21/06/2005 - 22:00

Coastal centre has prosperous past

21/06/2005 - 22:00


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Jurien Bay, like most major near-Perth coastal centres, has a French connection.

Coastal centre has prosperous past

Jurien Bay, like most major near-Perth coastal centres, has a French connection.

The coastline around Jurien was mapped by French maritime explorers Thomas Nicholas Baudin and Louis-Claude Desaules de Freycinet, with the latter taking soundings and surveying the bay, which he named after Charles Marie Jurien of France’s naval administration.

Mount Lesueur, east of the bay, was named after Charles Alexandre Lesueur, who was an artist aboard the ship, Le Geographe, and nearby Mount Peron was named after Le Geographe’s naturalist and botanist, Francois Peron.

The coast was later explored by Phillip Parker King, who led several surveys focusing upon the Western Australian coastline.

The first European settlement in the Jurien area emerged in the middle of the 19th century with Walter Padbury, an early successful Perth entrepreneur, who took up land near present-day Jurien.

Mr Padbury’s nephew, John Grigson, managed the property and was therefore the region’s European pioneer. The work of Mr Padbury and Mr Grigson was responsible for the area becoming the site of the colony’s early pastoral industry. In 1885 a jetty was built so wool and hides could be shipped out.

By the 1900s the waters off Jurien were being fished for snapper, dhufish and groper for the steadily growing post-gold rushes Perth market and this led to the establishment of a small fishing settlement near the jetty.

But it was to be a further 40 years before the first permanent dwellings were built at Jurien. Thereafter the township began emerging as a major cray fishing centre.

The site was surveyed in 1956 and officially named Jurien Bay that year.

In the 1960s the crayfish industry was further expanded, leading to the construction of new jetties, an airstrip and processing facilities.

The popularity of local crays, called the Western Rock Lobster, led to a multi-million dollar industry, with Jurien rapidly emerging as one of the industry’s major centres. Demand from Japanese and American consumers were crucial in this phase of Jurien’s growth.

Jurien’s marina – the only one between Perth and Geraldton – was completed in 1988.

Jurien’s success today depends on crayfishing and a growing tourist industry.

It is also the venue of a sizeable retirement community from Perth and former northern Wheatbelt residents.

And Dandaragan Shire is now headquartered in Jurien and incorporates Leeman, Cervantes and Green Head.


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