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Katanning
Western Australia
Austral Terrace, Katanning, 2018 (03).jpg
Austral Terrace, Katanning, 2018
Population 3,687 (2016 census)
Established 1898
Postcode(s) 6317
Elevation 311 m (1,020 ft)
Location
LGA(s) Shire of Katanning
State electorate(s) Roe
Federal Division(s) O'Connor
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
22.1 °C
72 °F
9.3 °C
49 °F
478.9 mm
18.9 in
King George Hostel, Katanning, 2018 (01)
King George Hostel, Katanning, 2018
Katanning Post Office, 2018 (01)
Katanning Post Office, 2018

Katanning is a town located 277 kilometres (172 mi) south-east of Perth, Western Australia on the Great Southern Highway. At the 2016 census, Katanning had a population of 3,687.

History

The meaning of Katanning is unknown but it is thought to be a local aboriginal word that is 'Kart-annin' that literally means "meeting place of the heads of tribes", 'Kartanup' that means "clear pool of sweet water", or 'Katanning', which means "spiders on your back". Others suggest that the place is named after a local aboriginal woman.

The first Europeans to explore the Katanning area were Governor James Stirling and Surveyor General John Septimus Roe who travelled through the area in 1835 en route from Perth to Albany.

In about 1870, sandalwood cutters moved into the area but they did not settle. It was not until the arrival of the Great Southern Railway from Perth to Albany in 1889 that the township came into existence.

The townsite was initially developed by the same company that built the railway, the Western Australian Land Company. The state government purchased the railway and the townsite in 1896 and later formally gazetted the town in 1898, when the population of the town was 226, 107 males and 119 females.

Katanning remains an important centre on the Great Southern Railway to Albany.

A roller flour mill, later known as the Premier Flour Mill, was constructed close to the centre of the town in 1891 by brothers, Frederick Henry Piesse and Charles Austin Piesse; this in turn encouraged the local farmers to grow wheat which was at the heart of the town's early economic success. The mill is now a museum.

An earthquake with its epicenter just south of Katanning occurred at 8:00 am 10 October 2007. It measured 4.8 on the Richter scale, and was rated as the strongest earthquake in the region for four decades.

Climate

Climate data for Katanning
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 43.8
(110.8)
44.6
(112.3)
41.7
(107.1)
36.1
(97)
32.3
(90.1)
24.1
(75.4)
22.2
(72)
25.9
(78.6)
31.3
(88.3)
37.8
(100)
41.0
(105.8)
43.3
(109.9)
44.6
(112.3)
Average high °C (°F) 30.0
(86)
29.7
(85.5)
27.3
(81.1)
23.5
(74.3)
19.4
(66.9)
16.0
(60.8)
14.8
(58.6)
15.4
(59.7)
17.4
(63.3)
21.7
(71.1)
26.1
(79)
28.6
(83.5)
22.5
(72.5)
Average low °C (°F) 13.7
(56.7)
14.1
(57.4)
12.9
(55.2)
11.1
(52)
8.9
(48)
6.8
(44.2)
5.9
(42.6)
6.0
(42.8)
6.1
(43)
7.3
(45.1)
10.0
(50)
11.7
(53.1)
9.5
(49.1)
Record low °C (°F) 5.0
(41)
5.0
(41)
1.5
(34.7)
1.4
(34.5)
-1.1
(30)
-3.0
(26.6)
-2.0
(28.4)
-2.2
(28)
-2.0
(28.4)
-0.6
(30.9)
0.0
(32)
2.7
(36.9)
-3.0
(26.6)
Precipitation mm (inches) 26.5
(1.043)
6.0
(0.236)
17.1
(0.673)
30.6
(1.205)
49.6
(1.953)
57.9
(2.28)
64.7
(2.547)
59.9
(2.358)
56.8
(2.236)
30.4
(1.197)
25.4
(1)
26.2
(1.031)
442.8
(17.433)
Humidity 31 31 35 43 51 60 65 64 58 46 33 29 46
Avg. precipitation days 4.2 2.6 4.9 7.2 12.1 16.2 19.9 19.5 17.4 9.3 6.8 4.5 124.6

Features

A statue of Frederick Henry Piesse (by sculptor Pietro Porcelli) was erected in 1916 and stands beside the railway line in Austral Terrace. The Piesse family constructed a regal mansion which was named "Kobeelya" and after being used for many years as a girls' boarding school, is now a conference centre managed by the local Baptist church.

Katanning features a unique playground of oversized structures named the "All Ages Playground". The town has many other attractions, including a state of the art recreation, leisure and function centre.

Katanning has a relatively large Muslim population, of about 350 people, and consequently has a mosque. The vast majority of local Muslims originated in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and travelled to Katanning to work in the local abattoir, which was established in the late 1970s.

Other religious buildings include churches from Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran, Seventh Day Adventist, Uniting, and Wesleyan denominations, along with a Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall.

The town also has a castle-like structure which was built as a winery. The town's entrance features an antique truck loaded with imitation wool bales, a windmill, and several sculptures of sheep made from corrugated iron.

The town has become a regional service centre for the Great Southern and services the nearby towns of Broomehill, Tambellup and Woodanilling plus several more.

Transport

Katanning railway station has an elevation of 1,024 feet (312 m) above sea level and a rail distance of 225 miles (362 km) from Perth.

Notable residents

  • Kevin O'Halloran, gold medallist in the 4 × 200 m freestyle relay at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne was born and raised in nearby Kojonup, and the pool is named after him.
  • Percy Gratwick, posthumous Victoria Cross recipient in World War II was born in Katanning.
  • Angela Ryder, a Wilman Noongar woman
  • Mark Williams, Essendon footballer.
  • Lydia Williams, Football Goalkeeper for the Westfield Matildas, Australian Women's National Football Team.
  • Alan Quartermaine, WAFL Footballer for East Perth, Sandover Medallist 1972.

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