Millbrook, Victoria

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Millbrook
Victoria
Millbrook is located in Victoria
Millbrook
Millbrook
Coordinates 37°36′13″S 144°02′53″E / 37.60361°S 144.04806°E / -37.60361; 144.04806Coordinates: 37°36′13″S 144°02′53″E / 37.60361°S 144.04806°E / -37.60361; 144.04806
Postcode(s) 3352
Location
LGA(s) Shire of Moorabool
State electorate(s) Ballarat East
Federal Division(s) Ballarat
Suburbs around Millbrook:
Bungaree Wallace Gordon
Dunnstown Millbrook Gordon
Mount Egerton
Yendon Lal Lal Mount Egerton

Millbrook is a rural district in the state of Victoria, Australia, located 90 kilometres (56 mi) north west of Melbourne. It was formerly called "Moorabool" but the name was changed to avoid confusion with a locality near Geelong. The name "Millbrook" was adopted because of a flour mill erected by Matthew Butterly on the West Moorabool creek.[1] At the time of the 2011 census, Millbrook had a population of 359, down from 550 in 2006.[2] The soil is volcanic and well-adapted to cereals, potatoes and grazing. The landscape is undulating and preserves remnants of the original open forest. The West Moorabool creek runs through the district. The earliest inhabitants of the area were the Wathaurong, and the Irish were prominent among its European settlers in the mid nineteenth century.

History[edit]

Millbrook adjoins or is near to other districts of the Moorabool Shire such as Ballan, Egerton, Gordon, Wallace and Bungaree, and its early history is inseparable from theirs.

Groups of the Wathaurong people were the original inhabitants, and the first European settlers of the region were graziers known as the "Over-Straiters," who had originally come over Bass Strait from Van Diemen's Land in the 1830s.[3] They were succeeded by small farmers, many of them Irish, who took advantage of the 1860 Land Act allowing free selection of Crown land, including that covered by pastoral leases.

The old road from Melbourne to Ballarat, which passes through Millbrook, was a highway for the miners during the gold rush of the 1850s.

The Moorabool region was rich in native flora and fauna when the European settlers arrived. Casualties of European settlement included kangaroos, dingos, bandicoots, native cats and several bird species.[4] Koalas, possums and various species of parrots remain.

Station[edit]

The Millbrook railway station and thirty four others were closed on 4 October 1981 because of a new timetable for country passengers in Victoria.[5] A new 'high-speed service' between Melbourne and Ballarat was instituted, with the new line passing through Millbrook and over the West Moorabool. This involved the acquisition of land from neighbouring landowners, a cause of some controversy, particularly in view of claims that the lessening of travel time would be minimal. This service started on 22 December 2005.[6]

Post office[edit]

The name of the local post office was changed from Moorabool Creek PO to Millbrook PO on 1 August 1879, and the office was closed on 31 July 1985.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://services.land.vic.gov.au/vicnames/historicalInformation.html?method=edit&id=6192 Accessed 6 September 2013
  2. ^ http://www.censusdata.abs.gov.au/census_services/getproduct/census/2011/quickstat/SSC20895?opendocument&navpos=220 Accessed 6 September 2013
  3. ^ Ballan Online Accessed 22 September 2011
  4. ^ History of Greendale. Accessed 22 September 2011
  5. ^ Scott Martin and Chris Banger (October 2006). "'New Deal' for Country Passengers - 25 years on". Newsrail (Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division)): page 319. 
  6. ^ V/line - First Day of VLocity Revenue Operation (Ballarat). Accessed 22 September 2011
  7. ^ Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 2011-09-22 

Bibliography[edit]

Denholm, David. ‘Squatting,’ The Oxford Companion to Australian History, edited by Graeme Davidson. John Hirst & Stuart MacIntyre, Oxford University Press, 1998.

Roberts, Stephen H.. History of Australian Land Settlement, 1788-1920. Macmillan / Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1924.

Toohey, Jack. On the Eastern Fringe: Recollections and Stories on the Settlement and Farming Histories in the Bungaree, Wallace, Bolwarrah and Gordon Districts. Ballarat 2005.

External links[edit]

Man using a horse-drawn scarifier at Millbrook, c. 1925.

Threshing at Millbrook, 1939.