Western Goldfields


The Western Goldfields includes the traditional lands of clans represented by the Barengi Gadjin Land Council (west of St Arnaud and Kara Kara National Park) and Dja Dja Wurrung peoples.

The area spans the upper Loddon, Avoca and Avon Richardson catchments, which are vulnerable to dry conditions under climate change. The upper Loddon catchment in this area is within a declared special water supply catchment area.

Mostly within the Goldfields bioregion, this area includes Box Ironbark Forests and Woodlands, and has a relatively high proportion of remnant native vegetation, protected in conservation reserves including Kara Kara National Park and others that are jointly managed by Dja Dja Wurrung and Parks Victoria. While these forests and woodlands support many unique and rare species they are generally in poor condition as a result of previous logging, gold mining etc.

There is a high proportion of rural residential properties in the eastern half of the area between Talbot and Wedderburn. These smaller properties are a legacy of the gold mining era, but when the gold ran out, the blocks were too small to make a living from farming. Unlike the rural residential areas to the southeast, this area is not well connected to regional centres for employment.

Agricultural land use is predominantly dryland grazing, except for the plains around Natte Yallock where dryland cropping is common, and the Pyrenees wine region around Avoca. Erosion is an issue on the steeper slopes in the southern parts of this area.

Western Goldfields Local Area map, showing RCS priority assets
Western Goldfields Local Area map, showing RCS priority assets