Ord River Irrigation AreaPrint Page Print this page

The plaques commemorate the Ord River Scheme and the official opening by Sir Robert Menzies in 1963.

Preliminary work on the Ord River Irrigation Area (ORIA) Project began when the WA Government established a small experimental farm in 1941. This farm was abandoned in 1945 and the Kimberley Research Station was established on Ivanhoe Plain, as a joint Commonwealth / State venture. By 1958 the WA Government was convinced of the viability of an irrigation scheme and the initial development was completed in 1963. The cost was around $20 million, of which the Commonwealth contributed $12 million.

By 1966, 31 farms irrigated from the Diversion Dam had been allocated. Construction of the Ord River Dam followed to provide the major storage reservoir called Lake Argyle at a cost of $22 million. This was officially opened in June 1972.

The Prime Minister, Sir Robert Menzies, will open the diversion dam at Kununurra, on the Ord Western Australia, today. Sir Robert will be accompanied by the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. McEwen; the Minister for National Development, Senator Sir William Spooner; the Minister for Territories, Mr. Hasluck, and the Minister for Civil Aviation, Senator Paltridge. The Kununurra Dam is the first completed stage of the Ord River irrigation project, which will eventually develop large areas of land in the north of Western Australia.
The Canberra Times, 19th July 1963.


Address:Victoria Highway, Entrance to Ord River Dam, Kununurra, 6743
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -15.790833
Long: 128.698056
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Technology


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 19th July, 1963
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au