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3. Note as to Bombala—Eden Claims.

While it is no part of “The ‘Case’ for Bathurst” to argue deprecatingly the claims of other places, it seems to us remarkable that the Royal Commissioner has laid such slight stress on the all-important point that to properly utilise the Bombala (Southern Monaro) site a deep-water port will be necessary. To provide proper port facilities at Eden would involve an enormous expenditure which he does not take into account. Therefore it is not surprising he fails to take into account the enormous cost of FORTIFYING and DEFENDING the port of the Federal Capital, if Bombala be chosen! In the case of Bathurst, the main defence has been provided by Nature.

On the most important point of the value of coal in National defence, let the Royal Commissioner speak (page 10 of Report):—

“In the case of the Bombala-Eden site, the only one which gives promise of a port always accessible to considerable tonnage, the carriage of coal by sea from Newcastle or any Southern port to Eden, and thence by rail to the Monaro Tableland, would make the relative cost of land and sea carriage of coal to the Capital a very important question.”

So very important, we make bold to say, as to cause genuine surprise that the fatal obstacle it imposes to the selection of the Bombala-Eden site was not seen by the Commissioner.

Still in this connection we quote from the annexures to the Commissioner's Report (page 30):—

  “Sydney, 17th September, 1900.

“Dear Mr. Oliver,—

“In accordance with your request, we have reconsidered the matter of the Bombala site; and we are of opinion that if the Eden-Bombala railway were constructed, and deep-water port formed, the cost of building there would be about equal to the cost of building at either Millthorpe or Yass, viz., I.04, as compared with Bathurst and Goulburn, which, as before, were taken to represent Unity for the purpose of comparison.

  “We are, &c.,


  “W. L. VERNON, F.R.I.B.A.



“If the …. railway were constructed, and deep-water port formed”! That is to say, if Millions were spent for purposes, which as compared with Bathurst, are purely preliminary!! There is no occasion to build a railway to Bathurst: one is built; and Sydney is the natural deep-water port for the West. There is no occasion to build another for the Federal Capital, if it be placed in the West. There would be, if it were placed in the South. Yet the Commissioner omits reference to the necessity of this enormous expenditure when he decides for Bombala-Eden!