Warrnambool City Council is a municipality covering 120sqkm in south-west Victoria. It contains the city of Warrnambool, which has a population of 33,300, and the small towns of Allansford, Woodford and Bushfield.
Significant natural features include the estuaries of the Merri and Hopkins rivers and the expansive Lady Bay which in winter and spring is a nursery for southern right whales.
Prior to the arrival of Europeans, Warrnambool was home to a significant indigenous population. In 1918 Warrnambool was declared a city.
In recent years Warrnambool’s population has grown rapidly. Warrnambool City Council is planning for our population to reach 50,000 by 2036.
Warrnambool is a major employment base with significant dairy and meat processing factories along with a range of industries which service agricultural enterprises.
Warrnambool generates a gross regional product of about $1.6 billion which accounts for over 20 per cent of the Great South Coast region’s economic output despite the municipality covering less than one per cent of the region’s total area.
It has 2,893 registered businesses and significant employment sectors include health and social assistance (14.9 per cent of those employed), retail (13.7 per cent), manufacturing (10.3 per cent), education and training (9.1 per cent), construction (8.8 per cent), accommodation and food services (8.8 per cent).
Tourism is another major driver of the city’s economy with the city positioned within the Great Ocean Road region and home to the award-winning Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village. Each year more than 700,000 people visit Warrnambool.
Tertiary education providers Deakin University and South West TAFE have campuses in Warrnambool which, along with bringing students to the city, provide local people with opportunities to pursue education and vocational training without having to leave the region.
Warrnambool City Council is also a major employer and provides a range of community services and also owns and manages community assets including the aquatic centre AquaZone, Warrnambool Art Gallery, Warrnambool Stadium, the Lighthouse Theatre, Surfside Holiday Park and major tourist attraction Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village.
Over 2013-2014 Warrnambool City Council managed an operating budget of $61.5 million, of which $29.8 million was dedicated to capital works and the remainder to operations and the delivery of services.