Morwell

Morwell is a town in the Latrobe Valley area of Gippsland, in South-Eastern Victoria approximately 149 km (93 mi) east of Melbourne.

It is both the seat of local government and administrative centre for the City of Latrobe. Morwell is central to the Latrobe Valley urban area which has a population of approximately 73,000 and as such has become home to many of the greater urban area’s civic institutions, administrative functions and infrastructure.

The city is known for its role as a major energy production centre for Victoria as the centre of a major coal mining and fossil-fuel power generation industry. Even in the 1880s, coal was seen to be of importance to Morwell. In 1888 two coal mining companies were established—The Great Morwell Coal Mining Company and the Maryvale Proprietary Coal Mining Company. Both these companies produced steam coal and were part of the industrial growth of the town along with timber, food processing (butter and cordial factories), brick and pottery manufacture and the transport of goods along the main railway line. The development of the Yallourn open cut coal mine and power station in the 1920s contributed to Morwell’s development, providing employment and trade.

More recently restructuring and privatisation of the State Electricity Commission in the 1990s led to massive job losses in the region, which accelerated the decline of Morwell’s central business district. Australian Bureau of Statistics figures from March 2011 showed the average wage of Morwell residents to be the lowest of the three Latrobe Valley cities.

Warragul

Warragul is a town 104 kilometres east-southeast of Melbourne. Warragul lies between the Strzelecki Ranges to the south and the Mount Baw Baw Plateau of the Great Dividing Range to the north. As at the 2016 census, the town had a population of 14,276 people.

Warragul is the main population and service centre of the West Gippsland region and the Shire of Baw Baw. The surrounding area is noted for dairy farming and other niche agriculture and has long been producing gourmet foods.

Frankston

Frankston is an outer-suburb of Melbourne located 41 km south-east of the Melbourne city centre, above the Mornington Peninsula. Due to its geographic location, it is often referred to as “the gateway to the Mornington Peninsula”.

Situated on the eastern shoreline of Port Phillip, Frankston has been a popular seaside destination of Melbourne since the 1880s. Frankston Beach is still one of the most frequented in Victoria, and is recognised as one of the cleanest in Australia. It is also home to one of the largest exhibitions of sand sculpting in the Southern Hemisphere.

European settlement of Frankston began around the same time as the foundation of Melbourne in 1835—initially as an unofficial fishing village serving the early Melbourne township. Prior to its settlement, the Frankston area was primarily inhabited by the Mayone-bulluk clan from the Bunurong tribe of the Kulin nation.