MIGRANT families are moving to Rupanyup after a new community initiative aimed at curbing population decline.
The Rupanyup Rural Migration Initiative aims to promote employment and accommodation options in the town to encourage migrants to move to the region.
The program officially launched in February and three families are now looking to relocate.
Initiative spokesman Malcolm Uhe said the project had been in the works since October.
"The idea came from our Bendigo Bank group - the bank puts profits back into the town to be used for community activities," he said.
"They were funding a lot of things, which was great, but we wanted to look at what the bigger issues were that needed funding and that was population decline."
Mr Uhe said a group of community members worked with the Regional Australia Institute, which had developed a template for small towns to address population issues by encouraging migrants to come and work in the region.
"The Bendigo Bank put some funding aside to run a new project to try to attract people to come and live in Rupanyup," he said.
Mr Uhe said the initiative started with documenting what Rupanyup was all about.
"We wanted to make a prospectus that described what the town was like - things like what jobs are here, what there is to do and what clubs and activities we have," he said.
"We hope to produce an accessible document for migrants to encourage them to come to the town.
"Then when they do come, we want to look after them, help them get in touch with employers and find somewhere to live."
Mr Uhe said the initiative had already gained traction, despite being in its early stages.
"It's going really well - we suddenly have a lot of people who have heard about it and we are now spending our time dealing with individual families who want to come to town," he said.
"We are madly trying to get people in touch with employers and houses - we have three families on the go at the moment."
People looking to move to Rupanyup so far include nurses, engineers and accountants. All three families also have young children.
However, Mr Uhe said finding suitable housing was one of the biggest hurdles in attracting new residents.
"Most country towns have limited housing available and the houses that are available are often run down and need work," he said.
"You can't expect people to move without somewhere reasonable to live.
"We are hoping to become active in the housing market and put together a syndicate to buy houses and do them up, ready for people to live in."
The Rupanyup Rural Migration Initiative has set up a company - Building Rupanyup.
The company will buy and renovate properties to make them available for sale or rent.
Rupanyup businesses have been supportive of the initiative.
"We had a launch in the community and lots of people turned up to listen," Mr Uhe said.
"We have a nursing home here, which is always looking for more nurses and kitchen hands.
"We also have some big businesses that always need people, like the Wimmera Grain Company - there are always vacancies in the town."
A new Regional Population Growth report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows declining populations in Hindmarsh, Horsham, Northern Grampians, West Wimmera and Yarriambiack municipalities
Member for Lowan Emma Kealy said this was a stark contrast to Melbourne, which was growing by 327 people every day.
"Melbourne is quite literally bursting at the seams while the population of our regional communities continues to fall," she said.
Opposition regional Victoria and decentralisation spokesman Peter Walsh said a population plan was needed to better manage all of Victoria's growth.
"Without a population plan, country Victoria is missing opportunities for new jobs and investment that comes with population growth," he said.
"A plan for better public transport, hospitals, schools and services right across our state - beyond the regional cities of Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong - would encourage more people to live and work in our country communities.
"It would also help strengthen community groups, sporting clubs and volunteer organisations in regional Victoria that are struggling to attract new members."