George St Reserve

George St Reserve started out as a sanitary depot. The community became increasingly unhappy about it.

Land for a sanitary depot at the site of what is now the George Street Reserve was vested in the South Perth Roads Board and the Town of Victoria Park in 1901.

Newspaper reports from the time show considerable discussion between the State Government, Victoria Park and South Perth with early expectations of an area that would “never become objectionable to anyone, as it contains something like 2,000 acres”. Colocation of the facilities by the two councils was considered economic and by 1903 South Perth had progressed with the specifications for its modern facility that “provided for the pans being cleansed with super-heated steam, instead of the present system of cleansing with cold water.”

This is the first recorded clearing of bushland in what is now the Jirdarup Bushland Precinct.

By 1932 the depot was taking 2,000 pans a week and in 1934 South Perth was considering its options to move the depot and appointed a committee to investigate its options.

From the mid-1930s and building up to a peak with the opening of Kent St High School in 1940, community outrage at the “disgusting” and “pestiferous” condition of the sanitary depot grew.

Newspapers and Hansard from the 1940s show considerable public anger about the sanitary depot with it being described variously as a “Foul Menace and “one of the most disgusting sights.”  Up to 10,000 pans of human waste now being collected by the night cart were reportedly dumped each week.

It was finally closed in the late 1940s. According to locals, it was an area avoided by children in the 1950s.

The area then remained covered in grass and weeds until 2010 when the Town of Victoria Park began a 10-year project to regenerate the bushland. Part of this regeneration included transplanting Balga and Zamia from nearby development sites.