The story of the Goldfields Water Scheme was captured in the documentary Constructing Australia: Pipe Dreams (2007). It is a story of personal tragedy, corruption and political rivalry that almost divided Australia at the time of Federation.
Pipe Dreams recounts the construction of what was the longest water pipeline in the world at the time. The Perth to Coolgardie pipeline is still considered to be one of the great human-made achievements in our nation's history. Behind the epic story of this engineering marvel is the relationship between the two men who made the pipeline happen – WA Premier John Forrest and Chief Engineer Charles O'Connor.
Gold fever grips the West
After the discovery of gold in Coolgardie in 1892 the gold rush in Western Australia was on, with 4,000 prospectors moving to town by the end of the year, and 5,000 the following year. As seen in this clip (narrated by Wendy Hughes), WA Premier John Forrest seized on the gold rush as an opportunity to build up WA into a state to rival those in the east: