Ararat Rural City features a unique landscape that combines renowned natural wonders, goldrush streetscapes, cultural heritage, and premium agriculture.

As the great way to the Grampians, offering the region's best transport connections via road and rail into the Melbourne tourism market, Ararat is uniquely positioned to capitalise on the regional transformation that is underway.

We have harnessed the opportunity of a regional migration shift across Australia by promoting our rural lifestyle. As a result, Ararat has surpassed population projections we were not forecast to reach until 2036.

Investment into visitor experiences such as the Grampians Peaks Trail is helping to drive growth in visitation, breaking the nexus of a tourism economy reliant on peak seasonal visitation by transitioning to an attractive year-round offering.

Our Council has become the region's principal driver of economic expansion through a red-carpet not red-tape approach making Ararat an attractive place to invest and do business.

This has led to strong employment growth that is outpacing regional Victoria, resulting in record low levels of unemployment and the rapid investment in the construction of new housing.

In 2020, we secured a landmark partnership with Federation University Australia, creating Australia’s premier advanced agriculture research facility by establishing the Ararat Jobs and Technology Precinct. 

The precinct combines cutting edge research capability in partnership with local primary producers, focused on growing the region’s food and fibre markets through increased yield, diversified production, and destination-based branding.

This will make Ararat Rural City an agriculture powerhouse, tranforming agribusinesses from price takers to price markers, ready to capitalise on our premium food and wine offering via the activation of fine dining, artisan producer's hubs, harvest festivals and events.

Advanced manufacturing and renewable energy will also be prevalent in Council’s sustainable growth working towards a circular economy.

Advanced and innovative manufacturing plays an important role in Ararat’s economic landscape.  Affordable land, rail and road linkages, close proximity to Ballarat, Melbourne and the ports in the south as well as a skilled workforce have contributed to the City’s prosperity.

The Manufacturing industry sector makes the greatest contribution to economic output in the region, which at $406.1million accounts for 25.03% of total output.

Whilst maintaining and supporting existing manufacturing activities, there are opportunities for Ararat to attract and foster niche value adding activities as well as encouraging local industry into advanced activities such as product design and research.

For more information or book a meeting for a confidential discussion on how we may be able to assist your business please contact Tim McDougall, Economic Development Lead, via email [email protected] or call 0448 848 527.

Economic Profile

View Council's Economic Profile here

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