Central Hume Primary Care Partnership (CHPCP) covers 15,510 sq km and includes a population of 60,000 residents.
The catchment covers four Local Government Areas (Alpine Shire, Benalla Rural City, Mansfield Shire and Rural City of Wangaratta), two state electorates (Benalla and Murray Valley) and one federal electorate (Indi); spans major National Park and State forest areas; and includes established rural urban centres and emerging lifestyle and tourist developments.
A key feature of the area is that it defies the standard major centre/ satellites pattern displayed in other rural and regional locations. Central Hume has five major centres: Benalla, Bright, Mansfield, Myrtleford and Wangaratta.
Each displays a distinct set of relationship patterns with other towns in ways that are dictated by a combination of the mountainous geography, history and the shifting economic bases.
In addition, the area is divided in the way that it relates to major conurbations and the services provided therein. To the extent that they do go beyond their borders residents, business and services in the northern part of the sub-region look towards Albury/Wodonga, those in the south-west towards Shepparton and those in the far south to Melbourne.
Understanding this (the fact that the service relationships are not necessarily contained within the boundaries of the CHPCP geography) is one of the keys to understanding the nature of any partnership possibilities in the region. In many ways Central Hume as a construct is merely a description of administrative convenience which masks a diverse cluster of communities, and a myriad of combinations of services.
There are however some common features in the region, including: