WA considers Golden Pipeline for heritage registry

The CY O’Connor Pipeline in Western Australia was commissioned in 1896 with the intention of running water from the Mundaring Weir to the Eastern Goldfields.

Also known as the Golden Pipeline, the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme runs 566 km from the Perth Hills and terminates in Kalgoorlie.

Heritage Minister David Templeman said that the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme represents one of the state’s great public engineering feats.

“The success of this pipeline has left a lasting legacy of innovation and robust public water infrastructure that has underpinned our economic and social development for more than a century – and public consultation is an integral part of understanding what it means to the community,” said Templeman.

Sections of pipeline are on the State Registry of Heritage Places, and the whole pipe was added to the National Heritage List in 2011. Some sections of the pipe are subject to removal and repurposing, as the Golden Pipeline is still in use.

There is now talk of including the auxiliary buildings of the Golden Pipeline to the register.

17 locations are being considered, including the original steam pump station buildings, several staff accommodations and a number of reservoirs, both original structures and second-generation constructions, all built over the 119-year life of the pipeline.

Water Minister Dave Kelly has drawn attention to the impact on the 100,000 people who are still serviced by Golden Pipeline:

“In conjunction with this proposed registration, Water Corporation is investigating ways to interpret and recognise the heritage significance of the retired sections of the Scheme and how they can benefit their respective communities,” Kelly said.

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