Kempsey, New South Wales
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New South Wales
|Population||10,374 (2011 census)|
|Elevation||2.3 m (8 ft)|
|Location||345 km (214 mi) from Sydney|
|Region||Mid North Coast|
|Parish||All Saints Catholic Parish|
Kempsey is a town in the Mid North Coast region of New South Wales, Australia and is the council seat for Kempsey Shire. It is located 15 kilometres inland from the coast of the Pacific Ocean, on the Macleay Valley Way near where the Pacific Highway and the North Coast railway line cross the Macleay River. It is roughly 345 kilometres north of Sydney.
Enoch William Rudder is credited with founding the settlement. He arrived from Birmingham in 1834 and bought land on the southern bank of the river in 1836, at what was then the limit of authorized settlement (the boundary of County Macquarie). He was initially attracted by red cedar cutting opportunities but planned also to profit by selling parts of his land. He had riverside blocks surveyed and established a private town, with the first blocks sold in November 1836. He called it Kempsey because the surrounding areas reminded him of the Kempsey Valley in Worcestershire. The collapse in red cedar prices in the early 1840s nearly led to the failure of the town.
The main (and most flood-prone) part of Kempsey was founded by John Verge, sub-dividing a grant on the flood-plain opposite Rudder's settlement. In 1854, a government town was surveyed at West Kempsey and government facilities moved there when it became clear that no town would form around the police station and courthouse at Belgrave Falls. Rudder's settlement was renamed East Kempsey.
Kempsey initially flourished as a centre for logging and sawmilling. Large reserves of Australian red cedar Toona australis, sold in Britain and the USA (as 'Indian mahogany') were extracted down until the 1920s, and with greater difficulty until the 1960s, by which time the resource was effectively exhausted. Dairying was the major industry in the area until the 1960s, with a Nestlé Milo factory at nearby Smithtown, and several cheese and butter factories.
|Climate data for Kempsey (Kempsey Wide Street, 1882–2013)|
|Record high °C (°F)||43.0
|Average high °C (°F)||29.2
|Average low °C (°F)||17.7
|Record low °C (°F)||8.3
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||133.1
|Average precipitation days||11.0||11.6||12.8||10.1||8.8||7.7||6.7||6.5||6.7||8.7||9.8||10.8||111.2|
|Average relative humidity (%)||60||62||62||60||58||56||53||49||53||55||59||59||57|
|Source: Bureau of Meteorology|
Geographically, Kempsey stretches out around a long loop of the Macleay River at the top of the flood-plain. It is famous for its floods. The 1949 flood was particularly destructive, having washed a large part of the town centre away when the railway viaduct which was acting as a dam-wall due to a build-up of debris against the railway bridge gave way. The area most affected by this flood is now the site of playing fields. The shire council has a policy of buying up land in areas designated as flood plains and many houses have been transported to higher ground in recent years. Other major floods occurred in 1949, 1950, 1963, 2001, 2009, 2013.
Despite a period of economic stagnation in past decades compared to nearby coastal centres of growth, Kempsey has a growing local economy based on tourism, farming and service industries. As a local centre it has many shops and services including three major supermarkets, a department store and fast food chain stores such as Subway.
A Coles supermarket development (known as the "Kempsey Central Shopping Centre") has been built and is situated where the Tattersalls Hotel and various small businesses were in Little Belgrave Street. This shopping centre opened on 6 December 2008.
Growing industries include wineries and nut production. Kempsey is a service centre for the nearby coastal resorts of South West Rocks, Arakoon, Hat Head, and Crescent Head, which are popular places for retirees and holiday-makers alike.
With two McDonald's, two Subway, one KFC, one Dominoes, one Eagle Boys, 5 individual fast food restaurants, 8 pubs and 7 liquor stores.
Government buildings such as the council chambers, library and several offices - are located west of the North Coast Railway line in West Kempsey. This area is not subject to the flooding that the CBD occasionally sees and is seen as a second business district with a variety of businesses and banking facilities. Opened in July 2004, the Mid North Coast Correctional Centre, a minimum to medium prison for 500 male and female inmates, is located in Aldavilla, approximately 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) west of Kempsey. There is plans to add extra housing for more inmates by 2020.
Until a new 14.5 kilometre bypass opened on 27 March 2013, the Pacific Highway passed through Kempsey. The former alignment is now known as the Macleay Valley Way. The new bypass included a 3.2 kilometre Macleay River Bridge, the longest bridge in Australia.
- Kempsey East Public School
- Kempsey South Public School
- Kempsey West Public School
- Kempsey Adventist School
- Bellimbopinni Public School
- Green Hill Public School
- St Joseph's Primary School
- Kempsey High School in West Kempsey largely servicing students living north of the Macleay.
- Melville High School in South Kempsey servicing students living south of the river and in the beachside communities.
- St Paul's College
- Kempsey Adventist School
- Macleay Vocational College
- Mid North Coast Correctional Centre provides education equivalent to high school level as a means of rehabilitation and reintegration
- Jolene Anderson, actress and It Takes Two Series 2 winner
- Greg Inglis, rugby league player
- Albert Kelly, rugby league player
- Thomas Keneally, novelist
- Richard James Allen, Australian poet, dancer, filmmaker
- Slim Dusty (David Gordon Kirkpatrick), singer
- Robin Klein, Australian author
- Amos Morris, singer
- Penelope Plummer, Miss World 1968
- Dennis Richardson, Officer of the Order of Australia, former Director-General of Security of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, and former Australian ambassador to the United States
- Amos Roberts, former rugby league player
- James Roberts, rugby league player
- Joe Robinson, guitarist and winner of Australia's Got Talent, Season 2
- Hector Thompson, boxer of the 1970s and '80s
- Aiden Tolman, rugby league player
- Amy Winters, Paralympic gold medallist
- Charles Louis Gabriel, Medical practitioner
- Henry Tasman Lovell, Psychologist and educator
- Joseph Donovan, Olympic boxer
- Jack Verge, Australian rugby union player
- Terry Giddy, Australian Paralympic athlete
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kempsey, New South Wales.|
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Kempsey (Urban Centre and Locality)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
- "Oxley Electoral District". New South Wales Electoral Commission. Retrieved 2008-03-17.
- "Cowper". Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 2006-11-21.
- "Kempsey". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- Valley of the Macleay, Marie H. Neil, 1972, ISBN 0-85587-037-0
- "Kempsey". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2004-02-08.
- "Kempsey Wide Street". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
- "Kempsey shire among NSW's poorest". Australian Broadcasting Commission. 3 July 2014.
- "Kempsey bypass open" ABC News 27 March 2013
- Kempsey bypass completed Roads & Maritime Services
- "Tom Keneally, interviewed by Peter Thompson". Talking Heads. ABC Television. 30 July 2007. Retrieved 2008-11-12.