Minister for Works visit to the Tumut District

The Sydney Morning Herald

2 February 1899

Tumut, Wednesday. This evening Mr. T. H. Young, Minister for Works, with Messrs Donaldson, Hawthorne, and Ferguson, Ms. L. A., arrived here by buggy from Gundagai, after inspecting the country which would he served by a railway proposed to be made from Coolac to this township, via Brungle.

The party reached Gundagai by train this morning. After breakfasting at the principal hotel, they were welcomed by the Mayor and aldermen and taken over the municipal buildings and the School of Arts. About noon they got into vehicles and were driven over the Murrumbidgee bridge to the bridge over the Tumut River at Brungle, which is now being replaced by a new structure.

Some residents of Brungle and Wagra there met the Minster and offered him a hearty welcome to the Tumut Electorate. In an address which they presented to him they predicted that his tour must necessarily cause him enjoyment, enlightenment, and instruction, as it would extend from the verdant plains of the locality he was then in to the salubrious climate and romantic scenery of the alpine regions at Yarrangobilly.

The Minister suitably acknowledged the address, and said it gave him much pleasure to visit the Tumut district. A number of farmers with their wives and daughters entertained the party at a picnic dinner on the banks of the Tumut River near Brungle. A stay was made there extending over two hours, during which time Mr. Gormly, M L A , arrived. Mr. Young, on taking leave of his entertainers, thanked them cordially for their hospitality. Three cheers were given for the ladies.

The journey was resumed through the Tumut River flats past the Brungle aboriginal settlement, and by a winding road around the bases of Mount Killemicat and Pine Hill. On nearing its destination, the Ministerial party was met by a number of residents of the township in buggies and on horseback, and quite a long procession of crowded vehicles followed Mr. Young into Tumut. At half past 5 he was received at the Royal Hotel by members of the municipal council, and warmly welcomed To Tumut in a formal way by the aldermen over bumpers of champagne, Mr. Donaldson, M.L.A., acting as spokesman on behalf of the municipality.

Mr. Young, in reply, sail he was not surprised at the warmth of the welcome extended to him as the representative of the Ministry. He did not assume it was a personal welcome, as most people in Tumut knew nothing of him excepting by repute. If his acts had not been fairly commented upon by the newspapers he was sorry for it, but, even so, he hoped the more they saw of him the better they would like him. His trip had so far been exceedingly enjoyable. He was pleased the time had come at last when he could see the Tumut district, as his object was, as Minister for Works to make himself acquainted with the ways of all parts of the country, and to do what was fair in the best interests of each district.

Mr Hawthorne also expressed his pleasure at visiting the district. He said the Minster for Works had a soft spot, and if the Tumut people found it out they would get their railway. The Minister, he thought, was already at the start of his tour, favourably impressed with what he had seen of the district.

Mr. Ferguson said he was glad also to make a visit to the prosperous district of Tumut. Anything he could do to forward the interests of the residents he would do, as no district in New South Wales, he considered, was more worthy of railway communication. Increased settlement he held, was sure to follow railway construction.

To-morrow the visitors will be driven to various points of interest around Tumut.