Mount Clear

Mount Clear is an outlying suburb of Ballarat, 5 km south-east of the Ballarat post office. It was probably so named as a result of its relatively elevated location being cleared of timber during or soon after the gold rushes.

Mount Clear was part of the Ballarat and Buninyong gold diggings. A school was opened in 1858. When the Buninyong Shire was formed in 1864 it met in rented premises in Mount Clear and it built offices there in 1869. Bailliere's Victorian gazetteer described Mount Clear in 1865 as:

Mount Clear was also described in the 1903 Australian handbook:

Mount Clear’s municipal role ended in 1915 when the shire was united with Buninyong borough and moved to the Borough’s offices. Mount Clear thereupon became a rural village until the expansion of Ballarat brought it within range of urban growth. During the mid-1960s the school’s population grew to about 120 pupils, and in 1970 new classrooms were opened.

Several Ballarat firms acted as subdividers and developers of residential land at Mount Clear during the 1970s. By 1978 it had an estimated population of 2000.

Mount Clear has a secondary college (1080 pupils, 2014), a Catholic primary school (2008), a State primary school (314 pupils, 2014), a pre-school and kindergarten facilities, the Midvale shopping centre, a hall, a church and a sports ground.

Mount Clear’s census populations have been:

Census date Population
1871 429
1933 229
1966 711
2006 2344
2011 2905

Further Reading

Neville Drummond, There weren’t any lunch orders: a history of Mount Clear Primary School No 427 1858-1988, Mount Clear, 1988

Weston Bate, Life after gold: twentieth century Ballarat, Melbourne University Press, 1993