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No Tenterfield-Casino railway line

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Friday 23 November 1923, The Sydney Morning Herald


The report of tho Public Works Committee on the proposed railway from Tenterfield to Casino was tabled in the Legislative Assembly yesterday.

The committee was of the opinion that the work should not be carried out. By a majority of five votes to two the committee also negatived a proposal that the Tabulam-Casino section of the proposed railway should be constructed with deviation towards Bonalbo. Those who voted in favour of the latter proposal were Messrs. Cameron and Drummond, and those who voted against were Messrs. Burke, Dick, Doe, Mahony, and Travers.

“The committee has considered the proposal before it,” continues the report, “in conjunction with one for the construction of a line from Guyra to Dorrigo, which, although referred to their consideration as an independent line, has been treated as an alternative. The country to be served for approximately 40 miles east of Tenterfield is not of a character to lend itself to such settlement or production as would justify railway construction at the enormous cost involved. There is no doubt, however, that the section of country extending from Tabulam to Casino, a length of 34 miles, comprises an exceedingly rich grazing and pastoral area which, with the advantages of railway construction, would be capable of great development. The pastoral portions of this district are fairly evenly distributed between the north and south sides of the route. The evidence indicates that within a limited area of Tabulam township – 15 miles along the Clarence River to the south, nine miles north, seven miles east, and eight miles west – are 145,000 acres (excluding Tabulam Station of 32,000 acres) which, with railway facilities for reaching Casino, could be cut up into 166 dairy farms, leaving approximately 57,000 acres for grazing purposes. From 20 to 25 miles north of Tabulam the country around the township of Bonalbo comprises, in addition to 30,000 acres of valuable timber/ 120,000 acres of land in the hands of 160 settlers – an average of 1140 acres per man, and it is estimated that with railway facilities at least 850 farmers could be settled thereon. The timber in this portion of the area is valuable and extensive, a rough estimate showing the existence of 5,000,000 feet of pine, 50,000,000 feet of commercial soft wood, and about 500,000,000 feet of hardwood. To the east the deviation passes through the northern portion of the Dyraaba Soldiers’ Settlement area.

“Whilst negativing the construction of the proposed line, the committee is of opinion, in view of the circumstances mentioned, that consideration should be given to the question of the construction of that portion of the line extending from Tabulam to Casino, or a point a few miles further north on the existing line to Kyogle, with a deviation via Bonalbo. Sufficient data as to cost, probabilities of traffic, etc., in connection with the section mentioned is not available to justify the committee in coming to any definite conclusion thereon.

“Reference has been made during the inquiry to the importance of the Tenterfield- Casino connection from the point of view of it affording an opportunity for the trade of the north and north-west being despatched over-sea via tho port of Byron Bay. The committee has given this matter careful consideration, and has to point out that no determination has been arrived at by the present or previous Governments to convert Byron Bay into a deep sea port. The evidence shows that the works necessary to be undertaken to bring about this object would cost approximately £767,000, and, even if the port wore so converted. It is extremely doubtful that the traffic would be in that direction. From Moree, the principal centre west of Inverell, the distance to Byron Bay, via Tenterfield and Casino, is 333 miles, as against 309 miles to Newcastle, with a well equipped port affording facilities for deep sea connection; and the natural supposition is that the trend of traffic would be by the shortest and consequently the cheapest route.”

Written by macalba

May 30, 2010 at 8:09 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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One Response

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  1. I will do a companion post on this one, Gordon. I have material on it in Drummond’s biography.

    Jim Belshaw

    June 2, 2010 at 11:43 am

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