Deanmill is a historic timber town located in the South West region of Western Australia, near Manjimup. Its postcode is 6258.


After the was passed in December of that year, several State-operated businesses were established.[3] One of these was State Saw Mills, which commenced with purchasing the South-West Timber Hewers' Co-operative for £80,000.[4] Construction on the State's Number 1 sawmill, later called Deanmill, began in 1913, as did construction of the Number 2 and 3 mills at Big Brook, later called Pemberton.[4] The mills cost an estimated £138,000,[4] and were to provide timber railway sleepers for the Trans-Australian Railway.[3] Construction of the mills was delayed by heavy rainfall, and the railway sleepers were delivered late.[4] Other problems included shipping disputes and the Commonwealth government's price for sleepers.[4]

State Saw Mills created a township surrounding the Number 1 mill, called Deanmill after a construction engineer named A. Dean.[4] They followed accepted practice at the time of placing a timber mill in a valley with accommodation and other facilities close by.[4] Deanmill Primary School was built in 1914 by the Public Works Department in association with State Saw Mills.[5] The school initially consisted of a single classroom, administration building and shed, all constructed out of timber.[5]


Deanmill currently consists of the sawmill, mill houses, the Deanmill Workers' Club, the Deanmill Football Oval and part of the Deanmill Tramway and Heritage Trail.[2]

Premier Geoff Gallop visited Deanmill in December 2002 when the State government was compiling its Forest Management Plan, to start in 2004.[2] The Government entered into negotiations with Sotico to provide a guaranteed volume of jarrah sawlogs over 10 years, to maintain the timber industry in the area.[2] Sotico was a subsidiary of Wesfarmers, which sold the company in 2004.[6]

Several assessments have been made regarding the environmental impact of the sawmill and associated activities. A 2004 assessment by Wesfarmers showed arsenic contamination in and surrounding a drainage channel to Lefroy Brook.[6][7] The WA government accepted responsibility for the issue, as State Saw Mills used arsenic to treat timber in the 1920s.[7] Wesfarmers accepted responsibility for groundwater and soil contamination with creosote, and the clean-up cost was shared by Wesfarmers and the State government.[7]


1920s photo of the Number 1 sawmill.

The rural district which includes Deanmill had 405 residents as of the 2006 Census, 50.4% males and 49.6% females.[1] The median age of persons in Deanmill was 39 years old, and 90.9% of residents were Australian citizens.[1] The most common answers for occupation included labourers (27.4%), managers (18.4%), technicians and trades workers (12.4%), professionals (10.9%) and sales workers (9.5%), and the most common industries were log sawmilling and timber dressing (16.4%), school education (9.0%), growing of fruit and tree nuts (8.5%), farming of sheep, cattle and grain (4.0%) and State Government administration (3.5%).[1] The median weekly household income was $821, compared with the Australian average of $1,027.[1]

External links


  1. ^ a b c d e Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Deanmill (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 7 January 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d "Manjimup Landvision & Land Assessment". 19 December 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 September 2007. Retrieved 6 January 2008.
  3. ^ a b "Register of Heritage Places - Pemberton-Northcliffe Railway & Railway Station" (PDF). 7 September 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 September 2007. Retrieved 6 January 2008.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Register of Heritage Places - Pemberton Timber Mill Workers' Cottages Precinct" (PDF). 15 August 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 August 2007. Retrieved 6 January 2008.
  5. ^ a b "Register of Heritage Places - Deanmill Primary School". 29 August 2001. Archived from the original on 9 February 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2008.
  6. ^ a b "Wesfarmers Social Responsibility Report 2004". 2004. Archived from the original on 1 September 2007. Retrieved 6 January 2008.
  7. ^ a b c "Austasia Aquaculture FISHeNEWS, story from The West Australian" (PDF). 7 August 2004. Retrieved 6 January 2008.[permanent dead link]