professional historians australia (south australia)
Home > On this day > February > 8 February 1968 West Lakes

8 February 1968 West Lakes

 8 February 1968   West Lakes

On 8 February 1968 the Advertiser reported that the Premier, Don Dunstan, had indicated the proposed new Western Lakes project would be almost entirely residential and that a Bill seeking to ratify the agreement between the government and the developers would be put before parliament soon.

For years the problem of what to do with the swampy, mosquito infested area of the Old Port Reach had been talked about and put aside as too difficult. During World War II Premier Tom Playford suggested that the area should be reclaimed and used as a seaplane base and aerodrome, but the alternative site at West Beach was selected. In 1949 the Harbors Board included ideas for reclamation in its Greater Port Adelaide Plan, but this was far in the future, although by 1959 there was a tentative plan for a controlled tidal basin. By 1963 the plans had been modified with the scheme to be jointly developed by the Harbors Board and the Housing Trust, but in 1965 the government decided it could not afford it. 

In 1967 Premier Dunstan negotiated with a consortium of private developers and finally an agreement was reached with Development Finance Corporation to form West Lakes Limited to administer and develop the area. Work on the dredging of the lake and inlet from the sea began in 1970 and the lake was filled by October 1974; the first sales of sites were made in early 1971. Since that time West Lakes has become a most attractive suburb.

The Advertiser, 8 February 1968.

Susan Marsden, A History of Woodville, 1977, pp. 287-95.

Tags: West Lakes