Letter to the editor | June 15

An enlightening trip down memory lane

Some Goulburn residents have a connection with the small country centre of Tullibigeal, situated nearly 400km north-west of Goulburn. This Queen’s Birthday weekend it was back to Tullibigeal to celebrate its school centenary.

Having some friends 40 years ago who owned a property in the area, we decided to do a day trip in the hope of making contact. They had all moved to Queensland some 30 years ago and we had lost contact.

So, 5pm Sunday morning the Commodore was kicked into gear and we were on our way. Nearly two hours later, we pulled up at our favourite coffee shop at Harden to find it closed Sunday and Monday. The main street of Harden is very attractive, but the empty shops and other empty premises are depressing. Murrumburrah offered the same depressing scenario and no coffee shop open.

So it was on to Temora with some hope that the cafe at Stockinbingal would still be in operation. Again, quite depressing, all shops, even the cafe, not operating any more. An hour later we find refreshments at the Temora Bakery. Temora has improved to what it was 40 years ago, with a very attractive main street and no vacant shops that we could see. Now refreshed and back on the road to West Wyalong.

The writer was always under the impression that the swimming pool at Barmedman was fed by hot springs. What a disappointment to find out this is not so, the huge pool at this time of the year being completely deplete of water. In the spring/summer time, water is pumped up from old mine shafts. The water comes up extremely cold, but of course in the extreme heat of summer here, it would not remain cold for long.

There was a nice hotel building, still in operation, some solid old bank building long since operational and the depressing site of main street shops, all vacant. Of course, there are the huge silos, not sure if they contain any grain, but all the way out, much wheat still lies in ground bunkers. We wondered why. Perhaps it is due to the over-supply of wheat in the world market at present.

West Wyalong’s main street looking very attractive and prosperous -  no empty shops. We are running behind time, so it’s a drive on towards Ungarie.

My brother shore sheep for several years in this area during the 1960s, so I was interested to see the village. However, once again, vacant and abandoned premises. We noticed an elevated railway water tank used in the days of steam. The branch line to Naradhan joins the Lake Cargelligo line here. There must have been a reliable supply of water here before the water line was installed.

The country here begins to differ from the flat country we have been travelling through. We now have some hills and valleys from here to our destination at Tullibigeal. 

We meet up with our long-lost friends, now all living around the Gold Coast. In perfect western weather we caught up on the missing 30 or more years, overstaying our intended visit by some hours. Back then we were young, now we are all around 70.

It was time for goodbyes, then into the Commodore for a quick trip back to Goulburn. I jokingly said ‘the place of Supermax’. Our Queensland friends said we have heard of big macs, but what are super macs? 

A quick stop at the Paragon, West Wyalong for a steak sandwich and a coffee. I could not resist taking a few minutes to photograph the two substantial bank buildings and the three very impressive church buildings, all lit up by the setting sun.

Many of the people that settled in these areas over 150 years ago would have been fleeing the hard times in Europe, the Middle East, China and elsewhere. Here at Tullibigeal and other small communities mentioned above they made good, produced and built prosperous communities.

We now have in these areas good sealed roads, electricity, telephone (NBN?) laid on, water lines and, in some cases, still active freight rail lines. But less and less people. Pity we could not utilise the 30,000 mainly young people held in detention in some of these depopulated areas.

Perhaps another Griffith could be established at Tullibigeal or close by. The ground is fertile, the climate perfect. All people we spoke to loved their time at Tully.

But how sad to hear from a local that the nearest mental health facility is Chisholm Ross at Goulburn.

Kevin and Ann Sasse, Goulburn.

School takes tough anti-bullying stance

I just wish to reply to the article about Goulburn High School creating an anti bullying program.

I have children attending this school and I personally rate it with top marks. I attended this school and now my children and they have never experienced bullying with other children.  

Goulburn High School has taken the initiative and it is hoped that other high schools will follow and benefit from these guidelines. Good on you Goulburn High School!

Sharon Martin, Goulburn.

Bring back the PP Board

Local Land Services is going to be damaged unless they receive increased allocation of funds in the next State budget. This is the opinion of the Labor NSW opposition. (Mick Vietch ALP)

If they had not got rid of the Pasture Protection Board, which served the rural community very adequately, these budgetary problems may not have occurred. The PP Board was honorary, local and had no interest in extending its powers. As such it was sensitive and reactive to local conditions.Because of this, care of the land is less bureaucratic and as such, cost effective.

Wallace Ashton, Goulburn.