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Mildura

Mildura is a regional city in north-west Victoria, Australia.

Details

  • Area:78.041 km2
  • Elevation:52 m
  • Population:55,900
  • Local Government Area:Mildura Rural City Council

Description

Mildura is a regional city in north-west Victoria, Australia. Located on the Victorian side of the Murray River, Mildura had a population of 33,444 in 2016. When nearby Wentworth, Irymple, Nichols Point and Merbein are included, the area had an estimated urban population of 51,903 at June 2018, having grown marginally at an average annual rate of 0.88% year-on-year over the preceding five years. It is the largest settlement in the Sunraysia region. Mildura is a major horticultural centre notable for its grape production, supplying 80% of Victoria's grapes. Many wineries also source grapes from Mildura.The city's central business district is located just a short distance from the banks of the Murray. Langtree Avenue is the main shopping and dining precinct in Mildura, with the middle section of the street a pedestrian mall. The other major retail precinct is along Fifteenth Street in the Mildura South area, where a mid-sized undercover shopping mall and several big box stores are located. The city's name was taken from the Mildura homestead, an early sheep station which covered most of the area. The urban area of Mildura is surrounded by irrigated horticulture, where the original grape and citrus blocks were located with water irrigated from the Murray River. # History Mildura has a long history of orange and grape farming. ## Toponymy There are several theories as to the origin of the name Mildura. While it was the name of the sheep station, without precedent in the English language, most historians believe it to have originated from Aboriginal Australian words. However, the etymology of Mildura is not certain, as in several local dialects, the words mill and dura have different meanings. The word dura is generally thought to mean "earth", "sand" or "rock" in the local Ladji Ladji language. However, usage of the word mill varies by dialect and may mean "red" or "water", and thus, interpretations of the name can vary from "red earth" to "water rock". ## Prehistory and European settlement Many Aboriginal people lived around the site of Mildura because of the abundant food. Local tribes included the Latjilatji and Jarijari. The first Europeans in the area arrived in 1857 and brought sheep to graze the rich pastures. ## Irrigation settlement A major drought in Victoria from 1877 to 1884 prompted Alfred Deakin, then a minister in the State Government and chairman of a Royal Commission on water supply, to visit the irrigation areas of California. There he met George and William Chaffey. In 1886, Canadian-American irrigator George Chaffey came to Australia and selected a derelict sheep station known as Mildura as the site for his first irrigation settlement, signing an agreement with the Victorian government to spend at least £300,000 on permanent improvements at Mildura in the next twenty years.After much political wrangling, the settlement of Mildura was established in 1887. The Post Office opened on 23 January 1888. ## Growth The nearby towns of Wentworth, Gol Gol, Curlwaa and Yelta sprang up in the mid-to-late 19th century. In the 1890s came the scourge of the rabbit. This devastated the sheep farmers, especially south of the Murray. There was also a financial recession at this time. Combined, these factors restricted growth of the new settlement. After this period, the new settlement grew and grew. It was soon the main town of the district. Suburbs and new satellite towns sprang up. From the 1920s, a number of 'suburban' train services were established to Merbein and Red Cliffs. These were operated by railcars. Post war Mildura experienced a large influx of migrants particularly from European and Mediterranean countries including Italy and Greece. Many of these migrants were attracted by the unskilled labour offered by the fruit picking industry. In 1934 Mildura was officially proclaimed a city. ## Nowingi toxic waste proposal In 2004 there was a controversial proposal by the Victorian Government to build a state-level Long Term Containment Facility (LTCF) for Industrial Waste in Nowingi, approximately 50 km south of Mildura. The site is a small enclave of state forest surrounded by national park, and contains habitat important to a number of threatened species. The abandoning of the LTCF proposal was received with jubilation by opponents of the LTCF not only in the Mildura area and elsewhere in Victoria, but also across the border in South Australia where there were fears that in reputation, if not in substance, the toxic waste could affect the water supply via the Murray River and thereby the fruit-growing industries of the Riverland and Murraylands. The Mildura Rural City Council and residents spent almost $2 million fighting the Government's proposal for the LTCF at Nowingi. On 10 January 2007 the Victorian Government did not rule out some form of reimbursement for the Rural City of Mildura council's legal and other costs in opposing the LTCF."The general rule is that people bear their own costs, that is most likely to apply in this case ... but I've indicated and I am prepared to talk to the council and mayor about the whole issue of how Mildura moves forward and I'll do that," John Thwaites said. # Weather Mildura has a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk) with hot summers and cool winters. It is only about 50 metres above sea level despite being several hundred kilometres from the coast.Rainfall totals are about 280 mm a year and are spread evenly across the months and seasons with Winter and Spring having the most rainy days.Average maximum temperatures range from a hot 32 °C (90 °F) in summer to a mild 15 °C (59 °F) in winter. Minimum temperatures range from around 17 °C (63 °F) in summer to -1 °C (30 °F) in winter, when frost is common and often destructive to irrigated crops. Mildura experiences some very hot days in summer with temperatures exceeding 40 °C (104 °F) on a number of days per year.Mildura got record daily rainfall on 5 February 2011 with 155 millimetres (6.1 in). # Things to do

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