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Kellerberrin reels under scourge of salt's attack

Ayris, C. (1989) Kellerberrin reels under scourge of salt's attack. The West Australian, 29 March 1989. pp. 40-41 [Publication] [Special Collections]


Newspaper article by Cyril Ayris.

A feature about the devastating effects of salinity seeping into to the township of Kellerberrin. The town is surrounded by cleared land which has been rendered useless by salt. In the town, buildings are beginning to show signs of salt damage.

The Kellerberrin church is breaking apart, with the sanctuary threatening to separate from the main building. Although the church is made of solid stone, the sanctuary was built over an underground stream with rising water and salt levels. The hospital, a relatively new building, has significant salt damage in the basement foundation due to the salt water rusting the iron support beams in the concrete.

Ray Gunn, a Kellerberrin farmer and underground water expert, explains the natural processes which kept water levels in balance and how these were disrupted by land clearing. The channels which used to take water away became clogged with salty silt and the ground became waterlogged where the sun evaporated the water leaving only the salt behind.

This article contains three photographs by Nic Ellis: Ray Gunn showing the cracked walls in the church sanctuary; Ray Gunn finding underground streams with a divining rod; and the exterior of St Joseph's Roman Catholic Church.

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This article is part of the WISALTS (Whittington Interceptor Sustainable Agriculture Land Treatment Society Incorporated) Collection.

Item Type: Special Collections
Collection: WISALTS Collection
Copyright: ©1989 The West Australian
Notes: 1 newspaper clipping
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