Type of entity
Legal Status Text
Authorized form of name
Other form(s) of name
Dates of existence
Statute No. 19 of 1896 established the Metropolitan Water Works Board, comprising four persons. Three were appointed by the Governor and the fourth was the Mayor of Perth, Chairman Edward Keane. The Colonial Government purchased the water scheme from a private company, The City of Perth Water Works Company, 1891-1896. It was the Board's duty to pay to the Colonial Treasurer 220,000 pounds for the scheme.
In August 1898 a Parliamentary Select Committee was established to investigate the Board's activities. The Committee recommended two months later that control of the water works should be in the hands of a Government Department, the Engineer-in-Chief on the City of Perth, but not the present Board. The Board's members resigned. A new Board was appointed by the Premier under the chairmanship of William Traylen.
An amendment to the Waterworks Act in 1899 gave the Board power to cut off water for non-payment of rates. Following further controversey over the discovery of structural faults in the Mt. Eliza Reservoir, a second Parliamentary Select Committee of Inquiry was established. This Committee reported in 1902 that the Board's control of water works should not continue.
In 1904 the James Ministry introduced and enacted the Metropolitan Water and Sewerage Act. This legislation combined the activities of the three existing water supply schemes for Perth, Fremantle and Claremont under one Board. The latter was also to be responsible for sewerage disposal in those areas. The legislation was not proclaimed however, until April 1909.
In the period following the demise of the Traylen Board, and until April 1909, the Minister of Works was responsible for water supply and sewerage. This control was exercised through an amendment to the 1896 Act (No. 31 of 1904) passed towards the end of 1904 session. Ministerial control meant that the Public Works Department carried out the Board's functions after October 1904. It's main achievement was the first stage completion, (1906 to 1912) of a metropolitan sewerage scheme. Until the proclamation of the 1904 Act, work on this scheme continued under the construction provisions of the Public Works Act 1902.
Functions, occupations and activities
Mandates/sources of authority
Metropolitan Water Works Amendment Act No. 31, 1904
Public Works Act 1902