Norseman, Western Australia

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Norseman
Western Australia
Norseman, Western Australia.jpg
Norseman townsite
Norseman is located in Western Australia
Norseman
Norseman
Coordinates 32°11′46″S 121°46′41″E / 32.19611°S 121.77806°E / -32.19611; 121.77806Coordinates: 32°11′46″S 121°46′41″E / 32.19611°S 121.77806°E / -32.19611; 121.77806
Population 857 (2006 Census)[1]
Postcode(s) 6443
Location
LGA(s) Shire of Dundas
State electorate(s) Eyre
Federal Division(s) O'Connor

Norseman is a town located in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia along the Coolgardie-Esperance Highway, 726 kilometres (451 mi) east of Perth and 278 metres (912 ft) above sea level. It is also the starting point of the Eyre Highway, and the last major town in Western Australia before the South Australian border 720 kilometres (447 mi) to the east. At the 2006 census, Norseman had a population of 857.[1]

History[edit]

The quest for gold led to the establishment of Norseman. Today there are a number of small goldmining operations in the area but only the Central Norseman Gold Corporation can be considered a major producer. Gold was first found in the Norseman area in 1892, about 10 km south of the town, near Dundas. The "Dundas Field" was proclaimed in August 1893 and a townsite gazetted there.

In August 1894, Lawrence Sinclair, his brother George Sinclair, and Jack Alsopp discovered a rich gold reef which Sinclair named after his horse, Hardy Norseman. The family originally came from the Shetland Isles in December 1863. Laurie's brother James was working in Esperance as the Post and Telegraphist Master. In January 1895 the mining warden asked the Government to declare a townsite for the 200 or so miners who had arrived. It was gazetted on 22 May. The Aboriginal name for the area is "Jimberlana".[2][3] A mining entrepreneur from Melbourne Mr Ernest McCaughan led a party of 13 by Steamship from Melbourne to Esperance to walk inland and discover the central part of the Gold Field. He later went on to develop substantial mining interests in Western Australia and Tasmania.

Norseman initially struggled to develop because of the established town of Dundas; but, between 1895 and 1901, a post office, banks, doctor, courthouse, stores and churches were established and, in 1899 Cobb & Co, mail coaches started delivering mail to Norseman. In 1935, Western Mining Corporation came to Norseman and invested significantly in its infrastructure, resulting in new bitumen roads, electricity and an extension of the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme to the town.[4]

The population of the town was 418 (262 males and 156 females) in 1898.[5]

Once it was the second-richest goldfield in Western Australia, next to the Golden Mile of Kalgoorlie. It is claimed that since 1892, over 100 tonnes of gold have been extracted from the area. The Norseman Gold Mine is Australia’s longest continuously running gold mining operation.[6] As of 2006, it had been in operation for more than 65 years, producing in excess of 5.5 million ounces of gold in that time.[7]

Present day[edit]

Modern Norseman is a small, sprawling town driven by mining and tourism and dominated by a huge tailings dump.

Norseman is located 724 km east of Perth via Great Eastern Highway and Coolgardie-Esperance Highway, and has a population of about 1,000. It contains a district high school (opened 1894), an ANZ bank, shopping facilities, accommodation (hotel, motel, caravan park), district hospital, council offices and a telecentre are located within the town. Being at the start of the Eyre Highway, three fuel outlets are available.

Geography[edit]

Climate[edit]

Norseman experiences a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSh).

Climate data for Norseman, Western Australia (1897-2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 46.0
(114.8)
44.9
(112.8)
43.8
(110.8)
37.0
(98.6)
33.3
(91.9)
27.8
(82)
27.7
(81.9)
32.5
(90.5)
35.6
(96.1)
40.0
(104)
41.1
(106)
44.9
(112.8)
46.0
(114.8)
Average high °C (°F) 32.5
(90.5)
31.3
(88.3)
28.8
(83.8)
24.5
(76.1)
20.4
(68.7)
17.4
(63.3)
16.8
(62.2)
18.4
(65.1)
21.6
(70.9)
24.9
(76.8)
28.0
(82.4)
30.7
(87.3)
24.6
(76.3)
Average low °C (°F) 15.8
(60.4)
15.9
(60.6)
14.5
(58.1)
11.6
(52.9)
8.5
(47.3)
6.3
(43.3)
5.2
(41.4)
5.4
(41.7)
7.4
(45.3)
9.7
(49.5)
12.2
(54)
14.0
(57.2)
10.5
(50.9)
Record low °C (°F) 6.0
(42.8)
6.3
(43.3)
3.3
(37.9)
0.6
(33.1)
−2.3
(27.9)
−4.6
(23.7)
−3.1
(26.4)
−2.2
(28)
−3.0
(26.6)
−0.7
(30.7)
2.2
(36)
3.6
(38.5)
−4.6
(23.7)
Precipitation mm (inches) 19.8
(0.78)
25.2
(0.992)
23.9
(0.941)
23.6
(0.929)
30.6
(1.205)
30.3
(1.193)
26.9
(1.059)
25.1
(0.988)
21.1
(0.831)
20.3
(0.799)
20.5
(0.807)
21.3
(0.839)
288.7
(11.366)
Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Norseman (L) (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 19 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Western Australian Land Information Authority. "History of country town names". Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  3. ^ Western Australian Government Gazette, file 301/95, 22 May 1895, p.735.
  4. ^ "Shire of Dundas - History". Retrieved 6 November 2006. 
  5. ^ "POPULATION OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA.". Western Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 - 1954) (Perth, WA: National Library of Australia). 22 April 1898. p. 23. Retrieved 28 May 2012. 
  6. ^ The Norseman Project Norseman Gold website, accessed: 30 December 2009
  7. ^ Norseman Gold annual report 2007 accessed: 30 December 2009
  8. ^ "Climate statistics for Norseman". Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 

External links[edit]