A DAY IN THE LIFE OF YINNAR
Yinnar is on the scenic route through Gippsland’s dairy country. It’s the centre of a farming community, but it’s also a commuter town for the main cities of the Latrobe Valley. There are about 900 residents, many old timers out on the land, but also newcomers – tree-changers and young families living in new housing estates in town.
They were joined for 24 hours recently by our team of reporters, editors, photographers and videographers from the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Advancing Journalism. Our mission? To take the pulse of a country town outside the usual media field of vision.
The town sits in a glorious Gippsland landscape of pastureland broken by stands of remnant forest. The northeast horizon is dominated by cooling towers and chimneys, including those of the now-dormant Hazelwood Power Station, which closed in 2016. Its smoke stacks are said to be crumbling and riddled with asbestos. There’s still sadness for the lifelong jobs that have vanished.
It’s an interesting time to visit. The state election is close, and Yinnar is in a very marginal electorate – Morwell. The grass is green so it doesn’t look like there’s a drought, but feed is down and the hot months of summer are coming. The town knows both the hardships of fire and flood and the many joys of community life. And when we visit, there’s still the last of the winter chill in the air, and excitement because the town has made it to the football finals.
We invite you to come and meet the people of Yinnar.