Main street of Kinglake prior to the bushfire of 7 February 2009
|Population||1,347 (2011 census)|
|Elevation||550 m (1,804 ft)|
Kinglake is a town in Victoria, Australia, 46 km north-east of Melbourne's Central Business District. Its local government areas are the Shires of Murrindindi and Nillumbik. At the 2011 Census, Kinglake had a population of 1,347.
Kinglake, comprising forest, farmland, a national park and a township, is located 57 km north east of Melbourne, in the Kinglake Ranges, part of the Great Dividing Range. The Kinglake Ranges vary in height from 525 m - 610 m above sea level. Many areas of Kinglake overlook the Melbourne skyline to the south west and the Yarra Valley wineries to the south. Kinglake is generally 3 °C colder than Metropolitan Melbourne, with the summers being very pleasant and heavy frosts and occasional snowfalls during winter.
Gold was discovered in 1861 on Mount Slide to the east of the locality at an area which became known as Mountain Rush. A Mountain Rush Post Office opened on 7 May 1862, but closed in January 1863 as the miners moved to other locations.
Kinglake Post Office opened on 14 May 1883. There was also an office at Kinglake East open from 1914 until 1950.
Education options that are available to Kinglake residents include the state secondary schools Whittlesea Secondary College and Yea High School. Private secondary schools are also available via numerous bus services that service the township. Primary schools include Kinglake Primary, Middle Kinglake and Kinglake West Primary.
There is also a representative Basketball team that plays in the VJBL (Victorian Junior Basketball Leagues), under the Kinglake Basketball Club's guidance. These teams are also known as 'The Lakers'.
The Kinglake Ranges have a large number of Community Groups:
- "Kinglake Ranges Foundation".
- "Rotary Club of Kinglake Ranges".
- "Kinglake Ranges Kinglake Ranges Neighbourhood House".
- "Kinglake Ranges Mens Shed".
- "Kinglake Action Network Development Organisation".
- "FireFoxes Australia".
- "Bollygum Park".
- "Kinglake Ranges Business Network".
- "Kinglake Ranges Visual & Performing Arts Alliance".
- "Mountain Monthly - The Ranges News"
Kinglake National Park is a popular local attraction and is the closest national park to Melbourne. It has walking tracks for day hikes and camping grounds for overnight stays. Several popular and beautiful picnic areas are available around the perimeter of the national park.
Another pleasant nearby camping and outdoor spot is the Murrindindi Nature Reserve, running between the township of Toolangi and almost all the way to Yea. Recommended means of entrance is via the Melba Highway, 9 km south of Yea. The nature reserve allows the lighting of campfires and contains several waterfalls that can be reached by way of the moderately difficult walking tracks.
The Kinglake Ranges have several points for information and advertising. Three (UGFM 94.5, Mountain Monthly - The Ranges News was established in 1981 and is the community magazine for the Kinglake ranges district) are community run organisations. Local journalist Ashley Geelan also provides coverage of local news to The Local Paper, Yea Chronicle, Fairfax (The Age/3AW), Herald and Weekly Times (Herald Sun & The Weekly Times) and other media outlets.
- "Kinglake Ranges Radio 94.5FM".
- "Mountain Monthly - The Ranges News". www.mountainmonthly.com.au.
- "The Local Paper".
Kinglake has a long history of bushfires when extreme weather conditions occur. There were severe bushfires at the end of January 2006, into early February 2006, when fires burnt out over 1,500 hectares (3,700 acres). The CFA, DSE Victoria and NSW firefighters managed to bring the fire to a halt. Fires also occurred in the 1982–1983 season (the Ash Wednesday fires) and during the 1960s. The major fires of 1939 also placed the community at risk with a major ignition point being nearby. In 1926 major fires in the area caused significant losses; the Post Office being the only building left standing.
Kinglake was one of the main affected towns in the Black Saturday bushfires, with 38 people confirmed dead in Kinglake and Kinglake West, and more than 500 homes destroyed. Local resident and former GTV-9 newsreader Brian Naylor and his wife Moiree were confirmed to be amongst the dead. Not long after news reports had stated that the fire went through the whole town, Deputy Police Commissioner of Victoria Kieran Walshe revealed that six of the victims had been in the same car.
The cause of the Kilmore East-Kinglake bushfire was found by the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission to be an ageing power line owned by SP AusNet, an energy distribution company. In December 2014 Victoria's Supreme Court approved an A$494 million settlement of a legal class action against SP AusNet, and Utility Services Group. It has been noted as being "the biggest class action settlement in Australian legal history". The previous highest payout was $200 Million in Kirby v Centro Properties Limited (No 6)  FCA 650 (19 June 2012).
- Shire of Eltham - the former local government area of which Kinglake was a part
- Shire of Yea - the former local government area of which Kinglake was a part
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Kinglake (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2012-07-05.
- Rule, Andrew (2009-02-09). "Our darkest day". The Age. Melbourne.
- Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Retrieved 2008-04-11.
- "Pioneers honored". The Age. 6 September 1977. p. 3. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
- "Australia's Worst Bushfire Disaster". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 11 February 2009. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
- "Fourteen people dead, 100 homes destroyed in Victorian fires". Weekly Times Now. 7 February 2009. Retrieved 8 February 2009.
- "More than 40 feared dead, 100 homes lost in Victorian fires". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 8 February 2009. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
- "Black Saturday class action: Judge approves $494m Kilmore East bushfire settlement". ABC News. Australia. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 23 December 2014. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
Victoria's Supreme Court has approved a $494 million payout to victims of the deadly 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, in what is considered to be the biggest class action in Australia's legal history.
- "Black Saturday bushfire survivors secure $500 million in Australia's largest class action payout". ABC News. Australia: Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 15 July 2014. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
- "Record settlement in Black Saturday bushfires class action". marysvillecommunity.net. 15 July 2014. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
At nearly $500 million, the payout is more than double the previous highest Australian class action settlement of $200 million in the Centro shareholder class action
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