Narrow Neck Cutting

In 1985 the ‘Millicent Rotary Club’ setup a ‘Cairn’ at the Narrow Neck Cutting. The ‘Cairn’ marks this location as the place where the first drainage works were constructed in the Millicent district.

Started 1863

By July 1864 the original cutting at the “Narrow Neck” was completed on “Glens Run” to drain waters from the Cootel Swamp at Rendelsham westward to Lake Frome. The original cutting was 6 metres wide with a maximum depth of 3 metres and was completed at a cost of aprox $163.28.

Drainage Map

South East Drainage Map
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The South East of South Australia is a high rainfall area which is without natural drainage in the form of rivers or streams. Consequently, water ponded behind the serier of low sandy ridges which run parallel to the coastline.



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The Flooded Land

Flooding occurred on the fertile flats between the ranges and artificial drainage was necessary to remove this water and allow the land to be developed. Drainage has been constructed in stages from 1862 to the completion of major works in 1969.

This involved the removal of some 25,000,000 cubic metres of material which required a capital expenditure in excess of $19,000,000.


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Dimensions of the drainage channels vary from 0.5 metres to 100 metres in bottom width and depth of cut from a few centimetres to 20 metres. The total length of drains constructed by the Government is 1,450 kilometres and 755 bridges have been built together with 275 other structure, eg. weirs, inlet and outlet structure etc.

An area of 360,280 hectares has benefited from the drainage scheme which is administrated and maintained by the SOUTH EAST DRAINAGE BOARD from funds provided by the state Government.


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1867 expansion of Cutting

In August, 1867, 100 unemployed men from Adelaide were sent down to the drainage works and were transported across Lake Frome by boat to a jetty which was built near Narrow Neck. By the end of that year the cutting had been enlarged to 27.5 metres wide with a maximum depth of 4 metres. At that time, the present drain was constructed through the cutting having a top width of 20 metres, bottom width 12.2 metres and a depth of 2.1 metres.

Five kilometres of associated drains were completed at that stage and relieved 8,000 hectares of the Mount Muirhead flats which previously flooded every winter. Prior to construction, water ponded to a depth of 2.6 metres at the Narrow Neck, 1.7 metres average depth over the flat, and formed a sheet of water east to Mount Muirhead.


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Today

A total length of 170 kilometres of drains in the District Council of Millicent area now discharge through this cutting with benefits an area of 20,000 hectares.














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