Salmon Gums, Western Australia

Infobox Australian Place
type = town
name = Salmon Gums
state = wa

caption = Salmon Gums railway siding in 1928
lga = Shire of Esperance
postcode = 6445
est = 1925
pop = 727 (2006 Census) [cite web|url=|title=Australian Bureau of Statistics - 2006 Census QuickStats: Salmon Gums (State Suburb)|year=2006|accessdate=2008-09-14]
elevation= 249
maxtemp = 23.3
mintemp = 9.0
rainfall = 349.4
stategov = Roe
fedgov = Kalgoorlie
dist1 = 817
dir1 = South East
location1= Perth
dist2 = 106
dir2 = North
location2= Esperance
dist3 =
dir3 =
location3= Norseman

Salmon Gums is a small town in Western Australia located 106 km north of Esperance on the Coolgardie-Esperance Highway. The name is derived from a prominent stretch of "Eucalyptus salmonophloia" (Salmon Gum) trees which formed a landmark in the town's early days.cite web|url= |title=History of country town names - S |publisher=Landgate, Government of Western Australia | accessdate=2007-01-17 ] The town is part of the Shire of Esperance [cite web|last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= | date= | url= | title=Shire of Esperance|format= |work= |pages= |publisher=Shire of Esperance | language= |accessdate=2006-07-15 ] .


The first potential use of a townsite was as a watering spot for the proposed Esperance to Norseman Railway, since Salmon Gums is roughly halfway between these two towns. Land for a town-site was set aside in 1912 and the name was recommended in 1916. The town was gazetted in 1925, when the Esperance to Salmon Gums section of the railway was completed.

Settlement of the area received a boost after the First World War when returning soldiers were given grants of landcite web|last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= | date= | url= |title=REGISTER OF HERITAGE PLACES - ASSESSMENT DOCUMENTATION |format= PDF |work= |pages=19 |publisher=Heritage Council of Western Australia | language= |accessdate=2006-07-14 ] in this and many other areas around the state. These grantees became known as "soldier settlers". At the time Salmon Gums was regarded as being on the fringe of arable land. The low soil fertility and marginal average rainfall of 341mm meant that yields were poor prior to the 1950s. As a result, the land was not in high demand, so the opportunity cost to the government was quite small.

Agricultural research was boosted prior to the Second World War by the establishment of the Salmon Gums Research Station. In 1949 a similar station, the Esperance Downs Research Station was established near Esperance. Research at the latter quickly led to the discovery that soil in the Esperance region was deficient in trace elements, reportedly phosphorus, copper and zinc, and the addition of these greatly improved fertility and crop yields [cite web|last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= | date= | url= |title=Esperance |format= |work= |pages= |publisher=Australian Heritage Magazine | language= |accessdate=2006-07-15 ] . Since then the region, including Salmon Gums, has become a successful producer of wheat, sheep and cattle.


In 2001 a Perth-based iron ore company announced an investigation into a large lignite deposit at Salmon Gums for use reducing its phosphorus-rich iron ore currently being mined at Koolyanobbing. [cite web
url = | title = Summary Announcement. Portman. Processing Options for High-Phosphorous (sic) Iron Ore | accessdate = 2006-12-05 | date = 2001-12-10 | publisher = [ Corporate File]


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