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Cookernup, Western Australia facts for kids

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Cookernup
Western Australia
Population 299 (2006 census)
Established 1860s
Postcode(s) 6220
Location
  • 131 km (81 mi) from Perth
  • 13 km (8 mi) from Harvey
LGA(s) Shire of Harvey
State electorate(s) Murray-Wellington
Federal Division(s) Forrest

Cookernup is a town in the South West of Western Australia near the South Western Highway, between Waroona and Harvey.

History

In 1835 Stephen Henty and Thomas Peel were the first Europeans to visit the area, being guided through the reaches of the Harvey River by local Aboriginal people.

Cookernup's name derives from an Aboriginal name meaning "the place of the swamp hen" (cooki). The first settler, Joseph Logue, came to the area in 1852 with his extended family in search of good farming land, acquiring a 9,000 ha grant which he called Kookernup. He later settled on the north bank of a nearby brook, now called Logue Brook.

The area was important in the milling and transport of local timber, with a railway reserve being constructed for timber stacking. In the early 1890s, Cookernup had a much greater population than Harvey, and had a school and telegraph office several years earlier.

The population of the town was 59 (35 males and 24 females) in 1898.

Present day

Cookernup is a small agricultural town with services offered from nearby Harvey, and there have been applications for subdivision in the area. However, a 5 km buffer zone around the Alcoa Wagerup alumina refinery was doubled by the Health Department following the approval of a $1.5 billion expansion to the refinery. In August 2008, Alcoa had bought over 40 local properties. As of 2015, Alcoa's purchases made little to no impact to Cookernup, with the majority of properties being purchased in nearby Yarloop.

Cookernup has experienced steady growth in recent years, with several houses being built a year. Cookernup has a Fire Brigade, Town Hall, General Store, large exercise area and playground.

Nearby Logue Brook Dam (6 km to the east), set in jarrah forests on the western boundary of the Murray State Forests, has a number of camping, accommodation and recreational facilities, and offers bushwalking, horse-riding, waterskiing, canoeing and ropes courses.

Warawarrup (5 km to the south) is a small village and home to the Harvey Trotting Track. It was originally planned as a growth area, but the growth failed to eventuate.

Transport

The town serves as a stop on the South Western Railway Australind passenger train from Perth to Bunbury.

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