Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Traralgon is a regional city located in the Latrobe Valley in the Gippsland region of Victoria, Australia. Traralgon's population at the 2001 Australian census was 25,018 people. Traralgon is in the Local Government Area of Latrobe City and is currently the administrative centre although this will soon move to the neighbouring city of Morwell. The name Traralgon is derived from the local aboriginal words 'Tarra' meaning river and 'Algon' meaning fish, probably referring to Traralgon Creek.
The Gippsland region was originally inhabited by the indigenous Ganai people for a period in excess of 20,000 years.
The area around Traralgon was first settled by Europeans in the 1840s soon after being explored by Count Pawel Strzelecki on his return from the Snowy Mountains where he named Australia's highest peak, Mount Kosciusko. The Latrobe Valley is very fertile, having relatively high rainfall and farming was quickly established. As with much of central and western Gippsland this was mainly dairy farming.
In 1877 the railway from Melbourne was completed giving Traralgon a major economic boost. In the latter part of the 18th century the city grew strongly.
It was not until the 1930s however that Traralgon began to move away from a farming based economy. In 1936 Australian Paper Manufacturers established a paper mill at Maryvale, near Traralgon. Further development resulted from the expansion of the power generation industry following World War II, particularly the construction of the massive Loy Yang Power Station in the 1970s and 80s.
Traralgon was proclaimed a city in 1964.
Privatisation of the Victorian electricity industry in the early 1990s had devastating effects on the economy of the Latrobe Valley. Traralgon with a more diversified economy suffered to a lesser extent than the neighbouring towns of Morwell and Moe both of which relied almost exclusively on the power stations for their livelihood.
Traralgon is now one of Victoria's most prosperous rural cities and the economic heart of the Latrobe Valley.
Perhaps due to its rapid development, Traralgon has retained little of its historical architecture. Notable exceptions are the Post Office and Courthouse erected in 1886 and Ryans Hotel erected in 1914. Both are in Franklin Street.
The Traralgon central business district is centred around Seymour and Franklin Streets. A sub-regional shopping centre has also been been constructed.
The Traralgon economy is still heavily reliant on the power industry and the paper mill for employment. Other significant employers include the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and Centrelink.
- Traralgon Show (November)
- Traralgon Cup (November)
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