The South West Region
The South West Victoria region has a rich resource base that supports diverse and growing industries. It stretches from the tip of the Queenscliff heads at Port Phillip Bay in the east to the border of South Australia in the west, and from the Southern Ocean coastline up to the southern tip of the Great Dividing Range in the north. The main economic drivers are agriculture, fisheries, retail, manufacturing, health and community services, education and construction, while agriculture, forestry and fishing are the major employers. The region supports a permanent population of 500,000 with year-round tourism adding significantly to this number. Major cities and towns include Geelong, Torquay, Lorne, Colac, Camperdown, Port Campbell, Warrnambool, Hamilton, Portland, Ballarat, Ararat, Casterton, Port Fairy and Beaufort. The region attracts large numbers of visitors to its world-class tourist attractions and boasts a variety of educational and research institutions.