Shire of Murchison
|Shire of Murchison
Location in Western Australia
|Area||41,173 km² (15,897.0 sq mi)|
|State/territory electorate(s)||North West|
The Shire of Murchison is a large agricultural region in the central part of Western Australia, and is the only shire in Australia without a town. At the 2006 Census, it was also the least populous local government area in Western Australia.
The region is related to the catchment area of the Murchison River. It has extensive mining areas, some of which are active - with a large number of older abandoned workings. The region has large sheep stations and goat stations - also known as pastoral leases. The population of the shire is very scattered with only 200 inhabitants in the region.
This sparse population - and its consequent radio "quietness" - is one factor behind the Shire being selected as one of the two sites for the Square Kilometre Array - a proposed array of radio telescope receivers with a total collecting area of one square kilometre. It is already home to two other major radio telescope facilities: the Murchison Widefield Array and the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder.
In 1875, the Murchison Road Board was gazetted. On 1 July 1961, it became the Shire Council following changes to the Local Government Act.
A residence for the Shire Clerk was built in 1966 approximately 200 km north of the town of Mullewa. This building included a shire office. In 1985 a roadhouse and new Shire offices which include a museum were built; this area was gazetted as the Murchison Settlement in 1988.
The shire is represented by 7 councillors, and has been divided into two wards. The shire president is elected from among the councillors.
- Darlot Ward (4 councillors)
- Ballinyoo Ward (3 councillors)
Prior to 2005, there were 4 wards - Boolardy, Byro, Mileura and Yallalong.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (30 March 2010). "Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2008–09". Retrieved 4 June 2010.
- SMH Travel (8 February 2004). "Murchison - a vast shire without a town". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2006-12-22.
- 3218.0 - Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2006-07 — 3218.0 Population Estimates by Statistical Local Area, 2001 to 2007. Australian Bureau of Statistics.
- WA Electoral Commission, Municipality Boundary Amendments Register (release 2.0), 31 May 2003.
- Grunsky, E.C. (et al.) (October 1998). Report on laterite geochemistry in the CSIRO-AGE database for the southern Murchison region (Yalgoo, Kirkalocka, Perenjori, Ninghan sheets). Wembley, W.A.: CRC LEME. ISBN 0-642-28238-2. (CSIRO Division of Exploration Geoscience report ; 2R).