1467AM News. Local radio stations include ABC Local Radio (National), Easymix 1467AM (3ML)(Commercial), 97.9 Sun FM Sunraysia (Commercial), 99.5 Star FM (Commercial), and Hot FM (Community).
Local TV stations include ABC Television (ABC1), SBS Television (SBS ONE), Prime7, WIN Television, Ten Mildura, 7Two, 7mate, GO!, GEM, ABC2, ABC3, ABC News 24, SBS HD, SBS Two, One HD and Eleven. Of the three main commercial networks, WIN produces a 30-minute local news bulletin on weeknights, produced from a newsroom in the city and broadcast from studios in Ballarat.
The Sunraysia Cricket Association operates its competition between October and March annually. The SCA consists of 8 teams, Coomealla-Wentworth, Merbein South, Irymple, Mildura East, Mildura Settlers, Mildura West, Nichols Point and Workers-Gol Gol.
Golfers play at the course of the Mildura Golf Club on Twelfth Street.
The Sunraysia Baseball Association plays during autumn and winter and has six baseball clubs in the league; Hawks, Saints, Eagles, wanderors, Tigers and Tornadoes formed in 2010.
Basketball also has a large following in Mildura with hundreds of teams in all divisions entered in the Mildura Basketball Association's summer league.
Association football also has a large following in Mildura, with there being a popular junior and senior league played during the winter months. The league consists of six teams, those being Three Colours, Mildura City, Mildura United, Irymple Knights, Cosmos and Nichols Point
Mildura is a very motor sports oriented town. It has several tracks in the region to cater for different types of motor sports including the Mildura Kart Club (Go-Kart racing); Timmis Speedway (Automobile speedway); Olympic Park Speedway (Motorcycle speedway); Sunset Strip (1/8 mile drag racing); and North West Victoria Motorcycle Club (Off road motorcycle racing). The Mildura TT Circuit hosted the Australian TT in the 1950s.
Mildura is on the intersection of the Sturt Highway from Adelaide to Sydney, and the Calder Highway to Melbourne via Bendigo. Deakin Avenue, the main street of Mildura, is known as the longest straight avenue in Australia, at 12.1 km. Sunraysia Bus Lines, Swan Hill Bus Lines and Dysons Bus Services operate V/Line bus services that connect Mildura to various parts of Victoria and southern New South Wales. Greyhound Australia run buses to Adelaide and Sydney via Canberra. NSW TrainLink run buses to Sydney. The Henty Highway Bus Service runs buses to Horsham.
Mildura has a railway connection to Melbourne, which is used for freight transport. In May 2006, it was announced that the Mildura line would receive a $73 million upgrade using gauge convertible sleepers.
Mildura Airport is the third busiest airport in Victoria, serviced by four QantasLink flights daily to Melbourne, four Regional Express Airlines flights to Melbourne, and two Sharp Airlines flights daily to Adelaide. Virgin Australia has one flight per day in each direction between Melbourne and Mildura.
Chaffey Secondary College, is a Victorian State Government secondary school catering for students in Years 7 to 10 located in Deakin Avenue. In 2012 the college had 640 students enrolled. The college offers 120 to 140 different courses each term as part of its modular learning program. Students and families participate in a program of course counseling and student-led presentations each term to help students create the most appropriate course for their ability, pathway and interests. The college has a double-court gymnasium which it operates as a joint-use facility with the Mildura Regional City Council. The college operates a small theatre with seating for up to 220 persons.
Sunraysia Institute of TAFE
Sunraysia Institute of TAFE's main campus is located in Benetook Avenue. In 2008, the Institute had 6592 students enrolled.
La Trobe University
La Trobe University operates a regional campus in Mildura, with 322 students enrolled as of 28 May 2008.
In popular culture
The songs Mildura (Home of Mine) and Come to Mildura – the Land of Winter Sunshine were written by Reg. Stoneham in the 1920s.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mildura.|
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Mildura (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 6 January 2008.
- "3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2008–09". Australian Bureau of Statistics.
- Mildura, Department of Planning and Community Development Mildura Rural City Council, Accessed 27 September 2007
- Mildura Homestead – Mildura Arts Centre. Yourartscentre.com.au. Retrieved on 18 August 2011.
- (From William Blandowski's Australien in 142 Photographischen Abbildungen, 1857, (Haddon Library, Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge)
- Westcott, Peter (1979). "Chaffey, William Benjamin (1856–1926)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University / Melbourne University Press. Retrieved 22 February 2007.
- Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Retrieved 11 April 2008
- The Mildura Suburban Train Service McLean, Bruce Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, September, 1978 pp189-205
- "Mildura". Sydney Morning Herald Travel. Retrieved 8 February 2004.
- "City seeks compo for dump fight". News Limited. 10 January 2007. Retrieved 10 January 2007.[dead link]
- Mildura – Wyperfeld NP. Visitmildura.com.au (18 June 2007). Retrieved on 18 August 2011.
- "Climate of Mildura". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 7 August 2010.
- "Monthly climate statistics". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 7 August 2010.
- Iles, Kieran. (16 August 2010) New voice for Mildura growth – Local News – News – General. Sunraysia Daily. Retrieved on 18 August 2011.
- [dead link]
- [dead link]
- Victorian government may help build a solar power plant at Mildura. Watoday.com.au (22 September 2010). Retrieved on 18 August 2011.
- Mildura casino plans unveiled – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Abc.net.au (26 March 2010). Retrieved on 18 August 2011.
- [dead link]
- "Country Vic first with digital TV switch". The Sydney Morning Herald. 30 June 2010. Retrieved 2 July 2010.
- Full Points Footy. "Sunraysia Football League". Retrieved 15 April 2009
- Country Racing Victoria. "Mildura Racing Club". Retrieved 7 May 2009[dead link]
- Australian Harness Racing. "Mildura". Retrieved 11 May 2009
- Golf Select. "Mildura". Retrieved 11 May 2009
- "Roads, ports and freight – Mildura Rail Freight Upgrade". www.doi.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 4 June 2008.
- Mildura Airport — Flights to Mildura
- title=Sunraysia Institute of TAFE Annual Report 2008
- "La Trobe University enrolment statistics". La Trobe University. Retrieved 14 October 2008.
- National Film and Sound Archive: Does your town have its own song?
- Official Tourism Website – Mildura
- Murray River info – Mildura
- Mildura Bureau of Meteorology Field Office
- Watch historical footage of Mildura and surrounds dating from 1920-2001 from the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia's collection.