Towns in Australia

Exploring Australia, town by town

Serviceton VIC


Postcode: 3420

Serviceton is a small town in Victoria, Australia, located near the Victorian-South Australian border, 437 kilometres north-west of Melbourne. The town was named after Sir James Service, Premier of Victoria in 1880 and from 1883-86.

When the Victorian and South Australian railways were joined at the old border in 1887, a station was built on the border. The border was intended to be on the 141 degrees east meridian but, owing to a surveying error, border markers were placed 3.6 km west of the meridian. Victoria finally succeeded in having the erroneously surveyed border declared to be the legal border in 1913, and therefore Serviceton is now fully in Victoria. Nevertheless, the old South Australian Railways, and its successors, the Australian National Railways Commission, the National Rail Corporation and the Australian Rail Track Corporation have continued to own the railway to Serviceton outright.

The land here was first occupied by Europeans in 1846. Thomas Short, who established the ‘Cove’ run in 1849, employed a station hand who turned out to be Dan Morgan, later to become one of Australia’s most notorious bushrangers. Upon being dismissed after an argument, Morgan destroyed Short’s provisions and stole a horse. With an Aboriginal tracker, Short pursued Morgan to the Murray River and took him by surprise but was shot in the knee while dismounting, permanently crippling him.

The station was closed in 1986 and is now in a state of some disrepair and today there are about a half dozen remaining residents.