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Meckering  Western Australia

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On the Great Eastern Highway, which links Perth with Kalgoorlie, Meckering is a wheatbelt town in the lush Avon valley, about 133km from Perth and 24km west of Cunderdin. Meckering is another of many towns straddling the Goldfields Water Scheme pipeline that moves water all the way from near Perth out to Kalgoorlie, 563km away - the longest water pipeline in the world. The pipeline was the brainchild of WA’s chief engineer, Charles O’Connor, who designed it and oversaw its construction. And the strain of it all killed him. In March, 1902, a month before the first water was pumped into the pipeline, O’Connor shot and killed himself on Fremantle Beach. Once pumping began, it took the water eight days to reach Meckering and another 10 months before it finally reached Kalgoorlie. In 1968, this extremely resilient pipeline received a right buckling from a magnitude 6.8 earthquake which caused $2.2 million worth of damage in Meckering and injured 17 people. The ruins of Salisbury homestead, just outside of town, and sections of the faultline 12km south of Meckering and 3km west, are testament to the force of the 'quake.


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