Newman sits on what was originally regarded as marginal cattle country, in the Opthalmia Range.
It was built in the 1960s by the Mount Newman Mining Company, following the discovery of rich iron deposits on nearby Mount Whaleback. The discovery marked the start of the resource boom in Western Australia in the 1970s.
The town takes its name from nearby Mount Newman, named in honour of A.W. Newman, an early surveyor/explorer who died of typhoid fever in 1896 just before reaching the area. This was the name of the town until 1981 when the ‘Mount’ was dropped.
Although it has a resident population of about 5000, a workforce of a further 4000 use Newman to ‘fly in/ fly out’.
© Kim Epton 2016-2019
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