Flooding, an Amusement Tax and the Conscription Referendum draws nearer

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Shire-wide news extracts from the Moruya Examiner of 7 October 1916, provided by the Moruya & District Historical Society:

THE WEATHER – The rains which began falling last week have continued incessantly since last Thursday week with the result that no less than 18 inches have fallen. As a consequence of this phenomenal downpour the major portion of the flat lands of the district has been flooded over the tops of the fences the Moruya river swollen to such an extent that in many places it broke over its banks and a number of settlers had to remove to higher quarters for safety and comfort. Mr. H. E. Simpson was the first to make a move which he did by removing the whole of his Mullenderree dairy herd and milkers out to his Ninderra farm. Mr. Fred Staunton, Mrs. J. Heffernan and Mr. J. Buckley, we hear, shifted to the safe heights of Pompey Point, and several residents were removed from their homes in boats. The s.s. Benandra, in charge of veteran Capt. Basclain, was compelled to quit her moorings and anchor out of the strong current, about quarter of a mile lower down the river. The whole of the wharf was covered, the I.S.N. Cos. large stores being completely surrounded with water, and carters had a difficult and dangerous experience in removing its goods to the owner’s business premises in town. It is very evident that the whole of the crops now under water will be ruined and the land will require to be replanted.

SOMETHING NEW – During the past few days the Illawarra Company’s shipping agent, Mr. G. Constable, has abandoned his bike and adopted the novel method of travelling to and from his home at Gundary by boat, topping the fences in his stride.

The Illawarra Stream Ship Co during normal times
The same offices following the devastating 1925 flood.

FURTHER LOSSES – Besides the two cows, said to be the property of Mr. Milne, which were seen carried down the river on Tuesday, a number of pigs and fowls were seen floating down on Wednesday. These, evidently, came from higher up the river, probably, from Kiora or Burra.

AN ESCAPE – No matter how long it may rain or how high the river may rise, there will always be a safe escape for the townspeople of Moruya. At the moment the town is surrounded by water on both sides, viz., the swamp on the west, river on the north, Moruya flat on the east and the race course on the south, still there remains a way of escape between the extreme west and south corners via the old Kiora road on to the Donkey Hill. The tempest may therefore, howl and the rain come down in torrents, and our townsfolk may sleep in tranquillity knowing that they always have a sure escape to a haven of safety.

MINING – The Tewkesbury Araluen Co. won the fine return of 132oz. smelted gold for the fortnight ended September 23rd. The Victorian Araluen obtained a 69oz. cake during the same period.

The remains of one of the dredges at Araluen


– That the wet weather contingent who faced the elements in order to attend the public meeting on Tuesday night gave unmistakeable evidence of their dislike to compulsory service and
– That it would be interesting to hold another meeting for the convenience of fine weather patriots to ascertain how their pulse beats on the matter.
– That judging from present indications the voting for and against conscription will be very close.

People who voted NO were being portrayed as voting against the brave Australian soldiers and for the Kaiser.
A YES vote is being depicted as a vote for death and bloodshed.

TAXATION – The new Federal Taxation proposals include an Amusement Tax of 25 per cent and an increase in the INCOME Tax. The exemption is to be reduced to £100 and incomes from £100 to £200 will pay a flat rate of £1 each. The levy on all states , real and personal, of £500 and over will be at the rate of 1½ per cent. War Profits Tax will also be imposed. The levy is for repatriation purposes and is expected to three and one third millions.



Seventeen 100 years ago booklets containing articles for the years 1899 to 1915 are available ($5 ea) from the Society’s rooms. Copies of local newspapers from the 1860s to date can be viewed at the Society’s Family History Research Centre (Ph 4474 3224) situated at the rear of the Museum in Campbell St. Moruya (www.mdhs.org.au).


3 responses to “Flooding, an Amusement Tax and the Conscription Referendum draws nearer”

  1. Shirley Jurmann Avatar

    When the floods subsided George Constable took to his bike again which eventually ended in tragedy. In 1945 he had a fall from his bicycle resulting in a fractured hip. Complications set in and a drastic amputation had to be performed. The shock was too much and he died in November that year

  2. Ric Avatar

    Hi, I just wish to advise that the colour photo of the Araluen dredge remains is a private photo of mine and has been used without my permission.
    It was originally posted on the Alluvialgold Prospectors forum (https://alluvialgprospectors.proboards.com/ ) of which I am an administrator and the series of photos carried a statement advising they were my own photos and not to be reproduced without my permission.
    While I don’t really mind you using it, particularly as I am an interested supporter of the museum, I would have liked to have been asked.

    1. mdhs Avatar


      Thank you for raising this issue with us and I sincerely apologise for this disappointing oversight on our part. We have removed the image from our blog post and media library for now and will restore it only with your permission.

      We are very aware of our copyright obligations and every effort is made to comply with them in our online and hard copy publications. The image was posted in 2013 and possibly some volunteers were not as aware of these obligations at that time. Thank you for raising this with us and giving us the opportunity to correct a past mistake.

      Sue Murphy
      President, Moruya & District Historical Society

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