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Waratah is a town in western Tasmania adjacent to Savage River National Park. It was constructed to support a tin mine at Mount Bischoff. The town is built at the top of a waterfall, and water was diverted from the stream to provide water for mine sluicing and processing. At the, Waratah had a population of 227. It was also the first town in Australia to have electric street lights in 1886.HistoryTin was discovered at Mount Bischoff by James "Philosopher" Smith in 1871. The mine operated successfully at first. The easy ore was all extracted by 1893 when sluicing was discontinued. Mining continued opencut on the face of the mountain, and underground. The underground mine closed in 1914, but surface mining continued for some time before it also ceased after the price of tin slumped in 1929. The mine was reopened by the Commonwealth Government in 1942 to support the war effort, but it finally closed in 1947. It was the mine that produced power for 400 incandescent streetlights in 1886. Mount Bischoff Post Office opened on 1 September 1874 and was renamed Waratah in 1882.PoliticsAt the Australian federal election, 2007, the polling place at Waratah Primary School registered a total of 148 votes. 72 votes (49.32%) were cast for the Labor candidate Sid Sidebottom, 54 votes (36.99%) were cast for the Liberal candidate Mark Baker and 17 votes (11.64%) were cast for Greens candidate Paul O'Halloran.Explore the family-friendly attractions of Waratah and add them to your vacation plans using our Australia tour itinerary planner.
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