This year marks the 125th anniversary of the discovery of gold at Kalgoorlie and as you would expect, our most important inland City, is making the most of it.
In 1893 Patrick “Paddy” Hannan, Tom Flanagan and Dan Shea were travelling to Mount Youle when one of their horses lost a shoe. When they halted to replace it, the men noticed gold and soon filed a claim, attracting thousands to what we now know as Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
Although we always associate Kalgoorlie with gold, there have been many other gold finds across the State, including Halls Creek (1885), Southern Cross (1887), Cue (1891) and Coolgardie (1892).
Each find caused a large influx of people and in the four years between 1891 and 1895, WA’s population doubled from just under 50,000 to over 100,000. Six years later, in 1901, it was 184,000 – a nearly four-fold increase in a decade, showing the enormous impact on Perth and the State.
And so today, the $90 billion of iron ore, gas and other minerals exported annually from the Pilbara has incredible benefits to our State, making our capital effectively a mining town, dependant on us in the Pilbara and other regional areas for its prosperity.
In honour of the Kalgoorlie anniversary, the Regional Capitals Alliance – WA, held its meeting in the town during the very week of the original discovery. RCA-WA comprises our State’s 10 most important regional centres, including Karratha, Hedland and Broome, and together we represent half the State’s regional population and the vast majority of its exports.
We are pleased the State Government has recognised the importance of this group and we are fortunate to have Ministers or senior public servants attend all our meetings so we can explain the issues relevant to the regions.