Delatite 3723Delatite shire is north-east of Melbourne, its nearest point to Melbourne being the Eildon Weir. Its southern end is near Mount Matlock, and contains the rugged headwaters of the Goulburn River, immediately north of the Great Dividing Range. The shire's northern end is beyond Benalla, about 150 km. north of Mount Matlock. Delatite shire's area is 6,189 sq. km., and its approximate centre is Mansfield.
The shire was formed on 18 November, 1994, by the union of Mansfield shire, Benalla city, most of Benalla shire and part of Violet Town shire. Its name derives from a pastoral station taken up near Mansfield in 1844, thought to be named after the wife of an Aboriginal tribal leader, Beeolite.
The southern part of the shire contains extensive wilderness areas, former gold towns at the headwaters of the Goulburn River and the Mount Buller Alpine Resort. The central and northern parts have a higher proportion of farmland, with wheat growing and grazing on the flat northern plain.
The median weekly incomes of residents of 15 years or more in 1996 were - Benalla and northern statistical sectors, $250 and $252; and Southern statistical sector, $323, indicating better earnings from alpine tourism than farming. Delatite shire's census population in 1996 was 22,193 persons.
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