Cost of KellyGang

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Side of Authority
This page contains content from police and those who supported authority.

Cost of the hunt for the KellyGang

... one of the things of the KellyGang story


In the beginning the Government was prepared to spare no resources in its attempt to find the KellyGang. Especially after the Mansfield Murders. Later after Nicolson replaced Standish and Hare in mid 1879 funds were cut back. Links to the KellyGang , Summary of the cost , Fitzpatrick Incident , Stringybark Creek Murders , Sebastopol Cavalcade , Euroa Robbery , Jerrilderie Robbery , First Cave Party , Hare replaced by Nicolson, Second Cave Party , Death of Aaron Sherritt , Glenrowan Siege , Ned Kelly's Trial , Royal Commission ,

Links to the KellyGang

Summary of the cost Number of Officers and Police stationed in the North-Eastern district and the extra expenditure incurred during the period Captain Standish and Superintendent Hare were in charge, and for the seven months after Mr. Nicolson resumed command.

  Men Extra Expenditure   Men Extra Expenditure
December 1878 217 £2,197 July 1879 156 £1,049
January 1879 201 1,748 August 1879 153 1,057
February 1879 213 1,856 September 1879 155 707
March 1879 196 2,296 October 1879 155 860
April 1879 198 1,433 November 1879 154 356
May 1879 191 1,342 December 1879 155 497
June 1879 174 1,180 January 1880 157 440

A number of other costs such the expenditure on the artillery are not included in these figures (RC2ndStoryXII) See details of this information such as the railways charges etc. (RC735) (FH)

Stringybark Creek Murders 26/10/1878 Immediately after the police officers were murdered the Government authorised additional police for the hunt for the KellyGang. New firearms and other equipment was also made available without regard to the cost

... a place on the water

Standish and Hare replaced by Nicolson 6/7/1879 Chief Secretary was dissatisfied at the continuous heavy expenditure of the police in pursuit of the KellyGang. According to Standish most of the increase was the new travelling for the police officers hunting the KellyGang. (RC57)

Mr. Nicolson was subjected to a significant reduction on funds. He had not carte blanche for expenditure as Captain Standish had. He had no money placed to his credit. He paid the accounts and all other expenses out of his own pocket, which were afterwards refunded. Large economies were also effected as regards the keep and hiring of horses and the expenses attached to the use of buggies by those engaged by the police. (RC Story XII)

Ass Com Nicolson told the Royal Commission, ' I sought to reduce the expenditure. I found police using hired horses, some even in the habit of hiring buggies and horses; that I put a stop to, and called in the accounts them. I had no carte blanche for expenditure-I had no money placed to my credit at all.'

'I found bills for hire of some of the horses greater than their value. In one case the bill was about £19, and Mr. Sadleir bought the horse for £15. He got the man to cry quits for £15, and got the horse. The stable was a large one, and it was full of police horses on full rations. There was beautiful grass at this season. I had the stable cleared out, and the horses turned out into the paddock, with an allowance varying from 18 to 20 lbs. of good dry hay per day, in addition to the grass they were getting.'(RC728)

Mr. Hare said Nicolson "was wasting, too much ammunition,"with the police practicing the use of weapons. Standish, Chief Commissioner said "I must stop it."(RC1017)

See also (Argus1/8/79)


Mr Graves complained at the cost and wanted an inquiry (Argus25/11/80)

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