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Power To The People: How a Flour Mill Powered a Town

How a Flour Mill Powered a Town

Katanning Flour Mills Power Station

If you've taken a walk down Clive St, or have been lucky enough to attend a function or see a show in the Power Station, you may have wondered how it came to be that a Flour Mill began to not only produce its own power, but to supply power to far beyond its own doors.

Starting with his private residence, Piesse embarked on an ambitious project to power the entire town of Katanning. Piesse saw the sale of power to the townsfolk as a lucrative business and had the WA Parliament pass the Katanning Electric Light And Power (Private) Act, 1904, granting them the ability to do so.

For Piesse, cracking the code of electric power distribution and supply from the Premier Mill was without doubt a catalyst for his spawning multiple new industries in the district.

If electric power was the beating heart for his various enterprises then it was the railways which were the arteries. The opening of the Great Southern Railway in 1886 changed forever the way people would travel and conduct commerce with the bush.

The Premier Mill still lies next to the main line that runs through Katanning. The old station is but a stone's throw from us too and with not too much imagination one can conjure up images of a platform bustling with people, luggage and the squeal of a station master's whistle piercing through clouds of steam.

Things are a little more quiet these days but there's still some life on the line. As guest of the Premier Mill Hotel you might be lucky enough to see, hear and even feel the soothing rumbling of a convoy of wagons carting wheat from the district to distant ports.