The once slumberous town of Koroit is experiencing a seismic surge in growth with a new cafe and expanded police force the latest to join the booming borough.
Latest council data shows Koroit is tipped to experience the largest growth in Moyne Shire, increasing by 325 households from 650 in 2016 to 975 by 2041.
That accounts for 25.35 per cent of the entire shire's household growth.
Accompanying that swell is business confidence with the latest ventures expanding beyond main street.
Tiny Cafe is operating in the northern end of High Street, having being converted from its former use as accommodation.
It joins the Koroit Lions Club Op Shop and the Koroit Stables as businesses in High Street, adding to the bustling main drag of Commercial Road, which earlier this year welcomed a multi-million dollar new supermarket.
Tiny Cafe - which commenced trade during this year's Koroit Irish Festival - is run by Bonnie Hewett and Jeroen Kromhof.
Koroit's standing as a town on the rise is something Ms Hewett said had influenced the couple to set up shop.
"It is something we have been wanting to do and it's pretty exciting," Ms Hewett said.
"There is a lot happening in Koroit and the town has some real momentum.
"The businesses are feeding off each other which is great for the town."
While not being on the main street may limit visibility, Ms Hewett said the cafe's High Street location had plenty of positives.
"It's easy to get a park and we are also getting a lot of foot and bike traffic from people using the rail trail," she said.
"We're going to put some bike racks out the front to make it even more user-friendly."
There was a stigma if you came from Koroit that you were at the lower end of the scale because it was all spud farms here.- Barry Brody
Other businesses tipped to join the town include Stonefield Lane Wine Bar, tea rooms and a cafe at the west end of Commercial Road.
Koroit's steady expansion has also been recognised by those in high law and order places.
The town's police station is well stocked with four full-time permanent members now working there.
In the early to mid part of the last decade, officer numbers were low and a shortage of staff meant the station was manned much less than the 16-hour-a-day coverage the town now enjoys.
The town's team now includes Sergeant Pat Day, Senior Constable Brett Thornton and Leading Senior Constable's Ian McNiven and Chris Kelly.
Sergeant Day said it was pleasing the town now had such a well-resourced police force.
"The police service model identified Koroit as a growth area and have staffed it accordingly," Sergeant Day said.
"With the four of us, we can have a strong presence in the town.
"We try to get out and about in the community as much as possible and be part of the community.
"Koroit is a great place to live but as it gets bigger and more people come in, it will bring new challenges, that is just the nature of communities.
"This is such a good place to live and the community that is here will help the new people coming in feel a part of it."
Koroit resident of 70 years Barry Brody said while he'd seen the town develop and prosper in the past decade, he never expected sudden growth of this scale.
"It's come full circle," he said.
"People used to say, 'why would you move there?'
"There was a stigma if you came from Koroit that you were at the lower end of the scale because it was all spud farms here.
"Most of the people one way or another would have worked on spud farms, then you had Warrnambool where you'd have 'good' jobs.
"You were sort of the low end of the peak, but some of the most successful business people around came from Koroit.
"We were the 'poor cousin' but now Koroit is the place to be again.
"That only happened in the past 10 years or so, that's when it started to gain momentum again.
"Whereas they were previously shifting stuff out of Koroit, now they're bringing it back."
He said when he was growing up the town was thriving but that all came to a screeching halt in the 1960s.
"Growing up there were five churches here, a railway, saleyards, four garages, four pubs, three banks, four grocers, five milk bars, two chemists, two doctors, we had a hospital and a nursing home, three butchers, two bakeries, we even had a local paper and two electrical shops," he said.
"But in the late 1960s, two pubs closed down, the railway closed down, the saleyards closed down and they shifted a little church out of here.
"In fact, the first house I bought here in 1968 was $2800. I sold that and bought a business place - a shop and a house - that only cost us $7000 and they built two buildings in 1970."
He said in the 1990s things began to turn.
"We never had town water, we only had a reservoir out there and if it emptied you could be out of water," he said.
"They connected the water here in about the '90s and we got sewage right through the place whereas it was only old septics before.
"That was probably the changer too as well as natural gas which arrived in about 1992, the same time as the sewage.
"Nowadays you've got the rail trail, the supermarket, other shops opening up, (milk processing plant) Bega and the footy club, which has won six premierships in a row.
"You've also got the Irish Festival and the truck show which are two of the biggest things that go on in the district.
"When the Irish Festival first started 26 years ago they were probably just locals, now about 70 per cent of people who attend are from outside of the region."
He said he welcomed newcomers to Koroit.
"People come here and they don't seem to want to go," he said.
"My next door neighbour came from Adelaide, drove through here and came here to stay.
"Adele MacDonald the president of the Irish Festival drove around when they'd been all over but kept coming back here.
"Now everyone is wanting to come out here which is great and we'll embrace them. You're going to see a big influx, I think."
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