Our Economy

Ararat Rural City is a region on the move.  The economy of the municipality is diverse and driven by agriculture – sheep & crop farming, food and wine production, advanced manufacturing, construction, healthcare, retail and tourism with over 1,000 registered businesses. Wind farm developments are also playing a significant role in our community and potential exists for other renewable energy projects in the region.

Ararat is located on a major east – west and north –south road freight route at the junction of the Western and Pyrenees Highways connecting Melbourne with Adelaide and northern Victoria to the ports in the south.


Ararat is located on the nationally significant Principal Freight Network which provides rail access to the Port of Portland, Portof Geelong and Port of Melbourne.

Forthcoming improvements to road infrastructure, via the Western Highway duplication, and Murray Basin Rail Project will create significant new opportunities for growth linked to improved transport and logistics.

With a diverse range of employment options and many large employers including health services, correctional services, manufacturing, education, Local Government, retail, hospitality, agriculture and viticulture - there is plenty of scope to find employment or start that home based business you have always dreamed about. With the NBN now available in most areas the opportunities for balancing your working life with your home life has never been more achievable. 

Ararat has seen a recent infrastructure boom with the construction of Australia’s third largest wind farm, the Western Highway duplication and the rejuvenation of the Maryborough to Ararat Rail Freight line placing Ararat on the axis of the north, south, east, west link from Echuca to the Port of Portland and connections to Adelaide and Melbourne. Stavely Minerals exploration into gold and copper deposits in the Ararat and Willaura region are showing great promise, and the arrival of the NBN is making the “tree change” and “e-change” a reality.

The completion of the Alexandra Oval Community Centre and following stages of the sporting precinct redevelopment which also includes the rejuvenation of the outdoor Olympic swimming pool, installation of fitness equipment around the Alexandra Lake and gardens area, upgrading of the tennis and netball courts are supporting Ararat’s role as the premier location for major sporting and community events in the region.

The $6.5 million redevelopment and upgrade of the Ararat Performing Arts Centre and Art Gallery commenced in 2017 and when finished, will provide a world class venue for the arts in Western Victoria.

Ararat is the regional terminus for the increasing daily passenger line service to Melbourne as well as regular services to Adelaide.

Ararat Rural City is well positioned as the gateway to the Grampians National Park, one of Australia’s premier nature based tourist attractions.

Key facts

Population: 11,600

Area: 4,230 square kilometres

Rateable properties: 7,116

Employment: total of 4,650 full time jobs exist within the Municipality with major industry groups