Overland Post from Sydney to Port Phillip
8 June 1837
Post to Port Phillip.
We last week directed the attention of the Government to the importance of establishing an overland Post to Port Phillip, and pointed out where the stations might be formed.
We have since seen a wealthy and respectable settler who resides on the banks of the Murrumbidgee, and who has expressed his willingness, at once, to enter into a contract with Government for the conveyance of the mail.
This gentleman is acquainted with the route, having performed the journey himself about the close of last year, and is consequently well able to give an opinion of its facility and practicability; he moreover showed the propriety, and, indeed, the absolute necessity of forming a Post, and that without delay, for the purpose of intercepting runaways and bushrangers, who otherwise will flock thither and become more troublesome, and indeed far more dangerous to the isolated settlers of Port Phillip than the Aborigines themselves.
The love of liberty is inherent in man, and we cannot be surprised at the attempts made to regain it on the part of the convict population; and looking at it abstractedly, we can hardly blame them, where no violence is used, for endeavouring to obtain a consummation so devoutly to be wished.
What an inducement then does not this road, which is now well beaten, offer to assigned servants to steal horses and other things, and then make a start across the country to, Port Phillip, there to have a chance of embarking in some of the numerous vessels that are now touching at that Port.
And how, we would ask, is it to be prevented?
Unless an overland post and stations are, formed, and a police established; for, long before The Government Gazette containing the list of runaways and bushrangers can reach the authorities at Port Phillip by the mail as at present forwarded, via Launceston, abundance of opportunities will have been afforded, for escape from the colony.
Already has an advertisement appeared in the colonial Journals of a mare having been stolen by bushrangers, the owners of which are pretty well assured that Port Phillip is their destination; we therefore again impress upon the Government the indispensable necessity of a Post, if for no other purpose than the safe keeping of the convicts in New South Wales.