Vibrant economy, agriculture and tourism

sketch of the valley and hills

Our tourism, agriculture, health, manufacturing and other industries are leading and dynamic. Strong investment and attraction underpins sustainable economic growth and job creation.

Key strategies to achieve our objective include:


Current projects

Find out what we’re doing to support connected and healthy communities in Yarra Ranges.


View all projects

Our major initiatives

Economic development

  • Supported regional tourism initiatives such as the Yarra Valley Trail, Warburton Mountain Bike Destination, RidgeWalk and Yarra Valley Railway including the development and implementation of a Business Acceleration Program.
  • Delivered an extensive business support, events and training program which included organising the Business and Investment Forum, business visits and mentoring to more than 388 small business operators and entrepreneurs.
  • Delivered two Tech Tours to two groups of secondary school students together with businesses located in the Bayswater Business Precinct. These tours aim to raise aspirations and broaden future career pathways for our young people in local advanced manufacturing and technology-based environments.
  • Commenced implementation of the Better Approvals Project in partnership with the Victorian Government to reduce the time it takes for a small business to get the regulatory permits they need, and to reduce the administrative burden on both business and councils.

Chirnside Park urban design

  • Council has continued liaison with commercial realtors to encourage the marketing of key sites in the area and support investment inquiries for these areas
  • The Green Spine project in Chirnside Park is progressing well and is currently out to tender for the construction of the north side - Stage three will connect Brushy Creek footpath to Chirnside Park Shopping Centre, the last missing connection of the Green Spine.

The Lilydale Project

  • The Lilydale Place Plan was formally endorsed in September with several project and initiatives progressing well.
  • Community-led projects and groups continued to progress areas for improvement, focusing on Lilydale’s main street, community gardens and the establishment of the Lilydale Township Action Group. 
  • A new Design and Place department has been formed at Council to guide the design and planning of place plans, including finalizing the Lilydale Place Plan.

Tourism attractions

  • Council continues to engage with all Yarra Ranges businesses, agencies, investors and community groups such as Yarra Valley Railway, Yarra Ranges Tourism and Committee for Economic Development Australia via Council's communication channels, forums and events.
  • Council has been advocating to State Government Ministers and agencies for changes to Regional Development Victoria guidelines and additional funding support that will leverage the major infrastructure investment in Warburton Mountain Bike Hub, the Yarra Valley Trail and RidgeWalk to drive economic investment into these regional parts of Yarra Ranges.

Other highlights

  • The Warburton Mountain Bike Destination project progressed through significant community engagement, design reviews and specialist Consultant reports. The trail network alignment is nearing completion and a Draft Master Plan will be released to the community in coming months. We engaged World Trail to finalise the design and construct of the trails. Their industry-leading experience will deliver an iconic destination that will put Victoria on the national and international radar for mountain biking enthusiasts. This is being done in close collaboration with land managers, environmental and heritage experts to ensure it is delivered sensitively within the landscape.
  • A broad range of advocacy campaigns have been mounted from across the organisation on behalf of the Yarra Ranges Community, including:
  • Securing the future of Forest Industry Workers following the announcement by the State Government that native forest timber harvesting will end by 2030 and that the supply to timber mills will be substantially reduced from 2025.
  • Requested a review and amendment to the exemption of Land Tax guidelines for tourism related primary production activities and ancillary uses.
  • Direct advocacy to State Government Ministers and agencies for changes to Regional Development Victoria guidelines.
  • Submission to the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions in response to the State Government's Regional Tourism Review.
  • Submission for $20,000 for the development and implementation of the Rivers and Ridges Business Accelerator Program.

92% of Council Plan actions are on track.