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Old Bunbury Power Station - Site of


City of Bunbury

Place Number

There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.


Cnr Prinsep & Wittenoom Sts Bunbury

Location Details

Other Name(s)

Electric Light Building

Local Government



South West

Construction Date

Constructed from 1895, Constructed from 1903

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage List Adopted 15 Apr 2003

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Municipal Inventory Adopted 31 Jul 1996 Historic Site

Historic Site

Historic Site

Statement of Significance

The Original Bunbury Power Station was established by the Municipality of Bunbury to provide electricity for its citizens. Bunbury was the first town in Western Australia to abandon kerosene fuel and use electric light for street lamps, the electricity being generated by Bunbury Power Station. The Power Station represented the adoption and application of new technology, which was actively encouraged by the councillors of the day.

Physical Description



Electrical engineers, Splatt, Watt & Co commenced business in 1895 erecting electrical plants at Boulder, Northam, Midland Junction and Bunbury.

The Bunbury plant was completed under concession rights in November 1902. The plant was opened on 14 April 1903 by Mayor, Newton Moore. Mrs Moore had the honour of flicking the switch.

Revenue was estimated at £100 per month and Council had an option to purchase the plant after six months at a cost of £5090. The new power station banished the need for old kerosene street lighting.

The plant was powered by two Davey Paxman boilers, each of 35 horse power, two B F Sturtevant 30 kilowatt high speed generators, a three wire system switchboard, Crompton’s volt meters and ampere meters, and 15 miles of cable. All was housed in timber sheds.

Located at the corner of Prinsep and Wittenoom Streets (the site of the Military Barracks, and later the Bunbury-Boyanup locomotive sheds; now the Council Gardens), the plant was a prominent landmark as smoke rose thickly from a thin, black metal chimney. At strategic times during the day, a loud piercing whistle could be heard across town.

However, the noise from the plant soon proved too much for workers in the nearby Council offices, the Catholic chapel and convent and school. It was also close to many business houses. The plant and structure were disassembled and moved to the edge of the Estuary, beyond the railway yards. The steam plant operated until 1930 when Council decided to erect a completely new plant with crude oil as the motive power to run Rushton Hornby engines imported from England. The new station, complete with transmission lines, was completed at a cost of £18000.

The original power station site was later reclaimed by Council and, in 1936 was established as Centennial Gardens.




DEMOLISHEDNo visible remains.

Place Type

Historic Site


Epoch General Specific
Present Use VACANT\UNUSED Vacant\Unused
Original Use GOVERNMENTAL Power Station

Historic Themes

General Specific
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Community services & utilities

Creation Date

13 May 1997

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

24 Oct 2017


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