Last modified on 20 November 2015, at 22:00

Alexandra Times at KellyGang 24/5/1872 (3)

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None but the residents in Thornton would ever advocate anything so unreasonable and unfair to the other portions of the shire. That there should be a bridge at Thornton is no doubt very desirable, and another bridge at Payne's punt, but such works as these would form good reasons for borrowing money, the repayment to, extend over a number of years. But to undertake such expensive works with, our present limited means, to the neglect and injury of other portions of the Alexandra Shire, such, as Enoch's Point and Gobur, would only create dissatisfaction and annoyance, that would end in the dismemberment of the whole shire.

On Tuesday evening last a majority in the Shire Council carried a motion calling for tenders for the erection of a bridge. With an overdraft at the Bank of £1500, and £600, to £800 of bills and other liabilities coming due, where is the money to come from for building the proposed bridge? It is a very easy matter to call for tenders, but calling for tenders won't build the bridge any more than calling spirits from the vasty deep will make them come. We are as anxious to see a bridge at Thornton as any of those who have called for tenders, but we are not prepared to support an undertaking such as this until the means for carrying out have been provided in a just and reasonable manner. The other portions of the Shire must not be robbed because the Thornton people are clamorous and the members a for the Alexandra Riding have a personal interest in the erection of the bridge.

The President of the Shire, Mr Whitelaw, suggested at the last Council meeting that a new punt, at a cost of £150, would meet the requirements of the traffic until the Council was in funds. This idea was scouted, because the Council had made a mess of the management of the punt they had before. The reason why the punt did not succeed in the hands of the Council was simply this -- the punt was sunk, the punt rope cut, and other obstructions put in the way. Surely there is a remedy for this? Are such lawless acts to be allowed to triumph ? Because to an occasional night assassination or night y robbery is committed may we ? our police and every man be obliged to keep within his own bolted and barred the after dark? Stuff and nonsense ! The arm of the law is not so weak but that it can lay hold of men who sink punts or cut punt ropes, and place them where all such scoundrels must eventually go; in durance vile.

Payne's punt and Sloan's punt, as private speculations, are successful, although they have not half the traffic that there is at the Eildon punt. If a good punt were erected it would give a good return for the money invested, for there are plenty who would be glad to rent it. One man has already offered to build a punt at his own expense if he can get a proper lease of the ferry. In the face of this, why the indecent appropriation of all the revenue of the shire for the one job? What worse are the people of Thornton with a punt than the residents at Whanregarwan or the people of Alexandra, who have to pay whichever way they go out of the township?

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