Mornington Peninsula Shire

Mornington Peninsula shire, an area of 720 sq km, is south-east and south of Melbourne, across Port Phillip Bay. It occupies most of the physical peninsula, from Point Nepean to south of Frankston. Its land boundary is south of Frankston (but includes Mount Eliza) which runs west to Western Port Bay, including Baxter but excluding Pearcedale.

The shire was formed on 15 December 1994 by the union of Flinders, Hastings and Mornington shires. For the shire’s pre-1994 history see the entry for Mornington Peninsula.

All of the shire’s Port Phillip Bay coastline is urban, except for Point Nepean. On Western Port Bay there are large urban communities (Hastings, Tyabb), HMAS Cerberus naval depot and small townships further south. The middle of the peninsula has rural acreages, although Somerville is an urban exception.

The peninsula has a reputation for being a tourist destination and a playground of the rich. That is part of the truth. The more populous suburbs are working class, or with unemployed residents where manufacturing has closed down. There is a high degree of income and demographic diversity.

Portsea, Sorrento and Flinders are the holiday towns with resident retirees. Rosebud is a suburb, still with some holiday houses. Hastings and Somerville are places where people live and work.

There is a V Line train service from Frankston to Stony Point, Western Port Bay, via Somerville and Hastings. The other side of the peninsula relies on bus services and the Mornington Peninsula Freeway as far as Rosebud.

Census populations have been:

census datepopulation
 Flinders, Hastings, Mornington shiresMornington Peninsula shire
1996 110,122
2001 124,891
2006 136,482
2011 144,608

The median age of residents in 2011 was 43 years (Victoria, 37 years). The median income was 95.9% of the Australian median and on census night 66.7% of dwellings were occupied. The shire has a good proportion of holiday houses, and its residents’ median age signified that continuously occupied dwellings have retirees in above-average numbers. There are also large suburbs with families on average or below-average incomes.

Further Reading

Mornington Peninsula and Flinders, Hastings and Mornington shires entries