Death of a country town
After the Gold Rush, Ararat became a farming district and very much a government town, housing a Mental Asylum, Prison and acting as a railway hub, with lines stretching out in five different directions. Ararat also developed quite a manufacturing industry, particularly with regard to textiles.
In the early 1990’s the closure of many of the Government institutions such as the Psychiatric Hospital and the Railways, together with a downturn in manufacturing lead to huge job losses.
The population of the town shrank by ten percent over a five-year period.