Engineering Heritage National Marker - Goulburn WeirPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Sandra Brown

The Engineering Heritage National Marker recognises the national engineering achievement in the design and construction of the weir in the late 1880s as the primary element of an ambitious and successful national land irrigation scheme based on diverting water from the Goulburn River. The Landmark Insignia is incorporated into an information board which gives details on the weir. 

The Institution of Engineers Australia, through its Heritage Committees, established the Australian Historic Engineering Plaquing Program to acknowledge past engineering achievements and to draw public attention to the significant contributions they have made to society.The Plaquing Program is a means of bringing public recognition to significant historic engineering works and the engineers who created them. The Program is intended to contribute to the conservation of Australian engineering heritage.

The historic Goulburn Weir has achieved national level engineering recognition. The Institution of Engineers Australia recently accorded the weir and adjoining works with an Engineering Heritage National Marker under its heritage recognition program.

The 130-year-old weir, built on the Goulburn River about 8km north of Nagambie, is Australia’s oldest major irrigation structure.

Retired consulting engineer Miles Pierce submitted the nomination on behalf of Engineering Heritage Victoria with the help of Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW). “It recognises the national engineering achievement in the design and construction of the weir in the late 1880s as the primary element of an ambitious and successful national land irrigation scheme based on diverting water from the Goulburn River,” he said. “The original construction was completed in 1891 and related main channel works were progressively extended in the following years. The engineering heritage recognition also includes the major refurbishment of the structure in the 1980s under the management of the then Rural Water Commission.”

As part of the works, the main weir superstructure was replaced with nine steel radial gates mounted between concrete piers forming the new structure.

“The refurbishment works were carefully planned and executed to minimise impact on the heritage values of the original structure,” Mr Pierce said. “Two of the original vertical screw gates in the western part of the weir wall were rebuilt and their operating mechanisms, originally powered from water turbines, also retained so this section of the weir accurately reflected the original water control arrangement.”

GMW managing director Charmaine Quick said the Engineering Heritage recognition was further acknowledgement of the remarkable structure that opened up irrigation to Northern Victoria. “While the weir has undergone a few upgrades over its life, the purpose and importance of the structure has not changed. It is still the major diversion point on the Goulburn River that allows water to be directed all over the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District via the irrigation network,” she said.

Goulburn Weir joins about 75 other nationally recognised engineering works, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge; the Australian-built first generation electronic digital computer; 1872 Adelaide to Darwin overland telegraph line; electrification of Melbourne’s suburban railway network; and Dartmouth Dam - also managed by GMW.

The weir was also included on the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage Register of Historic Irrigation Structures in 2017 and the 1980s refurbishment project received an Engineering Heritage Excellence Award by the Victoria Division of Engineers Australia in 1988.

It continues to serve its original purpose, diverting an average of 1768GL per year to supply water and irrigate land in the northern and north-west parts of Victoria.
Goulburn-Murray Water, 1 September 2021. 


Address:Goulburn Weir Road, Weir Park, Goulburn Weir, 3608
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.718691
Long: 145.172056
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Technology


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:2021
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au