Local population dwindled to 341. Finding any work was difficult and many of the services had diminished.
On 1st January, 1901 Australia became an independent Nation.
Esperance at this time, with no prospect of a railway line being built, relied on the tourist trade from the Goldfields.
Rabbit Proof Fence
The construction the longest fence in the world, the No. 1 Rabbit proof fence, began. (It is now called the State Barrier Fence.) The No.1 Rabbit proof fence ran 1834 km from Starvation Bay, Bedford Boat Harbour, near Hopetoun on the south coast, to the end of what was then Ninety Mile Beach (now known as Eighty Mile Beach), in the North –West.
This project provided some employment opportunities and some of the Esperance residents left to work on the fence construction, taking their families with them.