Conquest of Ninety-Mile DesertPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Stephen Warren
The monument commemorates transformation of the Ninety-Mile Desert into the productive farmlands now known as Coonalpyn Downs and pays tribute to the agricultural scientists associated with the C.S.I.R.O., Waite Institute and Department of Agriculture for their research to achieve this. 


Address:Dukes Highway, Coombe, 5267
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.998231
Long: 140.264579
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Technology


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 22nd October, 1986
Front Inscription

Erected by the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science

To commemorate the conquest of Ninety - Mile Desert

Unveiled by His Excellency Lt-Gen Sir Donald Dunstan, KBE, CB, Governor of South Australia

22 October 1986

Right Side Inscription

Desert Conquest

The breakthrough which led to the transformation of the infertile wastelands of the Ninety-Mile Desert into the productive  farmlands now known as the Coonalpyn Downs was made possible by the field experiments of Dr. David Riceman of C.S.I.R.O. during the period 1944 - 1950.

These experiments, located on several properties in the Keith District, revealed the need for trace amounts of copper and  zinc, in addition to superphospate, for the successful growth and persistence of legume-based pastures, which paved the  way for the development of this huge area.  One of the properties involved was that of Mr. Jack Summers adjacent to this  marker.

Tribute is also paid to the many agricultural scientists associated with the C.S.I.R.O., Waite Institute and Department of Agriculture, whose research findings provided solutions to other problems encountered in the course of land development  undertaken by the A. M. P. Society, Hugh Robinson & Co, and individual farmers.

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