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Proposed railway from Walcha to Coast

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Friday 16 May 1919, The Sydney Morning Herald





WALCHA, Thursday.

The Minister for Lands, Mr. Ashford, arrived in Walcha this morning to travel over the route of the proposed railway from the main Northern line to the North Coast line at Kendall or Wauchope, the only part of this route that on the tableland is practicable for a motor car. Saddle and pack horses were ready on the eastern side of the range to take the Minister and party down through the rich brush land to the fertile plateau of the Comboyne and Bulga, and thence to the Camden Haven River. However, heavy rain fell east of the ranges, and made the journey down the gullies on the eastern slopes impossible, and the journey was, reluctantly confined to the tablelands where the Yarrowitch River begins to leave the tableland for the gorge which paves the mountain waters through to the Macleay. The Minister was accompanied by Mr. John Broughton, Surveyor-General, Mr. W. Pope, Chief Inspector of Forests, Mr. S. Hargrave, Apsley shire clerk, and Messrs. F. Fleming and Thos. Dunn, shire councillors. The route lay east across the tablelands, with well-grassed cattle and sheep runs on either side. Europambela, Waterloo, and Tiara stations were passed, and the party was entertained at luncheon by Mr. and Mrs. A. Hooke at Tia River station, and they had the opportunity of seeing how vegetables and flowers can be grown in this district, where severe frosts are the greatest drawback. From the Tia River homestead the, cars sped over undulating grass country east to the Yarrowitch Valley, in which the old Yarrowitch homestead, with its cluster of outbuildings and barns, is secluded in the dip towards the river, and the valley was traversed for eight miles. The Minister was much impressed by the rich nature of this red basaltic land, and it is good cattle country. It is also first-class agricultural land, and will grow potatoes, maize, rape, barley, and many other classes of produce. But he would be foolhardy indeed who set out to live on his agricultural products when the railway is over 40 miles away. Yet some of the selectors at Yarrowitch do grow small crops, and the Minister was shown a fine sample of hickory king for which 8/ a bushel was paid on the selection. A visit was paid to Mr. Alma Chandler’s selection, and a crop of rape used for fattening sheep was seen. Mr. Chandler, who has spent 40 years at Yarrowitch, gave the Minister a glowing account of the richness of the land, and advanced the claim that it equalled the best Dorrigo land. Just east of Yarrowitch is Wallaroo, from which can be seen the head waters of three coastal rivers, the Macleay, Hastings, and Manning. The proposed route leaves the Macleay watershed at Joyce’s Creek, and after crossing several ridges the route lies in the Hastings River watershed, bending south toward Nowendoc, then passing through Comboyne and Bulgo, where dairying is already well established, to the coastal lands near Kendall. The scheme is one for railway connection from coast to tableland, to open up a large area of Crown land for the settlement of returned soldiers.

Written by macalba

April 17, 2010 at 8:03 pm

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