When the Devenish Hotel was on the verge of closure in 2004, the locals put their heads and their wallets together to save it. Now managed as a co-operative, the Devenish Community Hotel tells you everything you need to know about the history of this town – they roll up their sleeves and they get the job done.
A little short of half way between Benalla and Yarrawonga, Devenish was part of a district known as Major Plains and one of the many surveyed regions by Major Thomas Mitchell. Much to the chagrin of the squatters who had set up camp several years earlier, farm selection along Broken Creek began in the early 1860s, with four separate schools established by the mid-1870s.
Despite being one of the few north east Victorian towns denied a gold rush, the town survived thanks to the railway from Benalla to Devenish. After a series of miscalculations saw the official site of the town moved no less than three times, the establishment of the Railway Hotel in 1874 – now the Devenish Community Hotel – ensured the future of the town.
North East Water
Devenish’s Water Supply
The Ovens Region Water Authority became responsible for Devenish’s water supply from 19 December 1994. Devenish’s supply came from the Broken Creek system and as at 30 June 1996, 59 properties were supplied with water. The water source was problematic as the creek was effectively an open stock and domestic channel, with no coverage or protection from the elements. Approximately 90 per cent of water was lost through evaporation and the creek water was also of very poor quality at that time.
Raw water was diverted from the channel to a 25 megalitre storage and then to a water treatment plant from where it was stored to a 35 kilolitre clear water storage. A 135 kilolitre standpipe then provided water to the town.
Devenish is connected to the Yarrawonga Water Supply
In 2006, Devenish was connected to Yarrawonga’s water supply, through the Tungamah pipeline project. This involved the construction of a 360 kilometre long pipeline to connect Devenish, St James and Tungamah to the Yarrawonga water supply.
Today, Devenish’s water is supplied from the Yarrawonga system, and sourced from the Murray River (Lake Mulwala). The water is treated at the Yarrawonga water treatment plant and flows through the pipeline to Devenish. When the treated water reaches Devenish it’s stored in a half megalitre tank, where it receives booster hypo chlorination before being pumped to the Devenish water tower. From there it’s gravity fed to the Devenish reticulation.
There are no wastewater services provided to Devenish, with residents using septic tanks for their domestic waste.