Small towns are scattered across central Victoria, and while you might be tempted to keep driving when passing through, it's worth stopping for a moment to find out just what's going on. They have a lot to offer. Here is the first in a Bendigo Advertiser series looking at some of our little towns with big futures.
The potential of a new train station coupled with the establishment of new houses is giving Goornong locals an optimistic feeling about the future.
Sue East-Nicholas has owned the town's general store with her husband Phil Nicholas for seven years.
In that time, Ms East-Nicholas has seen some larger blocks of land broken down.
"It's starting to develop but it's happening very slowly," she said.
"There's (excitement) about getting the Goornong station up and running. That was one of Labor's promises if they got back in (after the state election)."
A functioning train station would make the town more attractive to commuters, Ms East-Nicholas said.
"It would be good. It's a struggle to keep the buses coming out here," she said.
"You can go in on the 7.45am and come back out on the 6pm but there's just two others during the day.
"If a train is going through here, it's more of a commuter area."
Brian Livingstone took over the Drovers Arms six months ago and is still getting his head around the town.
"I'm still learning who's who and what's what but there are plenty of projects that could be instigated," he said.
"Town wise, it is growing. You can't buy a house here, once it is on the market it goes quickly.
"There are probably six new homes being built at the moment. People coming here like the quiet and they can have a little (country) lifestyle.
"So the town is growing a bit. If there was more available land, we might have more people (living) here."
Farmer and life-long local Ian Whatley has seen a number of businesses close over the years.
"It would be devastating to have more businesses close. Years ago the milk bar closed, now it's a house.
"We've got the local shop for a few groceries but years ago we had the service station with petrol close, that was a big loss. The same with the butcher, so we definitely don't need any one else closing."
As more people slowly settle in the highway town, residents would like to see more people get involved with community groups and committees.
As president of the local hall group, Ms East-Nicholas would like to see more volunteers help the town reach its potential.
"I find it a challenge that people won't always knuckle down and help," she said. "Some are really supportive and bend over backwards but, like a lot of other places, volunteerism isn't what used to be."
Ms East-Nicholas feared community facilities would be lost without volunteers.
"The pool and recreation reserve committee are struggling for people. Places like the cemetery committee is made up of older members," she said.
"We need younger ones to come in and the older members to accept (help). I would love to see (the town) pull together a lot more."
Mr Whatley said fresh faces on town groups would be a benefit.
All I know is I'm 58 and there have never been too many real major issues, I only see the future as positive. Everyone here is friendlyIan Whatley, Goornong farmer and life-long local
"There's the pool and tennis but the cricket club is the only real sporting club here," he said.
"Sometimes people make it too hard to run small groups. The golf club closed down because of insurance issues.
"It's good to have the little town grow a bit, maybe it will mean better facilities.
"We're a town outside Bendigo that doesn't seem to get a lot of handouts, we're kind of a forgotten place."
Read more: Your voice, your town - Goornong
While a new train station won't bring old businesses or groups back immediately, Mr Whatley sees the future as positive.
"All I know is I'm 58 and there have never been too many real major issues, I only see the future as positive. Everyone here is friendly," he said.
"Brian at the pub and the owners before him, turned it around from just a place to drink. It was quiet little country pub but now it has a lot going through there with people coming from different places for meals.
"(The state government) has committed to the railway station at Goornong, that's going to be a big positive if it goes ahead."
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