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Click on pic to see a small section of the contour channel in Roleystone. This section is just downhill of the cul de sac on Hawkstone Rd. To the left is n interesting section of the contour channel. To the right it has been filled in.

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The Canning Dam - Contour Channel

The Canning Contour Channel was built in the 1930s as part of a Depression Era Public Works scheme. An amazing construction the contour channel follows the side of the Canning Valley, draining slowly from the Canning Dam to the foothills of Gosnells. Constructed in cement channels with pipelines on occasion to carry it across tributory valleys the channel snakes it way through Roleystone and the Kelmscott hills. Another contour channel ran North from Canning Dam to allow Mundaring to be augmented by Canning water, but it is lost from sight being well within the water catchment area.

Heading downstream, the contour channel can be seen high on the left above Lady McNess Drive at times, at other times high above on the right-hand side of Croyden Road and in the area of Stoney Brook across to Kelmscott. It did cross under Canning Mills Rd in kelmscott, but recent work appears to have obscured the channel in that area.

It is an amazing construction and a tribute to the workers and engineers of the time. Most of the construction was carried out manually using unemployed men on relief work. Often work was only available for several days at a time to qualify for relief and the workers and their families suffered severe hardship and lived in primitive conditions in camps at Canning Dam, Araluen and Roleystone.

The channel supplied water to the metropolitan area for almost 25 years. A portion of it did collapse at Araluen in 1950 leaving Perth on severe water restrictions for several weeks.

The channel was replaced by a pipeline in the mid-60s.

As an aside, my Father worked as a chain man on a survey team in the 30s and he helped to survey the contour channel.

The contour channel is significant heritage artifact in Roleystone and action should be taken to ensure it is preserved. Parts of the channel are in bad condition, others have already been bulldozed in and fenced off.


 Hawkstone Rd - An old crossing over the channel, now rather filled in with rubble and earth

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