Shire of Murchison

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Shire of Murchison
Western Australia
Murchison LGA WA.png
Location in Western Australia
Population 114 (2009)[1]
 • Density 0.002769/km2 (0.007171/sq mi)
Area 41,173 km2 (15,897.0 sq mi)
Mayor Simon Broad
Region Mid West
State electorate(s) North West
Federal Division(s) Durack
Website Shire of Murchison
LGAs around Shire of Murchison:
Upper Gascoyne Upper Gascoyne Meekatharra
Shark Bay Shire of Murchison Cue
Northampton Greater Geraldton Yalgoo
Gold in Quartz, from an old Murchison mine.

The Shire of Murchison is a large agricultural region in the central part of Western Australia, and is the only shire in Australia without a town.[2] At the 2006 Census, it was also the least populous local government area in Western Australia.[3]


The region is related to the catchment area of the Murchison River. It has extensive mining areas, some of which are active - with a large number of older abandoned workings. The region has large sheep stations and goat stations - also known as pastoral leases. The population of the shire is very scattered with only 200 inhabitants in the region.

This sparse population - and its consequent radio "quietness" - is one factor behind the Shire being selected as one of the two sites for the Square Kilometre Array - a proposed array of radio telescope receivers with a total collecting area of one square kilometre. It is already home to two other major radio telescope facilities: the Murchison Widefield Array and the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder.


In 1875, the Murchison Road Board was gazetted. On 1 July 1961, it became the Shire Council following changes to the Local Government Act.[4]

A residence for the Shire Clerk was built in 1966 approximately 200 km north of the town of Mullewa. This building included a shire office. In 1985 a roadhouse and new Shire offices which include a museum were built; this area was gazetted as the Murchison Settlement in 1988.[2]


The shire is represented by 7 councillors, and has been divided into two wards. The shire president is elected from among the councillors.

  • Darlot Ward (4 councillors)
  • Ballinyoo Ward (3 councillors)

Prior to 2005, there were 4 wards - Boolardy, Byro, Mileura and Yallalong.


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (30 March 2010). "Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2008–09". Retrieved 4 June 2010. 
  2. ^ a b SMH Travel (8 February 2004). "Murchison - a vast shire without a town". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2006-12-22. 
  3. ^ 3218.0 - Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2006-07 — 3218.0 Population Estimates by Statistical Local Area, 2001 to 2007. Australian Bureau of Statistics.
  4. ^ WA Electoral Commission, Municipality Boundary Amendments Register (release 2.0), 31 May 2003.

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Grunsky, E.C. (et al.) (October 1998). Report on laterite geochemistry in the CSIRO-AGE database for the southern Murchison region (Yalgoo, Kirkalocka, Perenjori, Ninghan sheets). Wembley, W.A.: CRC LEME. ISBN 0-642-28238-2.  (CSIRO Division of Exploration Geoscience report ; 2R).

Coordinates: 26°53′S 115°57′E / 26.883°S 115.950°E / -26.883; 115.950