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

Customs place in the KellyGang story

The River Murray was the border between Victoria and New South Wales and it was policed by the colonies to raise revenue. The customs men added to the resources available to the police to stop the KellyGang crossing the river.

The railway line from Melbourne to Echuca was completed in July 1864 and coincided with a customs dispute between Victoria and New South Wales. (RC1602) (FH)

In 1866 a group of Chinese market gardeners moved from Victoria to New South Wales because of the tariffs (Argus13/6/66)

By 1867 Victoria had imposed protective tariffs to protect its manufacturing industry and the River Murray had become a real boarder between Victoria and New South Wales. The KellyGang did not seemed to be troubled by the Customs men on the boarder

Relations between Victoria and New South Wales on the Murray

In 1864 when Victoria put in the railway line to Echuca New South Wales became upset and they decided to deal with the matter. Sup Hare tells the story in his book. His account starts like this-

"When the Echuca railway was being built the New South Wales Government claimed the River Murray, and issued a proclamation that after a certain day all boats and dutiable articles found on the river would be seized and confiscated unless duly registered. One morning I was prosecuting in the police court in Melbourne, and the acting Chief Commissioner, Captain Mair, sent for me. I went to his office, and he told me Sir James M'Culloch wished me to start at once for Echuca with twenty armed policemen, "

The sort of charges were sheep, sixpence a head and cattle 5 shillings a head

see also (Argus26/4/79)

In March 1879 the Echuca Moama bridge was opened. The bridge carried road traffic and trains and this was seen bt Victoria as a great step forward. The Riverina was opened up. Suddenly wool and wheat etc could be transported directly to Melbourne. New South Wales did not like this. They delayed the opening of the bridge and caused customs duty problems. (Argus5/3/79)

The Custom Post's

Customs at Albury Wodonga (Alexandra12/8/1876)

Euston (T&C28/9/1872)


See Victoria Gazette 1876 7 P135