Food & Fibre

East Gippsland has established a reputation as a veritable food bowl for Victoria through its significant strengths in horticulture, farming and fishing. With the Food and Fibre industry worth seven billion dollars across Gippsland, and over 15,400 people employed in agriculture, forestry and fishing, the region is well-known for its quality.

The region is recognised for quality meat production, seafood and horticulture, with significant growth potential in these industries. An increasingly important niche in the region is the boutique production and processing sector that includes regional wines, boutique beers, gin, olive oils, preserves, fresh produce, spices and processed meats.

East Gippsland’s fishing industry is the largest employer of its type in regional Victoria. Lakes Entrance and Mallacoota are home to one of Australia’s largest fishing fleets that lands around $76 million of sustainably caught fresh, high quality seafood each year for supply to the Sydney and Melbourne fish markets.

Lindenow Flats is East Gippsland’s key growing region and supplies directly to major supermarket chains, as well as supplying produce to Bairnsdale based One Harvest, the largest fresh packed salad manufacturer in Australia.
The region’s reputation for food production is further enhanced by Patties Foods Ltd, manufacturer of Four’N Twenty, Herbert Adams, Leggo’s Chilled, Nanna’s and Patties, amongst others. The manufacturer is based in Bairnsdale and employs around 700 people in the East Gippsland region.

Food & Fibre Gippsland is an industry-led not-for-profit formed in 2019 to lead capacity building, innovation and knowledge sharing for the greater good of the sector across the region.

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The healthcare sector is the largest employer in East Gippsland, providing over 3000 jobs across a range of disciplines.

Bairnsdale Regional Health Service is a sub-regional hospital offering acute care, general medicine and sub-acute services. The main campus includes an emergency department, short stay unit, acute care ward, maternity services, oncology, dialysis, allied health and a range of visiting specialists. An additional campus offers Community Health Nursing, home-based Nursing, dental, continence nursing and Planned Activity Groups.

East Gippsland has a further two hospitals in Orbost and Omeo, 13 medical clinics and three key providers of community and allied health, including Gippsland Lakes Complete Health.

In addition, the region offers a broad range of private allied and mental health specialists, complementary therapy providers and public social service providers.

As a region popular with sea and tree changing retirees, the aged care industry continues to grow in size and scope. East Gippsland has eight aged care facilities offering low care, high care, respite and specialised dementia care for residents.

Disability service providers and care units are well represented in East Gippsland, with the residential care facility Noweyung at the forefront of person centred disability care.


Manufacturing is one of East Gippsland’s key sectors, generating $640m in outputs last financial year. Food manufacturing in particular is a key strength of the region thanks to an abundance of fresh produce grown in and around the Lindenow Valley.

East Gippsland’s top four manufacturing products by output are: food products, wood products, transport equipment, and fabricated metal.

Patties Foods, Australia’s leading frozen pastry company, manufactures iconic brands including Four'N Twenty, Herbert Adams, Nannas and Patties Pies from its Bairnsdale Plant. They employ around 700 people in a range of disciplines including manufacturing, quality assurance, engineering and maintenance, IT, procurement, product development and warehousing.

Also based in Bairnsdale, One Harvest is the largest salad fresh cuts factory in Australia. Sourcing produce directly from the Lindenow Valley, One Harvest employs around 300 people in East Gippsland with opportunities for career minded interns and graduates looking for experience in fresh produce manufacturing.

Marine Services

The Gippsland Lakes and surrounding areas provide some of Victoria’s best recreational and commercial marine service facilities and capability.

Excellent waterfront facilities and service are available in Lakes Entrance, Metung and Paynesville, for a broad range of commercial and recreational vessel owners.

Paynesville is a boating centre of state significance and has the third largest boating industry in Victoria, behind Geelong and Melbourne.

A highly-skilled local marine industry provides a comprehensive array of services, from regular haul out and maintenance, to major restoration and refit, on any vessel type.

Boat lift haul outs are available for vessels up to 100 tonnes and slipways for vessels up to 120 tonnes, catering for the regional commercial and recreational market.

This region’s boatyard and servicing facilities, in combination with a highly skilled workforce, also make it an attractive destination for vessel owners from other parts of Australia.

Marine technicians in Lakes Entrance, Johnsonville, Bairnsdale and Paynesville provide a comprehensive service for boat owners.

Industry stakeholders are committed to continuing to expand and improve East Gippsland’s marine services capability.

Visitor Economy

Accommodation and food are big business in East Gippsland with over 1.8 million visitors frequenting the region in 2019, contributing $500 million to the local economy.

The accommodation sector is primarily based around the Gippsland Lakes region taking in towns including Bairnsdale, Paynesville, Metung and Lakes Entrance with accommodation further afield in towns including Orbost, Mallacoota and Omeo. The Gippsland Lakes form part of the Sydney to Melbourne touring route, a popular route for International and Interstate visitors who require a range of accommodation options.

East Gippsland is committed to growing its food services sector through investment in a regional produce brand. More cafes and restaurants across the region and beyond are looking locally to source produce to create a better, and more unique, experience for their customers.

Employment within the sector grows in size over the Summer and Easter periods, with a small spike in opportunities in the sub alpine region of Omeo during winter.