Wongarbon Water Supply SchemePrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Arthur Garland

The Annis and George Bills water trough was removed to the site from Dubbo to commemorate the commissioning of the Wongarbon Water Supply Scheme in June 2000.

Council adopted a forward planning proposal to supply reticulated drinking water to Dubbo’s villages in 1995 and subsequently supplied drinking water to Wongarbon in 2000, Brocklehurst in 2001 and Ballimore in 2010. The Dubbo Water Supply Scheme was extended to Eumungerie and Mogriguy in 2014.  


Address:5 Gundong Street, Wongarbon, 2831
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -32.334221
Long: 148.760132
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Structure
Monument Theme:Government
Actual Event Start Date:24-June-2000
Actual Event End Date:24-June-2000


Front Inscription

                   June 2000
     Annis And George Bills
            Water Trough
This historic water trough was originally installed in Macquarie Street, Dubbo in the early part of the 20th century.  It was refurbished and moved to this site to commemorate the completion of the Wongarbon Water Supply in June 2000.

George Bills arrived in Sydney with his family in 1871.  His love of animals was instilled in him from his father, a naturalist.  George and his brothers, Richard & Henry, commenced a business of legally exporting birds.  This led to the manufacture of bird cages, later wire mats and finally a patent on machinery to weave the wire for inner spring mattresses.  This activity created his fortune.  The factory was established in Kent Street, Sydney and operated until 1963 producing "Lethe" and later "BBB" brand mattresses. Annis and George traveled the world donating water troughs for the benefit of animals.  There were 110 installed throughout Britain and approximately 50 more in other parts of the world.  Many thousands were erected in Australia, including some in central Australia for use by camels.

Many were simple and others more elaborate, having a subsidiary trough on one end to provide water for smaller animals.  Occasionally, there was a tap with pannikin attached by a chain, for the use of drovers and swaggies. In city areas many commodities such as milk, bread, meat and ice were delivered by horse and cart, so there troughs also found a place in suburbia.  With the gradual disappearance of horse drawn vehicles, the need for troughs diminished.

Annis died on 30 March 1910 during a visit to Brighton, England, leaving her estate to her husband.  George died on 14 December 1927 in Hawthorn, Victoria.  His will left his estate to benefit the welfare of animals.  The trust continued to be used for animal welfare until the bequest expired in 1981.

This historic water trough was officially unveiled by
Councillor the Honourable Gerry Peacocke 
             Mayor of Dubbo
24 June 2000
to commemorate the commissioning of the Wongarbon Water Supply Scheme, a joint project by the NSW Department of Land and Water Conservation  and Dubbo City Council
Source: MA

Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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