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Alexandra is a significant regional centre in Victoria, Australia and 130 kilometres north east of the State Capital, Melbourne. It is located at the junction of the Goulburn Valley Highway (B340) and Maroondah Highway (B360), in the Shire of Murrindindi local government area. At the 2016 census, the town of Alexandra had a population of 2,695.[1] The area has expanded since and is developing steadily. Postcode is 3714.

Alexandra
Victoria
Alexandra Victoria Grant Street.jpg
Grant Street
Alexandra is located in Shire of Murrindindi
Alexandra
Alexandra
Location in Shire of Murrindindi
Coordinates37°11′30″S 145°42′35″E / 37.19167°S 145.70972°E / -37.19167; 145.70972Coordinates: 37°11′30″S 145°42′35″E / 37.19167°S 145.70972°E / -37.19167; 145.70972
Population2,695 (2016 census)[1]
Postcode(s)3714
Elevation221 m (725 ft)
Location
LGA(s)Shire of Murrindindi
State electorate(s)Eildon
Federal Division(s)Indi
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
20.6 °C
69 °F
6.6 °C
44 °F
687.5 mm
27.1 in

The area (Alexandra District) surrounding Alexandra has a population of 6420, as at the 2016 census, with growth occurring.

Alexandra celebrated 150 years existence as a town during March, 2017 with large numbers participating in the celebrations over a number of weeks. Gold mining was the catalyst that led to the development of the town with many mines around Alexandra and, particularly, along the UT (Ultima Thule) creek that runs through the centre of town. There is also a small park, known as Rotary Park, adjacent to this creek and in Grant St, the main street. Toilets, barbecues and the Visitor Information Centre are situated at this location together with other facilities.

A picturesque, larger, Leckie Park, which is over 11 hectares in area, is centrally located in Alexandra together with other smaller reserves throughout.

Lake Eildon, a major water storage, is only 12 kilometres to the east of the Alexandra Regional Centre.

Alexandra is the biggest town in this part of Victoria and the headquarters of the municipality as well as many local departments and businesses.

It is often referred to as the gateway to the high country, alongside neighbouring town Yea.

Alexandra is renown for its scenery.

For many years Alexandra & District has been very popular with anglers with the Goulburn River nearby and a number of other smaller streams not far away. The Riversdale bridge across the Goulburn is only about 2 kilometres west of the town centre.

Being in the upper reaches of the major Goulburn River Alexandra has been a strategic part of the development of this part of the State of Victoria for 150 years.

HistoryEdit

The town was settled in the late 1860s, with a Post Office opening on 15 March 1867 (known until 24 April 1867) as Redgate.[2] The town was originally known as Redgate, or Red Gate Diggings.[3] The current name either derives from Alexandra of Denmark when the shire was given a statue of her, or from three men named Alexander (Alesander, McGregor, Alexander Don, and Alexander Luckie) who discovered gold in the area in 1866.[3]Alexandra has a rich history encompassing gold mining, farming and timber. Industry and commerce has developed along with many other pursuits over a broad spectrum.

Alexandra, at the gateway to the high country & the snow, has played a big part in the development of

Victoria’s high country, mountain cattle grazing and particularly the timber industry that has resulted in Victoria being able to develop. Alexandra was home to a number of large timber mills, especially during the mid to late 20th century.

Farming has always been an important component of the local economy. This has diversified over the years with beef production continuing, still some sheep farming, but other activities also important including wineries, fruit growing, fish production & other pursuits including major commercial lawn growing.

Electricity production from the nearby hydro stations at Rubicon and Eildon has been

an important part of the local economy since the 1920s and employed many from Alexandra and district. The Rubicon ‘A’ switching facility has also been important for power generation in Victoria together with its maintenance workforce. Since the State Electricity Commission was privatised during the 1990s some changes in operations have reduced the local workforce and more automated equipment is being utilised.

Tourism is fundamental to the Alexandra District and continues to attract many, for obvious reasons.

The railway to Alexandra arrived as a branch line of the Mansfield railway line in 1909, and closed on 18 November 1978.[4] In 2012, the closed rail line was used as part of the route for the 134 km long Great Victorian Rail Trail.

The Rubicon Tramway connected Alexandra with the village of Rubicon ( locally often known as ‘The Tin Hut’) , at the junction of the Rubicon and Royston Rivers.[5]

The major bushfires that burnt across much of Murrindindi Shire on, and following, 7 February 2009 impacted the area heavily with on going impacts. Alexandra received from the fire ravaged areas many hundreds of people badly affected following the fires and provided support and shelter. The main fire day, the Saturday, experienced 47 degree celsius temperatures with damaging northerly winds and extremely low relative humidity.

The Alexandra Incident Control Centre at the Department of Environment, Land & Planning Offices and the CFA Alexandra Group of Fire Brigades, together with many local firefighters, were heavily involved controlling the fires over many weeks along with service clubs, emergency services, agencies and community volunteers & townspeople providing immediate and longer term assistance. Large numbers of firefighting resources, which were brought in, were temporarily housed at a staging area at the Alexandra Showgrounds Reserve and at the rear of the Emergency Services Facility in Shamrock Street as well as other locations for many weeks during the major firefighting operation. Local police members and State Emergency Service members were heavily involved together with the municipality.

Alexandra was untouched directly by the 2009 fires but was under considerable threat for some time, on occasions, with the fire fronts being only about 9 kilometres distant for periods.

Major fires have impacted Alexandra over the years with 1939 and 1969 also being especially disastrous for the area.

Alexandra todayEdit

Many tourists pass through this town on their way to the Mount Buller ski resort from Melbourne and also the large Lake Eildon is close by. The Fraser Camping area bordering Lake Eildon within the Eildon State Park is a short drive from Alexandra. Skyline Road, near by, over looking Lake Eildon, east of Alexandra, provides spectacular lake views.

To the south of Alexandra Lake Mountain Alpine Resort, near Marysville, also attracts many day trippers to the mountain especially during the winter snow.

The Cathedral State Park, near Taggerty, is only a short drive from Alexandra. Always a popular tourist location.

The Great Victorian Rail Trail which branches to Alexandra continues to gain much popularity.

The town of Alexandra contains the Timber Tramway and Museum (located at the Alexandra Railway Station), and the National Trust classified post office and law courts. There is a local market on the second Saturday of each month from September to May, an annual art show at Easter, an agricultural show and rose festival in November, and the annual Truck, Ute & Rod Show in June on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

An annual Christmas Tree Festival is held in December and in July 2015 Alexandra conducted its first Beanie Festival which is now an annual event.[citation needed]

Local radioEdit

Local Community Radio station 3UGE (UGFM- Radio Murrindindi ) is based in Alexandra. After many years of providing support to the local community during emergencies, UGFM became the first community station in Australia to be given official Emergency Broadcaster status.[6]

UGFM - Radio Murrindindi broadcasts across the Murrindindi Shire from four studios located at Alexandra, Marysville, Kinglake and Yea, and transmitters located at Alexandra & Lake Eildon on 106.9FM, Marysville & Lake Mountain on 98.5FM, Yea & Highlands on 88.9FM and Flowerdale on 98.9FM. Currently, UGFM employs an intern from LaTrobe University on Friday mornings from 9-12.

The station has a large listening base throughout the Murrindindi Shire which is big and diverse in area. UGFM was formed during 1993 and commenced broadcasts a year later.

............................

Vision Alexandra 87.6 FM began broadcasting in Alexandra on 24 February 2018. This relay station is operated by Vision Christian Media.

Notable peopleEdit

  • Bernhard Smith (1820-1885), sculptor, painter, police magistrate [7]
  • Arnold Fielder Downer (1895-1984), civil engineer, construction contractor and company director who founded the Downer Group in 1933
  • John William Leckie (1872-1947), was an Australian politician. He served as a Senator for Victoria from 1935 to 1947, having previously been a member of the House of Representatives from 1917 to 1919 and the Victorian Legislative Assembly from 1913 to 1917
  • Bridget McKenzie (born 1969 at Alexandra District Hospital), politician, deputy leader of the National Party, Minister for Sport, Minister for Rural Health, Minister for Regional Communications
  • Matilda Alice Williams (1875–1973), Methodist deaconess
  • Peter Vincent Rice AFSM (1949- ) born Alexandra. Former Chief Fire Officer, Australian Bicentennial Exhibition. Country Fire Authority Officer Victoria - Staff & Senior Volunteer.

SportEdit

The town has an Australian Rules football team competing in the AFL Outer East Division 2 League.

Alexandra has a horse racing club which schedules around four race meetings a year including one on New Years Day and the Alexandra Cup meeting in March.[8]

Golfers play at the Alexandra Golf Club on Gordon Street,[9] or at the course of the Stonelea Country Estate on Connellys Creek Road.[10]

The Alexandra Speedway hosts dirt track motor racing throughout the year, with major events coinciding with the annual Truck, Ute and Rod show weekend.

A swimming pool is located in Perkins Street and functions during the summer months.

At Briggs Oval, opposite the Secondary College, gymnasium and other facilities exist.

See alsoEdit

  • Local weather observations and other related weather information is available

at : www.alexandraweather.org

ReferencesEdit

 
Aerial view of Alexandra
  1. ^ a b "2016 Census QuickStats Alexandra". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  2. ^ Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 11 April 2008
  3. ^ a b Kennedy, B: Australian Place Names, page 4. ABC Books, 2006
  4. ^ Sid Brown (March 1990), "Tracks Across the State", Newsrail, Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division): 71–76.
  5. ^ Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, November, 1940 pp54-55
  6. ^ Turbo (28 April 2010). "UGFM – An Official State Broadcaster – Emergency Information". lakeeildon.com. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ Country Racing Victoria, Alexandra Race Club, archived from the original on 17 March 2015, retrieved 7 May 2009
  9. ^ Golf Select, Alexandra, retrieved 11 May 2009
  10. ^ Golf Select, Stonelea, retrieved 11 May 2009

External linksEdit

GalleryEdit