Wellesley, Western Australia

Last updated

Bunbury,  Western Australia
Postcode(s) 6233
Location26 km (16 mi) from Bunbury
LGA(s) Shire of Harvey
State electorate(s) Murray-Wellington
Federal Division(s) Forrest
Suburbs around Wellesley:
Binningup Benger
ParkfieldWellesley Brunswick Junction
Leschenault Australind

Coordinates: 33°12′58″S115°45′25″E / 33.216°S 115.757°E / -33.216; 115.757


Wellesley is a locality in the Bunbury region of Western Australia, about 10 km north-east of Australind. Its local government area is the Shire of Harvey. It is bordered on the south and east by the Brunswick River and the Wellesley River. The main feature of the locality is the Kemerton Industrial Park.

Kemerton Industrial Park

The estate was established in 1985 as a "strategic industrial area" to provide appropriate buffered land for heavy industry. It covers an area of 7543 ha, comprising an industrial core of 2100 ha, a support industry area of 300 ha, an inter-industry buffer of 175 ha and a buffer area of 5437 ha which includes bushland, wetland, protection zones and recreational areas. A rail link connecting with the Perth-Bunbury railway is proposed. [1] It is coordinated by the Department of Industry and Resources (WA), South West Development Commission and the Shire of Harvey.


Little is known of the area prior to 1980 - a report in 1988 noted [2] that (p. 9) "although mainly a rural area, a significant portion of the Kemerton site remains undeveloped", and there was "very little agricultural development other than the use of the land for seasonal grazing", possibly due to poor soils and inadequate drainage. The report noted a piggery and an abattoir, the latter of which is still in operation.

Proposed aluminium smelter

In 1980, Alcoa commenced investigations into potential sites for an aluminium smelter. Preliminary documentation given to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) indicated that three sites - Worsley Siding, Pinjarra and Kemerton - were preferred. Alcoa subsequently withdrew from the consortium. Shortly after the election of the Burke Labor government, which had in December 1983 launched the "Bunbury 2000" strategy to develop the area, a new consortium, Kukje-ICC Construction trading as International Aluminium Consortium, ruled out Pinjarra as a site. In December 1984, the State Government acquired 3700 hectares of private land at Kemerton to act as a buffer, as the EPA had recommended Kemerton over Worsley Siding due to "fewer uncertainties of ecological interactions, a much better knowledge of potential implications and lower environmental risks". [3] A detailed environmental impact assessment of a proposal by the consortium for a 230,000 tpa smelter was carried out in 1985, and Town Planning Scheme No.10 (Shire of Harvey) was amended to zone the land industrial, but the proposal was deferred indefinitely in 1987 for economic reasons.

Development of the Industrial Park

The rezoning and considerations led to other expressions of interest, and in 1988-1989, several other industries moved into the area and commenced operations, and a draft structure plan was submitted for State Government approval. A new consortium, led by Pennant/John Holland and Wardley Australia Ltd, proposed in February 1989 a single potline smelter with 20% less capacity than the 1985 proposal, but this did not proceed either. The Kemerton Steering Committee (later KIPCC) was formed in April 1989, and at around the same time, a trade magazine article claimed that Kemerton, with its integration of natural bushland, wetland and plantation forestry and an interpretative centre into the planning of the industrial park, "could well become a model for establishing industry as an acceptable land-user in sympathy with environmental values." [4]


Some of the industries at Kemerton include:

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  1. Department of Industry and Resources (24 November 2005). "Kemerton Industrial Park" . Retrieved 3 October 2006.
  2. Feilman Planning Consultants, Dames & Moore et al. Kemerton Industrial Park - Draft Report, November 1988. Accessed at Battye Library, Perth (Q333.77 KEM).
  3. Quoted in Dames & Moore Kemerton Aluminium Smelter = Public Environment Report, February 1989, pp1, 12-13 (for Kemerton Aluminium Limited). Accessed at Battye Library, Perth.
  4. "Bushland setting - buffer zone for heavy industry", Prospect, Autumn 1989, pp4-5.
  5. ACTED Consultants. "Titanium dioxide pigment" . Retrieved 3 October 2006.
  6. South West Development Commission. "Major Mineral Resources Projects". Archived from the original on 20 August 2006. Retrieved 3 October 2006.
  7. ACTED Consultants. "Silicon and silicon chemicals" . Retrieved 3 October 2006.
  8. Reed Business Information (13 June 2006). "All purpose power" . Retrieved 3 October 2006.