Salmon Gums, Western Australia

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Salmon Gums
Western Australia
SalmonGums1928 WEFretwellCollection.jpg
Salmon Gums railway siding in 1928
Salmon Gums is located in Western Australia
Salmon Gums
Salmon Gums
Coordinates 32°59′S 121°39′E / 32.98°S 121.65°E / -32.98; 121.65Coordinates: 32°59′S 121°39′E / 32.98°S 121.65°E / -32.98; 121.65
Population 789 (2006 Census)[1]
Established 1925
Postcode(s) 6445
Elevation 249 m (817 ft)
Location
LGA(s) Shire of Esperance
State electorate(s) Eyre
Federal Division(s) O'Connor
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
23.3 °C
74 °F
9.0 °C
48 °F
349.4 mm
13.8 in

Salmon Gums is a small town in Western Australia located 106 km north of Esperance on the Coolgardie-Esperance Highway. The name is derived from a prominent stretch of Eucalyptus salmonophloia (Salmon Gum) trees which formed a landmark in the town's early days.[2] The town is part of the Shire of Esperance.[3] At the 2006 census, Salmon Gums had a population of 789.[1]

The surrounding areas produce wheat and other cereal crops. The town is a receival site for Cooperative Bulk Handling.[4]

History[edit]

The first potential use of a townsite was as a watering spot for the proposed Esperance to Norseman Railway,[2] since Salmon Gums is roughly halfway between these two towns. Land for a town-site was set aside in 1912 and the name was recommended in 1916. The town was gazetted in 1925, when the Esperance to Salmon Gums section of the railway was completed.[5]

Settlement of the area received a boost after the First World War when returning soldiers were given grants of land[6] in this and many other areas around the state. These grantees became known as soldier settlers. At the time Salmon Gums was regarded as being on the fringe of arable land. The low soil fertility and marginal average rainfall of 341mm meant that yields were poor prior to the 1950s. As a result, the land was not in high demand, so the opportunity cost to the government was quite small.

Agricultural research was boosted prior to the Second World War by the establishment of the Salmon Gums Research Station.[6] In 1949 a similar station, the Esperance Downs Research Station was established near Esperance. Research at the latter quickly led to the discovery that soil in the Esperance region was deficient in trace elements, reportedly phosphorus, copper and zinc, and the addition of these greatly improved fertility and crop yields.[7] Since then the region, including Salmon Gums, has become a successful producer of wheat, sheep and cattle.

Mining[edit]

In 2001 a Perth-based iron ore company announced an investigation into a large lignite deposit at Salmon Gums for use reducing its phosphorus-rich iron ore currently being mined at Koolyanobbing. As of 2009 all plans for the mining of the lignite has been suspended indefinitely due to the stock market collapse in early 2009. The sudden drop in oil prices would make the refinement of the oil suspended in the lignite financially unviable.[8]

Climate[edit]


Climate data for Salmon Gums (1932-2013)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 46.3
(115.3)
44.6
(112.3)
43.2
(109.8)
38.9
(102)
32.5
(90.5)
32.2
(90)
29.4
(84.9)
32.0
(89.6)
35.6
(96.1)
39.5
(103.1)
42.4
(108.3)
45.3
(113.5)
46.3
(115.3)
Average high °C (°F) 30.6
(87.1)
29.6
(85.3)
27.3
(81.1)
23.7
(74.7)
19.8
(67.6)
16.9
(62.4)
16.1
(61)
17.4
(63.3)
20.3
(68.5)
23.4
(74.1)
26.3
(79.3)
28.9
(84)
23.4
(74.1)
Average low °C (°F) 13.9
(57)
14.0
(57.2)
12.6
(54.7)
9.9
(49.8)
7.1
(44.8)
5.7
(42.3)
4.6
(40.3)
4.6
(40.3)
5.7
(42.3)
7.6
(45.7)
10.1
(50.2)
12.2
(54)
9.0
(48.2)
Record low °C (°F) 3.0
(37.4)
−1.0
(30.2)
−0.4
(31.3)
−1.6
(29.1)
−2.5
(27.5)
−5.7
(21.7)
−4.4
(24.1)
−6.1
(21)
−4.4
(24.1)
−2.8
(27)
−1.1
(30)
1.0
(33.8)
−6.1
(21)
Rainfall mm (inches) 26.7
(1.051)
23.2
(0.913)
26.3
(1.035)
27.1
(1.067)
34.1
(1.343)
38.3
(1.508)
36.9
(1.453)
33.0
(1.299)
31.7
(1.248)
27.2
(1.071)
26.2
(1.031)
20.1
(0.791)
350.8
(13.81)
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2mm) 4.4 4.3 5.2 7.1 9.4 11.0 12.3 11.8 9.8 7.7 6.0 4.6 93.6
Source: Bureau of Meteorology[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Salmon Gums (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 24 July 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Western Australian Land Information Authority. "History of country town names". Retrieved 8 February 2007. 
  3. ^ "Shire of Esperance". Shire of Esperance. Retrieved 15 July 2006. 
  4. ^ "CBH receival sites". 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  5. ^ Western Australian Government Gazette, file 5335/12, 4 February 1925, p.157.
  6. ^ a b "Register of Heritage places- Assessment Documentation" (PDF). Heritage Council of Western Australia. p. 19. Archived from the original on 21 August 2006. Retrieved 2006-07-14. 
  7. ^ "Esperance". Australian Heritage Magazine. Retrieved 15 July 2006. 
  8. ^ "Summary Announcement. Portman. Processing Options for High-Phosphorous (sic) Iron Ore". Corporate File. 10 December 2001. Retrieved 5 December 2006. 
  9. ^ "SALMON GUMS RES.STN.". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 3 May 2013.