Old news from Armidale and New England

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Armidale; The Federal Capital?

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Monday 9 March 1903, The Sydney Morning Herald


ARMIDALE, Saturday

The Federal Capital Sites Commission took evidence yesterday and to-day.

Mr. William Drew (president of the league), who has lived in the district 45 years, said that the proposed site was the best obtainable, and it would be better to extend the area up to the population boundary of Armidale, which would considerably add to the territorial area already suggested of 85,000 acres. He considered that the trend of population was to Queensland, and that the State would shortly be divided into other States, when the federal city, if located at Armidale, would be in a most central position for all concerned. He thought the land within a 50-mile radius of Armidale would support a population of 50,000 people, and within 100 miles radius 100,000 people, as it would then embrace Tamworth, Manilla, Inverell, Tenterfield, and all the northern districts. Uralla would be the nearest railway station to the proposed site, which would then be six or eight miles distant. The water supply would be drawn from the Guyra River.

Dr. G. S. Samuleson said that he had come to Australia to find a health resort for himself, and after trying various districts in the State concluded that Armidale was the healthiest district in New South Wales. The climate was particularly suitable for persons suffering from pulmonary complaints, and Armidale was used as a sanatorium for people suffering from consumption, coming from various States in the Commonwealth. The death-rate among children was particularly low, and any epidemics had never assumed any serious proportions. Hydatid was prevalent in the northern end of Armidale district, but it could be located to one particular place. The proposed site would be quite free from hydatid. The water supply for Armidale came more or less from the same portion of the district. Still, he had not known a case of hydatid among local residents. Mr. A. E. Stopford, district forester, said that the timber supply was unlimited. The near forest contained 25,000 acres of best hardwood for building and suitable timber for cabinet-making. The forest would be 20 miles from the site.

Dr. G. Wigan said that all epidemics were brought to the district. He considered Armidale district the healthiest in the State. Snow fell in Armidale, but there had been no great fall since 1881, and it did not remain long on the ground. He was the first to discover by hydatid in the district, and located it in a certain spot which was not any way near either of the proposed sites. The locality referred to was 25 miles distant. It had nothing to do with the soil; it was found in the water.

Mr. Edmund Lonsdale, M.L.A., said that he had been 35 years in the district. He considered the site chosen by the Commission at Baldknobs the more suitable for the federal capital. It was more elevated and afforded better drainage facilities, the soil was superior, it was closer to Armidale, and would be more sheltered,

Written by macalba

May 23, 2010 at 8:07 pm

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