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Photographs supplied by Chris Abbott

The monument commemorates the engineer, Charles Yelverton O`Connor (11 January 1843 – 10 March 1902) who was an Irish engineer who is best known for his work in Australia, especially the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme.

A succession of gold rushes in the Yilgarn region near Southern Cross in 1887, at Coolgardie in 1892, and at Kalgoorlie in 1893 caused a population explosion in the barren and dry desert centre of Western Australia, exemplified by towns like Cunderdin and Merredin. On 16 July 1896, John Forrest introduced to Western Australian Parliament a bill to authorise the raising of a loan of £2.5 million to construct the scheme: the pipeline would pump 23,000 cubic metres of water per day to the Goldfields from a dam on the Helena River near Mundaring Weir in Perth, pumped in eight successive stages through 560 kilometres of 760 millimetre pipe to the Mount Charlotte Reservoir in Kalgoorlie. The water is then reticulated to various mining centres in the Goldfields.

O'Connor was subjected to prolonged criticism by members of the press and also many members of the Western Australian Parliament over the scheme.  Forrest, always a supporter, had left Western Australian politics to become federal defence minister; defamatory attacks by the press had wounded him. O'Connor committed suicide less than a year before Forrest officially commissioned the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme.



Address:Weir Village Road, Mundaring Weir, O`Connor Lake Lookout, Mundaring, 6073
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -31.955572
Long: 116.165171
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - State


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 14th December, 1951
Front Inscription

C. Y. O`Connor

Plaque :

Mundaring Weir

Constructed 1898 - 1903 for supply of water to eastern goldfields

Premier.                            Sir John Forrest M. L. A.
Engineer in Chief.             C. Y. O`Connor C. M. G.  M. Inst. C. E.
Contruction Engineer.       W. G. Reynoldson
Resident Engineer.           W. Leslie M. I. Mech. E.

Raised 32 feet 1946 - 1951 for supply of water to agricultural areas

Premier.                              Hon. Ross McLarty M. L. A. 
Minister for Water Supply.  Hon. David Brand M. L. A. 
Director of Works.              R. J. DUmas C. M. G. M. E. M.Inst. C. E.
Hydraulic Engineer.            V. C. Munt M. E. M. I. E. Aust.
Construction Engineer.       D. C. Munro B. E. M. I. E. Aust.
Resident Engineer.             H. E. Hunt B. E. A. M. I. E. Aust.

December 14th 1951



Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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