Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Golden pipeline shines

Media release
22 June 2011

Sustainability and Communities Minister Tony Burke today announced that the WA Goldfields Water Supply Scheme had been added to the National Heritage List.

"The Goldfields Water Supply Scheme is a great example of engineering ingenuity and its addition to the National Heritage List is deserved," Mr Burke said.

"The National Heritage List is about recognising the stories and places that define our communities and protect our heritage for future generations.

"When work began at the end of the 19th century, the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme was regarded as the largest engineering undertaking of its kind in the world.

"The eight pumping stations were capable of delivering five million gallons of water per day.

"Extending from Mundaring Weir in the state's west to Mount Charlotte Reservoir at Kalgoorlie, the scheme was originally designed to provide a reliable source of water for the goldfields.

"The pipeline now supplies water to support agriculture in WA's wheatfields, which accounts for 42 per cent of the nation's wheat crop.

"Today, the extended scheme includes around 8,000 kilometres of pipelines and more than 40 pumping stations and contributes billions of dollars to Australia's annual economy.

"The addition of the WA Goldfields Water Supply Scheme to the National Heritage List today recognises how important Australia's mining and agriculture heritage is to the nation."

National Heritage Listing will not prevent future investment in the region but any action likely to have a significant impact on its National Heritage values would need to be referred to the Federal Government for consideration.

More information about the National Heritage List and the Australian Heritage Council is available at www.heritage.gov.au.