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Township of French Island

Until recent times French Island was one of Victoria's most remote and least known destinations, although there were attempts in the 1960s to establish Australia's first nuclear power plant on the island.

The MacLeod Prison Farm, established in 1916 and closed in 1975, now operates as a tourist venue. With a permanent population of 68 (many of whom are descendants of original 1850s pastoralists and later operators of the chicory kilns), the 24 km island is most famous for its colony of prolifically breeding koalas — one of Australia's most healthy koala communities. The vegetation and wildlife give the island a rare ecological status. Sometimes described as the `island outback', French Island has no local government, no sealed roads, no piped water, no rates and generates its own electricity.

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