MORNINGTON AND SOUTH GIPPSLAND
By A. TRAVELLER
The Westernport Coal and Tramway Company, which has caused so much trouble to one Government and another since 1840, is situated at a place called Kilcunda, six miles from the Eastern Passage, and four miles from thee township of Bass. The coal has had many discoverers, if one is to believe all the people who button hole one, and impress upon you that they alone conferred such a benefit upon the colony. Passing over the time between 1842 and 1865 there was very little done, except the discovery by Mr Bury of a splendid seam of coal just on the surface. He was not at all niggardly of his discovery, for he invited one and all to inspect it, when it turned out to be a bullock-load of coal dropped by Mr Samuel Anderson in 1845 through the ? of his bullocks. In 1865, James Carew where shepherding Messrs Godfrey and ?ton's sheep, accidentally discovered the now called the above name. Alter his engagement expired, he applied and got from Government a searching license and a guarantee that the Government would subsidise him at the rate of £2 for every £1 expended, but between the stupidity of Brough Smyth and the arrogance and procrastination of Mr Selwyn, his money was kept back, so that be ran short of funds - in fact, hard up, as manly a man has been before him - and was not in at position to pay the Government his rent, through the Government not paying him. The ground was then pegged out by M'Carthly and Walsh, who sold out to Latham and Watson, and Carew - lost what rightfully belonged to him.
Through some mistake or misstatement of theirs, the new proprietors were led to believe that all the landholders whose property would be affected by a tramway running through it would give the land willingly. Only two landowners in reality were affected by the matter, viz., Messrs Turnbull and Anderson - the first not greatly, as his land was leased to a company at the rate of £500 per annum for coal-mining purposes; while the land of the latter by the bungling of the surveyor had been nearly ruined, and he would not give his consent. Arbitration was resorted to, but without any result, then law, a and between one thing and another the game was played till both parties got tired. During this time both ends of the tramway were, finished, and after much delay the whole was completed. However, though it cost a lump sum of £17,000, sufficient surely to make six mles of tramway passable, it is so badly constructed that it reminds me of the time piece that was made by the tailor. Before a the line was commenced the company had to apply to Parliament for an act empowering them to do so. Of the shareholders Messrs a Latham and Watson have been up to this time the principal sufferers, and if ever people deserved success they do, for in the face of all difficulties - such as bad servants, waste and extravagance, growling shareholders and neighbors, and with Government throwing cold water on the scheme - they must have had the patience of Lancashire coalheavers.
It must be borne in mind that all our a authorities who have inspected the coal have declared it not payable - Selwyn, Brough Smyth, Couchman, Krause, and M'Kenzie but the scientific knowledge of most of these has come to grief, as did Professor M'Coy when he declared that gold would get less and less the deeper miners went.
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