Located on the lands of the Gunaikurnai People, Walhalla was once one of Australia's richest towns and home to over 4,000 gold seekers.

The Walhalla of today is a sleepy mountainside town with a permanent population of approximately 16 people.

However, the population swells to hundreds during the summer holiday season as people visit the iconic tourist destination known for its goldrush history and picturesque setting.

Concern over the impacts high visitor numbers were having on the township, particularly regarding the water quality of Stringers Creek prompted the Walhalla community’s call for the investigation.

It was assumed that with the implementation of a sewer solution for Walhalla, that close to 180 Crown and privately owned allotments in Walhalla could be successfully developed. Providing a much‐needed economic boost for Walhalla from associated Crown land sales.

An independent feasibility study into the options for wastewater management, (a sewerage system) a wastewater systems risk assessment and water testing have been completed for the township of Walhalla.

Parallel to this work, a planning feasibility study was conducted for areas identified for potential development and Crown land sale with the intent to provide a much needed economic boost for Walhalla.

Key findings

There is no public health issue or risk requiring action or investment within Walhalla and that capital investment in a reticulated sewerage scheme in the township is not currently warranted.

The report acknowledges that the Walhalla area faces major strategic planning issue and finds that proposed Crown land sales (96 potential sales) cannot be supported due to significant risks relating to bushfire, access, slope and biodiversity impacts.

Potential development and land sale opportunities were also costed at a substantially lower value than previously assumed.

It is recommended that these strategic planning issues impacting on future development in Walhalla be referred for consideration in the Walhalla Masterplan by Baw Baw Shire Council.

A copy of the Walhalla sewerage feasibility and Crown land sales is available for download.

Page last updated: 06/09/23