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Room to Grow


The Shire of Buloke covers an area of 8,001 square kilometres with an estimated resident population of 6,385 (ABS 2011) – less than one person per square kilometre. It is located in the north-western part of the state, midway between Melbourne and Mildura. Buloke is named after the tree Buloke Allocasuarina luehmannii which is common in the area.


At the 2006, Census Buloke’s towns had the following population figures according to people’s usual place of residence: Berriwillock 353, Birchip 823, Charlton 1467, Culgoa 98, Donald 1,698, Nandaly 123, Nullawil 237, Sea Lake 634, Watchem 213 and Wycheproof 816. The population of Buloke is very community-driven, with about seventy five percent of the population involved in volunteering.

Age Structure Age Group (Years)

Enumerated data Number %
0 to 4 382 5.7
5 to 11 658 9.8
12 to 17 645 9.6
18 to 24 260 3.9
25 to 34 507 7.6
35 to 49 1,385 20.7
50 to 59 934 14
60 to 69 807 12.1
70 to 84 900 13.5
85 and over 207 3.1


Climatic conditions in Buloke: rainfall of about 375ml per year; falls of at least one millimetre are recorded on 57 days per year (does it rain once a week?). Temperatures: average daily maximum is 22.2 and daily minimum is 8.5 degrees. On four days of the year, the temperature exceeds 40 degrees Celsius and on five days it falls to below zero.


Buloke has five hospitals, five medical clinics, five Pharmacies, multiple housing options for the elderly, nine schools, and five kindergartens. Buloke caters well for sport and recreation, with seven swimming pools, seven sporting ovals which are home grounds to local clubs, five indoor basketball stadiums and five squash complexes, as well as many other sporting grounds and facilities.

All ten towns have at least one community hall and most have several venues used for different community functions. The shire is also home to several recreational lakes for camping, fishing, swimming, waterskiing and other recreational pursuits.


In Buloke, 57 percent of people own their own home and a further 21 percent are in the process of buying. ABS figures show the median loan repayment in Buloke is $550 per month. According to Australian Property Monitors House Price Guide the median price for a house in Buloke to January 2012 was $127,000 which is more than two thirds less than the median house price in Victoria of $419,000.

Economy / Employment

The main economic deriver in Buloke is agriculture. It is home to the world-renowned Birchip Cropping Group (BCG), an agriculture-based research and extension group. Figures produced by BCG at the start of the century showed that half of all grain production in Victoria occurred within a 100 Kilometre radius of Birchip making Buloke an important grain production centre.

The employment figures below show the extent to which agriculture is the main economic driver for the region.

Industry, 2006 ANZSIC (Employed Persons)

Enumerated data Number %
Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing 926  32.7
Mining 11 0.4
Manufacturing 145 5.1
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services 33 1.2
Construction 132 4.7
Retail Trade 246 8.7
Wholesale Trade 105 3.7
Accommodation and Food Services 95 3.4
Transport, Postaland Warehousing 146 5.1
Information Media and Telecommunications 16 0.6
Financial and Insurance Services 29 1
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services 13 0.5
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services 31 1.1
Administrative andSupport Services 38 1.3
Public Administration and Safety 155 5.5
Education and Training 237 8.4
Health Care and Social Assistance 318 11.2
Arts and Recreation Services 8 0.3
Other Services 94 3.3
Inadequately described or Not stated 57 2
Total 2,835 100%

Edward: hairdresser to the local stars.

EdwardFutterEdward Futter was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, but moved as a 23-year-old to Sydney in 1976. There he used his hairdressing skills in a salon in Lane Cove, of which he was very soon the owner. After 12 years, he moved briefly to Perth before returning to South Africa to visit his ailing mother.

There he met his partner, David, and they soon made a home in Australia, once more in Sydney. But the countryside beckoned, and time and fortune sent them to Sea Lake, in the Buloke Shire. When an obliging Real Estate Agent showed him a vacant hairdressing premises, the decision was made.

Today, Edward’s Unisex Hair Salon is a social hub in the main street of town, where he fulfils multiple roles: hairdresser, confessor, fashion consultant and social worker. People often ask Edward how and why he came to Sea Lake, Buloke Shire, via the rest of the world. “That’s easy to answer,” he says. “I couldn’t have had more encouragement and support. The community is welcoming and friendly. The town has plenty of facilities and is central to a range of weekend options. Sea Lake in the Buloke Shire is a great place to live.”


Click here to download this fact sheet


Getting around Buloke

Download the map of Buloke Shire.


Buloke Weather

What's on at the Rex?




See what's coming up at the Rex Theatre in Charlton.

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