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Pinjarra
Western Australia
Pinjarra 001.jpg
Pinjarra
Population 4,910 (2016 census)
Postcode(s) 6208
Elevation 9.58 m (31 ft)
Location
LGA(s) Shire of Murray
State electorate(s) Murray-Wellington
Federal Division(s) Canning
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
19.2 °C
67 °F
11.8 °C
53 °F
941.4 mm
37.1 in

Pinjarra is a town in the Peel region of Western Australia along the South Western Highway, 82 kilometres (51 mi) from the state capital, Perth and 21 kilometres (13 mi) south-east of the coastal city of Mandurah. Its local government area is the Shire of Murray. At the 2016 census, Pinjarra had a population of 4910.

Pinjarra is an area rich in history, and is the home town of a former State Premier - Sir Ross McLarty.

History

The name was often shown spelt "Pinjarrup" on early maps, while the accepted spelling for many years was "Pinjarrah". There are conflicting theories regarding the meaning of the name, and it is usually said to mean "place of a swamp", as a corruption of the Aboriginal word "beenjarrup". However, Pinjarra is more likely to have been named after the Pindjarup people who frequented the area.

One of the first settlers in the area was Thomas Peel, who established a settlement at the mouth of the Murray River in 1830. In 1831, land was reserved for a townsite near a ford over the river. By 1834, word had spread about the rich loamy soils and pastures, bringing more Europeans to the area. Surveys were carried out in 1836 and land allocated to settlers in 1837.

By early 1898 the population of the town was 400, 300 males and 100 females.

A British child migration scheme run by Kingsley Fairbridge established a farm school in the area in the early 1900s. Hundreds of orphaned children were educated at Fairbridge Farm between 1913 and 1981. Fairbridge Chapel was built at Pinjarra, in 1924 to Herbert Baker's design.

The author Kenneth (Seaforth) McKenzie grew up in Pinjarra, and parts of his experiences as a child living near the Murray River are found in his first novel The Young Desire It.

In 1974, an alumina refinery was established by Alcoa Australia Ltd, causing a boost in the population of Pinjarra and nearby Mandurah. Pinjarra is also the site of the world’s largest bauxite mine.

2016 Bushfire Safety

On January 6, 2016, lightning caused a bushfire in Yarloop, Western Australia and Waroona, Western Australia Pinjarra.

Future

Because of its close proximity to Mandurah, Australia's fastest-growing city, Pinjarra's population is likely to increase significantly through new subdivisions surrounding the original townsite. There is a newly opened shopping centre, complete with a Coles Supermarket and a Subway restaurant. Peel Zoo, known for its bird wildlife, is situated near Pinjarra.

Transport

Pinjarra station is located on the South Western Railway and served by Transwa's twice daily Australind service from Perth to Bunbury. In September 2012 a Transperth bus service was inaugurated between Murray Hospital in southern Pinjarra and Mandurah railway station, via Mandurah Forum on Pinjarra Road, and Pinjarra town centre.

Pinjarra is also on the South Western Highway between Armadale and Bunbury, something which has both helped and hindered the town. Traffic through the town during holiday seasons has been known to stretch for kilometres north or south. As a result, there have been calls for the construction of a road bypass of the town.

Tourism

Pinjarra is the operating base for the Hotham Valley Tourist Railway.


Sport

Pinjarra is home to both Thoroughbred Horse Racing and Harness Racing at Pinjarra Park and Pinjarra Paceway, respectively, under the authority of Racing and Wagering Western Australia. The feature race events held at these venues are the Pinjarra Cups, held in April and March of each year at the respective venues. Pinjarra and the Peel Region is also one of the major centres for WA Racing, with a number of trainers and breeders established in the region.

Notable people

  • Sir Ross McLarty
  • John Butler
  • iOTA
  • Kamdyn McIntosh - AFL footballer
  • Harley Bennell
  • Peter Dawson
  • Sabrina Frederick

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