CBH Grain Silos (fmr), Bunbury


City of Bunbury

Place Number



The Strand / Ommanney St Bunbury

Location Details

Bunbury Outer Harbour nr Casuarina Dv

Other Name(s)

Co-operative Bulk Handling Silos

Local Government



South West

Construction Date

Constructed from 2007, Constructed from 1937

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
Heritage Agreement YES 01 Jul 2002 HCWebsite.Listing+ListingDocument
Heritage List Adopted 15 Apr 2003
State Register Registered 28 Jan 2021 HCWebsite.Listing+ListingDocument, HCWebsite.Listing+ListingDocument

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
Register of the National Estate Indicative Place
Classified by the National Trust Classified 10 Feb 2003
Municipal Inventory Adopted 31 Jul 1996 Exceptional Significance

Statement of Significance

CBH Wheat Silos (fmr) has cultural heritage significance for the following reasons: it is the first advance storage and mechanical bulk grain handling facility constructed in Western Australia; the slip-mould technique of construction was innovative at the time; a dominant structure on the city skyline, the place has strong landmark qualities and contributes to the community's sence of place; the place is representative of Western Australia's bulk grain handling facilities which contribute to the effective exportation of grain, an important facet in the State's economy; and, following the converson of the place to apartments and hotel, the silos received a heritage award from the Heritage Council of Western Australia.

Physical Description

CBH Wheat Silos (fmr) comprises four large cylindrical concrete grain storage silos constructed in 1937 and incorporated into a residential apartment and hotel development in 2007. The four silos are 35ft in diameter, 95ft high and 140ft long. The silo structure is built on reinforced concrete foundations supported by 24ft timber piles bearing onto the underlying basaltic rock. The elevator pit foundations which were adjacent to the southern cell were carried through to the underlying basaltic rock. All grain handling machinery has been removed although photographic recording was carried out prior to removal. The residential apartment and hotel development has incorporated apartments within the cylindrical silo structures with the hotel and other associated functions being located in new adjacent buildings of a rectangular form.


CBH Grain Silos were built in 1937 at a cost of £60,000 and were the first bulk grain handling facility in Western Australia. The silos were the second in the state to use the slip-mould construction technique which was revolutionary for the time. The silos were an important and vital addition to the Bunbury Port. The jetty, built in 1864, (B016.1) resulted in the first stage of growth in the Bunbury area. This was due to a shift from being a district of consumers to producers as the jetty and subsequent harbour developments allowed for the export of produce including grain, wool and timber to other ports in Australia and the world. Consequently, the jetty was extended 11 times between 1864 and 1957 to cope with the increase in shipping as well as to overcome a silting problem. In 1923 Bunbury Harbour was considered to be the principal port of the southern districts. The need for improvements in the bulk handling of grain had been discussed for many years. The Harbours and Rivers branch of the Public Works Department were responsible for the design and construction supervision of the silos. Mr J Stevenson Young was the engineer for the branch. The contract was given to A. T. Brine and Sons who had previously had contracts for the University of Western Australia and other large buildings in Perth. The tender was awarded on the 17 May 1937 and was set to be completed on the 15 December 1937. The building of the four concrete silos was completed over 20 days with work being done 24 hours a day. The silos were coated in white protective paint and had the capacity to hold 8,000 tons of grain. The building of the silos provided employment opportunities for the people of Bunbury who were still feeling the effects of the Great Depression. When the silos had been built machinery was installed which included rail wagon uploading facilities, conveyors, elevators, weighing and discharge equipment. The silos were capable of both bulk discharge into rail wagons for loading onto shipping and bagging facilities for countries that did not have bulk handling facilities. The bulk loading facilities impacted on the lumpers employment as they were no longer needed to handle individual bags of grain. The silos were officially opened by the Acting Premier and Minister for Lands, M. F. Troy, on 28 January 1938. Grain was railed to the silos from around the district, loaded onto wagons and transported to ship loading facilities on the jetty. At the opening Troy commented that ‘there were features connected with the scheme which were rather unique, arising from the fact that storage had to be provided about a mile from the point of discharge into ships.’ The silos were operated by the Bunbury Harbour Board until 1953 when the license for operating them was given to Co-operative Bulk Handling (CBH). Bunbury’s bulk grain facilities were expanded in 1962 with the addition of eight grain silos, which amounted to an extra 18,000 tonnes, being built alongside the original ones. The original silos were referred to as the “white silos” and the new ones as the “grey silos” as they had been left uncoated. In 1969 construction of a new inner harbour commenced. This included improved facilities for bulk handling of woodchips and alumina, which were now being exported through Bunbury. The “white silos” stopped operating in 1985 and by 1991 Bunbury was no longer exporting grain. All of the silos were set for demolition in 1991 but due to public outcry the original silos were retained and the “grey silos” were imploded. There was some debate amongst the public as to what the future use of the silos would be. One proposal from the government was that the silos would form the nucleus of a new $4 million regional museum. Another was that they would be turned into luxury accommodation. The latter option was adopted and the Bunbury City Council gave approval to Kareelya Property Group to develop the area into a mixed-use site combining a resort hotel, conference facilities, residential options including penthouses and apartments, retail outlets, restaurants and an office complex centred around a lively market square. Eventually, the silos were converted into accommodation. Overman and Zuideveld were the Architects for the project. This history is partly based on the Documentary Evidence in Heritage Council of Western Australia, ‘Register of Heritage Places: CBH Silos, Bunbury’, which in turn was based on GB Hill & Partners, 'Bunbury White (Grain) Silos: Assessment', for the Heritage Council of Western Australia, August 1994.


The four silos remain intact although considerable alteration has occurred in the conversion of the place to residential apartments and hotel accommodation.


Condition assessed as good (from streetscape survey only)


Name Type Year From Year To
Overman and Zuideveld Architects (2007 conversion) Architect - -

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
6342 Bunbury Harbour City - Marlston Hill development - proposed changes to environmental conditions : report and recommendations of the Environmental Protection Authority. Report 1995
11415 CBH Grain Transfer Elgee Road, Midland Archival Record 2016
5466 CBH Silos Bunbury, Western Australia : interpretation plan. Heritage Study {Other} 2002
2400 Industrial heritage schools competition 1990. Report 1990
873 Bunbury white (grain ) silos : assessment. Heritage Study {Other} 1994
6341 Bunbury Harbour City development : Report and recommendations of the Environmental Protection Authority. Report 1992
5465 CBH Silos, Bunbury, Western Australia : conservation plan. Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 2002

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Present Use FARMING\PASTORAL Silo or Grain Shed
Original Use FARMING\PASTORAL Silo or Grain Shed

Architectural Styles

Other Style

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Roof METAL Corrugated Iron
Wall CONCRETE Reinforced Concrete

Historic Themes

General Specific
OCCUPATIONS Rural industry & market gardening
TRANSPORT & COMMUNICATIONS Rail & light rail transport

Creation Date

27 May 1991

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

03 Sep 2020


This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.