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Section of the Number 2 rabbit-proof fence from Hill View Homestead, Meekatharra, WA

Object type
Fences

Object number
2000.0031.0001

Description
A length of wire fence with tension wires along the top edge and middle and lower sections, between two dried and cracked grey wooden fence posts. A length of barbed wire is strung between the posts and secured through a hole in the top of each post.

Collection name
Geoff and Sheila Lacy collection

Collection statement of significance
The Geoff and Sheila Lacy collection consists of a length of wire mesh fence stretched between two dried and cracked grey wooden fence posts, with plain fencing tension wires along the top edge and middle and lower sections. A length of barbed wire is strung between the posts and secured through a hole in the top of each post.

Forty years after their release in Victoria and South Australia in the late 1860s, European wild rabbits took advantage of good seasons to begin a relentless advance west across the Nullarbor Plain. Rabbits moved through South Australia at the rate of 110-130 kilometres a year. They entered Western Australia along the coast and north of the Nullarbor. Following a Royal Commission to “Enquire into the Rabbit Question” in February, 1901, the Western Australian government built a series of rabbit fences across the Australian continent from north to south. The advance of rabbits beyond the No. 1 fence-line, before its completion, necessitated the construction of the No 2 fence which was built roughly parallel with No 1 - 90–160km further west - starting from Point Anne on the South Coast through Cunderdin to Yalgoo , joining the No 1 at Meekatharra at Gum Creek. It was approximately 724 miles (1158 kilometres) long and completed in 1904. The section of No 2 fence in this collection is from the Lacy’s property “Hill View” near the junction of the No 1 and No 2 fences at Gum Creek corner (west of “Hill View” homestead). A third fence was completed in 1907. The combined length of the three fences was 2,023 miles (3237 kilometres), built at an average cost of £167/1/- (around $400) per mile. While the rabbit fences failed to exclude rabbits from Western Australia the structures are valued today for their role in keeping out dingoes, kangaroos and feral goats.

Maker
Government of Western Australia

Place made
Meekatharra, Western Australia, Australia

Date made
1903 - 1907

User
Government of Western Australia

Place used
Meekatharra, Western Australia, Australia
Hill View Homestead

Period of use
1907 - 1983

Materials
Metal - non specific, Wood

Dimensions
Length: 1800mm
Width: 4220mm



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