Yarra Ranges is home to over 159,000 people and covers approximately 2,500km². The municipality stretches from the densely populated outer suburbs into the foothills, agricultural valleys and forested areas of the Great Dividing Ranges.
Around 70% of our population lives in urban areas, which represent only 3% of the Yarra Ranges landmass. Yarra Ranges has an area of 730 squared km of rural land where our agricultural industry thrives. Approximately 55% of Yarra Ranges is made up of Crown land and National Parks.
The dispersed and diverse range of communities in Yarra Ranges is significantly different to other metropolitan councils and this has an impact on service and infrastructure provision, particularly to rural areas.
We have a diverse economy of around 13,400 businesses, employing more than 41,700 people. Our gross regional product (GRP) is valued at $6.8 billion, with manufacturing being our highest exporting industry followed by agriculture.
Manufacturing is the most valuable industry, yielding almost $3.8 billion in regional output. Other important industries include agriculture (including wine making), tourism, construction, property and business services and retail trade.
The Yarra Valley has local and international recognition for its fine food and wine producing area and tourism is an important industry for Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges. The region received approximately 6.6 million domestic (overnight and daytrip) and international overnight visitors combined, who spent an estimated $871 million in the year ending June 2019. The Yarra Valley Dandenong Ranges tourism region comprises two tourism sub-regions: Melbourne East and Upper Yarra.
Council is committed to attracting new investment to the region. We also provide new and ongoing opportunities for business and industry to stimulate development, generating demand for goods and services, and ensuring the availability of skilled workforce. Yarra Ranges Council has a small business office assisting our large number of small businesses to start grow and sustain their business.