Hon John Castrilli MLA

Hon John Castrilli MLA

Former Minister for Local Government; Heritage; Citizenship and Multicultural Interests

    Historic Kent Street Weir heritage-listed

    18/01/2013 12:00 AM
    • Listing commemorates how locals fought to prevent flooding

    Kent Street Weir’s contribution to the development of agricultural practices along the Canning River in the early 1900s has been recognised by its inclusion on the State Heritage Register.


    Heritage Minister John Castrilli said the area of Cannington where the weir is located originally contained market gardens watered from the river and supplied food to the region. 


    Salt water threatened to affect agricultural land upstream so local farmers built a sandbag barrier in 1911.


    “Residents wanted a more permanent structure to protect the freshwater flora and fauna in the river and began their quest for change,” Mr Castrilli said.


    “For more than 15 years, local farmers lobbied the Government with petitions and, during the process of discussions, physically placed sandbags across the river each year until the weir was completed in 1927.”


    The Minister said even after this period, volunteers positioned planks on the permanent weir during summer to prevent flooding when the water levels changed, reinforcing the barrier between the fresh and salt water environments.


    “Kent Street Weir irrigated extensive areas of potato crops, fruit trees and vineyards for the local market in the Gosnells and Canning districts,” he said.


    “In 1940, the weir was again rebuilt with concrete and timber, but by 1965 it was no longer required as the main source of irrigation for the area.


    “It became a swimming and fishing area in the 1960s, and today continues to provide a picturesque picnic spot within the Canning River Regional Park.”


              Fact File

    • Liberal National Government committed to providing advice and practical assistance to owners of heritage properties
    • Increased by 25% financial grants available for conservation of privately owned heritage buildings
    • This represents first increase program has received since its inception in 1996-97
    • Will assist private owners to care for State heritage-listed places
    Minister’s office - 6552 6600