Goulburn’s economy is focused on agriculture, manufacturing and health care.

Map of Goulburn including the five local government areas including; Moira, Greater Shepparton, Strathbogie, Mitchell, and Murrindindi.

Known as the fruit bowl of Victoria, Goulburn’s soil is productive. It supports irrigated fruit and dairy production. The local economy relies on the agriculture and food processing industries.

The region is home to over 167,000 Victorians including a strong Traditional Owner population. The Goulburn region includes the traditional lands of the Taungurong in the south and the Yorta Yorta peoples in the north. Shepparton is the largest regional location, along with Yarrawonga, Euroa and Seymour.

The Goulburn region borders metropolitan Melbourne. Goulburn includes five local government areas of:

  • Moira
  • Greater Shepparton
  • Strathbogie
  • Mitchell, and
  • Murrindindi.

The last two shires are within Melbourne’s peri-urban fringe. This leads to population and development pressures.

Five topics relevant to Goulburn are below. More details are in the topic links. Complete the survey, tell us what you think about the draft recommendations for regional Victoria and Goulburn.

Draft recommendations

Expand the tabs below to read the draft recommendations for each topic.

Goulburn residents have:

  • lower rates of internet connection
  • slower internet speed, and
  • less reliable mobile coverage than Melbourne.

Goulburn’s mobile coverage is weak in remote tourist areas and variable in primary production areas. Service quality and reliability fades beyond the central business districts of the larger towns.

This means many people cannot access online services (for example banking, job search, health and social services, and education). Unreliable internet connections can make it hard to do business. Unreliable internet also reduces public access to safety information in times of emergency.

There are opportunities to improve internet access and digital connections in Goulburn, to continue to address coverage gaps and help communities remain connected in times of emergency. We can also improve internet access for those who don’t have it at home, using the facilities and expertise in Goulburn’s library network. This will complement Shepparton’s VicFreeWiFi pilot to increase internet access.

Victorian Government’s On-Farm Internet of Things trial in Tatura is an example of how digital coverage can improve capacity. This trial supports horticulture farms to be digitally enabled. The trial tests sensor technologies in orchards to optimise decisions and manage input costs. Trials are still underway, and Infrastructure Victoria will track the evidence.

What are our draft recommendations?

Draft recommendation 80. Continue to address regional Victoria’s digital connectivity gaps (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

In the next five years, continue delivering regional digital connectivity improvements, and review the need for further government investment following the roll-out of the Digital Future Now initiative.

Draft recommendation 86. Improve resilience of regional telecommunications infrastructure (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

In the next 10 years, develop more resilient regional telecommunications infrastructure so communities can stay safe during emergencies, including greater network redundancy and back-up power supply.

Draft recommendation 87. Fund regional libraries to provide better internet access (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Immediately provide funding for regional and rural libraries to improve community access to fast, free internet services, leveraging existing library infrastructure.

Complete the survey below to tell us what you think about these draft recommendations.

Goulburn has a diverse tourism offering:

  • food and wine experiences
  • Aboriginal culture and heritage, particularly the Murray and Goulburn Rivers
  • Arts and festivals, and
  • nature-based tourism including Strathbogie Ranges, Lake Eildon National Park and Cathedral Range State Park.

Border closures and cancelled major events in response to the coronavirus pandemic have harmed the visitor economy. Yet, as restrictions start to ease, tourism has a role to play in the region’s economic recovery.

What are our draft recommendations?

Draft recommendation 82. Plan for future investment in regional nature-based tourism infrastructure (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

In the next five years, develop a Victorian nature-based tourism strategy to guide industry development and prioritise further investments.

Draft recommendation 83. Develop a Victorian Aboriginal tourism strategy (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Partner with Traditional Owners to develop a Victorian Aboriginal tourism strategy in the next five years to guide future Aboriginal tourism investments, including through Joint Management Plans.

Draft recommendation 84. Boost tourism infrastructure by allowing more national parks to grant long leases (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Attract investment in Victoria’s regional tourism industry by immediately allowing more national parks to grant leases of up to 49 years for infrastructure proposals that meet specific criteria and complement environmental and heritage values.

Complete the survey below to tell us what you think about these draft recommendations.

Patients travel long distances to access healthcare services in rural and regional areas. This can contribute to poor health outcomes in some regional areas.

Healthcare services are now more readily available over the phone and online. This trend has accelerated over the last year. More people in Goulburn are accessing health care remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Patients now consult with General Practitioners (GPs), specialists and other health providers over the phone and online. Health professionals have used the internet to remotely diagnose and check patients’ health. Delivering more healthcare using technology can give patients more convenient, flexible and quality services.

For those living in rural and remote areas, telehealth could provide greater access to quality care, specialists and allied services and reduce travel.

However, some services still need in-person contact as telehealth is not appropriate in all situations. Goulburn has relatively high rates of mental health clients, for example, particularly in Greater Shepparton. Our recommendations aims collectively to improve access to health services for Goulburn residents.

What are our draft recommendations?

Draft recommendation 21. Use innovation to deliver better models of healthcare (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Within five years, help slow the growth in demand for hospital infrastructure by funding a comprehensive statewide health innovation strategy to promote better models of healthcare.

Draft recommendation 72. Co-design an Aboriginal Community-Controlled Infrastructure Plan (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Immediately commence a co-design process to develop a plan to guide investment in Aboriginal community-controlled infrastructure to meet current and future social, economic and cultural needs.

Draft recommendation 75. Deliver infrastructure for a better mental health system (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Immediately establish a dedicated infrastructure fund to support a better mental health system, building on the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System.

Complete the survey below to tell us what you think about these draft recommendations.

Local governments deliver many social and community services to regional communities. These include:

  • child and family services
  • aged care
  • health care services, and
  • programs to foster social inclusion and improve wellbeing.

Some regional councils, have small budgets due to small ratepayer populations. They also need to fund many services to communities spread over a large geographic area. Other places such as Mitchell Shire and Shepparton have high population growth. This is accompanied by growing demand for services.

Many council facilities have a single purpose at a specific point in time. Others are ageing and no longer fit for purpose. This limits service quality, and councils face challenges in managing these facilities well. At the same time, community needs are changing and some facilities no longer meet local needs.

Councils are finding ways to provide facilities that can respond to contemporary needs. This includes building multipurpose service facilities, for example an integrated health and wellbeing building. For example, Mitchell Shire Council has proposed an integrated health and community hub at Seymour, co-locating a library, allied and primary health consulting rooms and a variety of community spaces.

Another solution is to upgrade outdated facilities or give them a new use which matches current community needs.

What are our draft recommendations?

Draft recommendation 89. Deliver multipurpose shared social service facilities in the regions (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Immediately undertake collaborative inter-agency planning for regional social services to identify opportunities for multipurpose shared facilities, then deliver them where appropriate in partnership with local governments and community organisations.

Draft recommendation 90. Support regional councils to update, repurpose or retire outdated community infrastructure (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Fund rural and regional councils in the next five years to update, repurpose and retire outdated community infrastructure for better service delivery.

Complete the survey below to tell us what you think about these draft recommendations.

Now more than ever, our state requires more homes for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. There are many housing issues for people living on low incomes in Goulburn, which has the highest rates of homelessness in regional Victoria. Greater Shepparton has a higher rate than metropolitan Melbourne.

Social housing meets a basic need of low-income Victorians for secure, affordable and appropriate housing. There is strong demand for social housing in Goulburn. This means that some of our most vulnerable community members are on social housing waiting lists and are experiencing financial stress.

What are our draft recommendations?

Draft recommendation 57. Rapidly renew old public housing (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Rapidly renew dilapidated public housing properties, with a priority to renew at least half of all older low-rise apartments and older three-bedroom detached dwellings by 2031.

Draft recommendation 94. Expand social housing in regional centres, in locations with good access (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Focus social housing investments in regional centres, near access to transport and services, to contribute to a target of 4.5 social housing dwellings for every 100 Victorian households by 2031.

Draft recommendation 95. Make social housing suitable for changing local climates (Victoria's Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy 28.9 MB, PDF)

Prioritising northern Victoria, continue to deliver a long-term program of modifying social housing to be climate-resilient by improving the energy efficiency and energy affordability of residences.

Complete the survey below to tell us what you think about these draft recommendations.

Collection notice

Infrastructure Victoria (IV) is committed to protecting personal information provided by you in accordance with the principles of the Victorian privacy laws.

IV will use the information collected to inform Victoria’s Draft 30-Year Infrastructure Strategy.

Your contact details, where provided, may also be used by IV to update you on the results of the engagement process.

If you do not wish to provide your personal information, then we will not be able to identify your submission if you wish to access it, make a correction or require technical support.

You may contact us to request access to your personal information, or for other concerns regarding the privacy of your personal information at enquiries@infrastructurevictoria.com.au.

Other recommendations related to Goulburn in the draft strategy

Read the Goulburn regional priorities summary for other recommendations related to the region.

Shared community facilities in action

Story from Shepparton: a football club also a leadership training hub

The Shepparton Rumbalara Football Netball Club has a long association with the Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-Operative. The club provides leadership training hub for the local First Nations community, as well as netball training. It provides a range of training, education, health, leadership and social support programs.

Story from Murray: Old hospital turned into a health and wellbeing centre

The Walwa Bush Nursing Centre is located in an isolated town on the upper Murray. The facility exists because of a community campaign following the closure of its eight-bed hospital. The facility was transformed with community fund raising and state government grants. The new health and wellbeing centre is a mix of health and community services. It now houses:

  • General Practitioners
  • district nursing
  • home care
  • emergency first response
  • outpatient clinic
  • pharmacy
  • gym
  • community centre
  • IT centre
  • banking services
  • RUM radio
  • community car
  • meals on wheels
  • health services
  • counselling services.

The centre is run by a community owned not-for-profit and has been successfully operating since 2006.