Shire of Murray

About the area

Key Statistics


The Shire of Murray is located in the Peel Region of Western Australia, about 80 kilometres south of the Perth CBD. The Shire of Murray is bounded by the City of Rockingham and Serpentine Jarrahdale Shire in the north, the Shire of Wandering and the Shire of Boddington in the east, the Shire of Waroona in the south, and Harvey Estuary, Peel Inlet and the City of Mandurah in the west.

Included Areas

The Shire of Murray includes the localities of Banksiadale, Barragup, Birchmont, Blythewood, Coolup, Dwellingup, Etmilyn, Fairbridge, Furnissdale, Holyoake, Inglehope, Keralup (part), Keysbrook (part), Marrinup, Meelon, Myara, Nambeelup, Nirimba, North Dandalup, North Yunderup, Oakley, Pinjarra, Point Grey, Ravenswood, Solus, South Yunderup, Stake Hill, Teesdale, West Coolup, West Pinjarra and Whittaker.

Land Use

The Shire of Murray is predominantly rural, with rural-residential areas in the main township of Pinjarra, the small townships of Dwellingup and North Dandalup, and numerous smaller settlements. Land is used predominantly for agriculture (mainly cattle, with some pigs and horses and orcharding), mining, forestry and conservation. The Shire encompasses a total land area of about 1,700 square kilometres.

Name Origin

The Shire of Murray is named after the Murray River, which was named after Sir George Murray, Secretary of State for the Colonies.

Indigenous Meaning

The original inhabitants of the Murray area were the Binjareb Aboriginal people.


Settlement of the area dates from 1834. Population was minimal until the 1850s. Land was used mainly for sheep and cattle grazing and crop growing, with farming particularly along the Murray River. The township of Pinjarra developed in the 1860s. Growth took place during the late 1800s, spurred by the opening of the railway line from Perth to Pinjarra in the 1890s and the timber industry. Gradual growth occurred during the early 1900s, with the population of the Shire rising from about 2,200 in 1911 to about 4,100 in 1933. From the post-war years the main industries became grazing, mining and equine activities. The population increased from the late 1960s, growing from about 3,300 in 1966 to about 5,300 in 1976, and then to 7,000 in 1986, with growth aided by the opening of the Alcoa alumina refinery near Pinjarra in the early 1970s. The population increased steadily from the mid 1980s, aided by proximity to Perth and the growing centre of Mandurah. The population rose from about 8,100 in 1991 to about 13,500 in 2011, spurred by the mining boom and the improved access brought about by the construction of the Kwinana Freeway and the Mandurah railway line. Population growth is expected to continue, particularly in Pinjarra, Ravenswood and South Yunderup.

Major Features

Major features of the Shire include Peel Inlet, Harvey Estuary, the Murray River, the Serpentine River, Lake Banksiadale, Peel Zoo, Hotham Valley Tourist Railway, Alcoa Discovery Centre, Alcoa Alumina Refinery, Huntly Bauxite Mine, WA Skydiving Academy (Pinjarra Dropzone), Fairbridge Village, Edenvale Heritage Precinct, Forest Heritage Centre, Murray Leisure Centre, Pinjarra Golf Club, Pinjarra Park Racecourse, Pinjarra Paceway, Murray District Hospital, Pinjarra Junction Shopping Centre, Austin Bay Nature Reserve, North Dandalup Dam, South Dandalup Dam, the Bibbulmun Track, the Munda Biddi Trail and several wineries.


The Shire of Murray is served by the Kwinana Freeway, the Forrest Highway, the South Western Highway and the Perth-Bunbury railway line.

Murray Shire Council

economic profile