Traralgon (locally //) is a city located in the east of the Latrobe Valley in the Gippsland region of Victoria, Australia. The urban population of Traralgon at the 2016 census was 25,485. It is the largest and fastest growing city in the greater Latrobe Valley area, which has a population of 74,170 at June 2016 and is administered by the City of Latrobe.
The origin of the name Traralgon is uncertain. It is popularly believed to be derived from words from the Gunai language: tarra meaning “river” and algon meaning “little fish”. However, these words are not reflected in modern linguists’ knowledge of the Gunai language, where, for example, the word for river is wun wun or wurn wurn.
The Gippsland region was originally inhabited by the indigenous Gunai people for a period in excess of 2,000 years.
The area around Traralgon was first settled by Europeans in the 1840s soon after being explored by Count Paweł Strzelecki on his return from the Snowy Mountains where he named Australia’s highest peak, Mount Kosciuszko. Due to the Latrobe Valley having relatively high rainfall, the land is very fertile, and farming was quickly established. As with much of central and western Gippsland, this was mainly dairy farming.
The township was established in the early 1860s, the first Post Office opening on 1 January 1861.
Traralgon was part of the area administered by the Rosedale Roads Board, before the Shire of Traralgon was established in 1879. In the latter part of the 19th century the Shire grew strongly.
It was not until the 1930s however that Traralgon began to move away from a farming based economy. In 1936 Australian Paper Manufacturers established a paper mill at , around 8 kilometres (5 mi) from Traralgon.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh visited on 3 March 1954. The president of the Shire of Traralgon, Cr Clem Little met and welcomed the Queen, who was flown by the Royal Australian Air Force from Sale. She returned to Melbourne by train.
In 1961 Traralgon formed its own borough, the Borough of Traralgon following a decade of lobbying to separate the urban areas of Traralgon from the Shire.
Traralgon was proclaimed a city in 1964.
The old town hall and mechanics institute was finally demolished in 1973.
Further development resulted from the expansion of the power generation industry following World War II, particularly through the now defunct State Electricity Commission of Victoria. This included large expansions at Yallourn and Hazelwood Power Stations and the construction of the massive Loy Yang Power Station in the 1970s and 1980s.
The first Loy Yang power station was completed in 1985.
An Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) information processing centre was established in the early 1990s, at the time employing around 400 people.
The City of Traralgon and Shire of Traralgon continued a separate existence until they were amalgamated into the Shire of Latrobe in 1994.
Completion of the Loy Yang power stations, extensive voluntary departures[vague] from the electricity industry and privatisation of the Victorian electricity industry in the early 1990s had devastating effects on the economy of the Latrobe Valley. Traralgon, with a more diversified economy, suffered to a lesser extent than the neighbouring towns of Morwell and Moe both of which relied almost exclusively on the power stations for their livelihood.
Traralgon grew strongly in the mid 2000s, with a figure of 2.7% making it the largest and fastest growing city in the Latrobe Valley.
Traralgon is situated on expansive flat land in the Traralgon Creek valley catchment between the Great Dividing Range in the north and the Strzelecki Ranges in the south. The Traralgon Creek runs through the city’s centre and its green belt separates its eastern and western suburban areas. The urban area is hemmed to the south east by the Loy Yang Open Cut.
Traralgon is part of the Latrobe Valley tri-city urban area, a small area of industry and agricultural land separates it from neighbouring Morwell. Traralgon together with adjacent Morwell forms an urban area with an estimated population of 41,333 as at June 2016. In the decade ending 2016, the urban area has experienced a modest growth in population of 9.4%. Greater Traralgon includes localities such as Traralgon, the suburb of Traralgon East and the relatively sparsely populated satellite localities of Hazelwood and to the south, and Tyers and Glengarry to the north.
The Traralgon central business district is centred around Seymour and Franklin Streets and includes an indoor shopping mall – Stockland Traralgon, however commercial and light industry sprawl along most of the eastern stretch of the Princes Highway. Notable heritage buildings include the Post Office and Courthouse erected in 1886 and Ryans Hotel erected in 1914, both in Franklin Street.
The economy is primarily driven by primary industry, natural resources and secondary industry including coal mining, processing and fossil-fuel power generation for the National Electricity Market. Along with electricity production, Traralgon benefits from the mining for oil and natural gas in the nearby Bass Strait fields.
A significant forestry industry operates including logging of both plantation and natural forest timber, The largest paper mill in Australia is located nearby in Maryvale and provides local employment for over 2000 people.
Traralgon features a number of primary and secondary schools, including state, catholic and independent schools.
The local primary schools include Grey Street Primary School (formerly Traralgon Primary School), Kosciuszko Street Primary School, Liddiard Road Primary School, Stockdale Road Primary School, St Michaels Primary School, St Gabriels Primary School, Flinders Christian Community College (FCCC) and St Pauls Anglican Grammar School. Flinders Christian Community College and St Paul’s Anglican Grammar School are also secondary schools. In addition Traralgon has the Latrobe Special Developmental School catering for students from 4.5 to 18 years of age with an intellectual and physical disability.
The local government secondary school, Traralgon College, has two campuses, the junior campus (years 7–9) located on Liddiard Rd in Traralgon’s east, with the senior campus (years 10–12) on Grey St in Traralgon’s west. There is also a Catholic secondary school, Lavalla Catholic College. Lavalla has two campuses in Traralgon’s West end, and a third campus in Newborough, Moe. The junior campus, St Paul’s, neighbours Traralgon College’s senior campus on Grey St. The senior campus, Kildare, is located in Kosciuszko St. Flinders Christian Community College (FCCC) on Liddiard Rd is a P–12 school.
A number of Traralgon families also send their children to the three independent Anglican grammar schools in the region, two of which are about 40 minutes drive from Traralgon: St. Paul’s Anglican Grammar School, which has a campus in Traralgon as well as Warragul, or Gippsland Grammar School in Sale.
TAFE and University education is also available within the region. Traralgon is a 15-minute drive from Federation University Australia’s Gippsland Campus, located in the neighbouring town of Churchill. Traralgon is also home to one of a number of campuses for the region’s TAFE provider, Federation Training.
Australian rules football is popular. There are two senior clubs, the Traralgon Maroons (which briefly competed in the Victorian Football League between 1996–1997) currently competing in the Gippsland Football League and Traralgon-Tyers United competing in the North Gippsland Football League. There is also a junior league, Traralgon and District Junior Football League, with most games played from the West End Sporting Complex.
Cricket is also popular, with a local league, the Traralgon and District Cricket Association (TDCA) operating.
Soccer is popular with two senior clubs in the – Traralgon Olympians and Traralgon City.
There is a local basketball league, the Traralgon Basketball Association with a stadium at the Traralgon Sports Complex. The Traralgon Sports Stadium played host to preliminary round games of the Basketball competition during the 2006 Commonwealth Games which were held in Melbourne.
The local baseball team is the Traralgon Redsox. www.traralgon.baseball.com.au
Golfers play at the course of the Traralgon Golf Club on the Princes Highway.
The Traralgon Harriers are a running club that runs 5 or 6 km races every Thursday night and also organise Victoria’s oldest marathon, the Traralgon Marathon, held every June.
The Latrobe Valley Cycling club hold road and track racing events on most weeks throughout the year.
Traralgon Pistol Club and Traralgon small bore rifle Club also located in the town with a healthy membership at both clubs.
The entertainment precinct which spans Kay, Grey and Franklin Streets attracts people from surrounding towns to several nightclubs, bars and restaurants located there.
The twice weekly newspaper is delivered to all homes on Monday and Thursday nights, in Traralgon, Morwell and Moe. Smaller, weekly papers the Traralgon Journal, Moe and Narracan News, along with the Morwell and Churchill Advertiser are delivered to all homes on Monday nights with The Latrobe Valley Express. The Traralgon Record newspaper has been digitised from 1886 to 1932 as part of the Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program.
The three main commercial television networks (Seven, Nine and Ten) are all re-broadcast in the Latrobe Valley by their regional affiliates – Prime7 (Seven), WIN Television (Ten) and Nine Traralgon. The area was the first in Australia to receive its own regional television station, GLV-10 Gippsland (now Southern Cross Ten), when it launched on 9 December 1961.
WIN Television provides a 30-minute local news bulletin on weeknights produced from WIN’s Wollongong studios and Southern Cross in conjunction with Nine News produces a 1-hour local news bulletin combining regional, national and international news from its Melbourne studios, broadcast at 6:00pm weeknights across the Traralgon area. All three commercial stations also carry local advertising. Most Melbourne channels (Seven, Nine and Ten) can also be received in digital in Traralgon with a suitable roof-top antenna.
New channels broadcast by the commercial networks in addition to the ones listed above are available on the digital service called Freeview (Australia) to viewers in Traralgon and the Gippsland/Latrobe Valley region. These channels include One HD, Eleven, 7Two, 7mate, GEM and GO!.
Both national public broadcasters, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (including channels ABC1, ABC2, ABC3 & ABC News 24) and Special Broadcasting Service (including SBS One & SBS Two), are also broadcast to the Latrobe Valley.
There are two radio stations with studios located in Traralgon — TRFM and Gold 1242, both owned by Ace Radio. The FM station is broadcast along with the television channels from while Gold 1242 is broadcast from an AM transmitter near Sale. Warragul radio stations and 3GG also service this region. Most Australian Broadcasting Corporation stations are rebroadcast locally and available in Traralgon, along with 774 ABC Melbourne which is able to be received directly from Melbourne.
Road transport and the motor vehicle is the main form of transport. The Princes Highway runs through the city and close to the CBD which received heavy regional traffic (although a Traralgon Bypass road is undergoing planning). The Hyland Highway also originates at Traralgon.
Rail transport includes both passenger rail and freight rail. The city’s only station is Traralgon railway station which is on the Orbost railway line. Both the Traralgon V/Line rail service and the Bairnsdale V/Line rail service stop there. Traralgon is currently the terminus for VLocity trains with a two way hourly service. Travel time to Melbourne Flinders Street ranges at approximately 109 minutes during peak travel times. Victoria’s electronic ticketing system, Myki, was implemented on rail services between Traralgon and Melbourne on 8 July 2013.
Latrobe Valley Buslines provides local services around Traralgon and other cities in the Latrobe Valley.
Traralgon has a minimal bicycle infrastructure, with few segregated cycle facilities. An exception is the 63-kilometer-long Gippsland Plains Rail Trail which connects Traralgon to Stratford via Cowwarr, Heyfield, Tinamba and Maffra.
Climate data for Traralgon Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Record high °C (°F) 45.1
Average high °C (°F) 26.2
Average low °C (°F) 12.5
Record low °C (°F) 1.8
Average precipitation mm (inches) 50.1
- Fran Hammond (Basketball player)
- Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet (scientist)
- Irwin Thomas (Musician, formerly known as Jack Jones, of “Southern Sons”)
- Gord Bamford (Canadian country music singer)
- Bill Waters (Headquarters Commissioner for Rovers for 35 years, namesake of W.F Waters Award)
- Jenna O’Hea (WNBA player)
- Derek Muller (Science YouTuber)
- Peter Siddle (Cricketer)
- Michael Voss (Australian Rules Footballer)
- Eva West, accountant
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- Chapter 7 The River of Little Fish by WJ Cuthill
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- “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
- “3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2016: Population Estimates by Significant Urban Area, 2006 to 2016”. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 28 July 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2017. Estimated resident population, 30 June 2016.
- “Economic profile for Latrobe City”.
- Country Racing Victoria, Latrobe Valley Racing Club, retrieved 2009-05-07
- Greyhound Racing Victoria, Traralgon, archived from the original on 31 March 2009, retrieved 15 April 2009
- Golf Select, Traralgon, retrieved 2009-05-11
- “Traralgon Record (Traralgon, Vic. : 1886–1932)”. Trove. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
- “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 27 February 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
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- Traralgon Historical Society
- Latrobe City Website
- Mid Gippsland Family History Society
- Traralgon Visitor Guide – Traralgon.com.au