June 2012

History Corner -- The Mail Run

Before motor transport became useful and popular, camels, bullocks and horses were beasts of burden in the outback. Camels were most used because they could carry a good load on their backs and were faster than bullocks and could exist on less feed and water than the other two mentioned.

For many years even after the introduction of motor transport, the common on the northern side of Broken Hill was called “camel camp” which was occupied by Afghans and their camels, which reminds me of a story often told by mine host, George Tainsh, proprietor of the hotel in which I stayed during my five years in Broken Hill.

George’s story goes like this. Before becoming a publican George was the local representative of Vacuum Oil Co (now Mobil) and each year all the reps of South Aust. And Broken Hill were called to Adelaide to bring them up to date with all the latest in the oil industry.

The night before the conference, George and a few mates had a night out drinking and playing poker, so naturally they were not too bright for the lecture the following morning.


Wilcannia headquarters Brigade had a full day last Saturday.

Fire Control Officer Bill Britt conducted a full day training session, which included a couple of burns at the shire rubbish depot. In the evening the AGM and a general meeting was held.

Bill Britt conducted the elections which contained few surprises. John Pineo was endorsed as Brigade Captain, Greg Barraclough as Senior Deputy and Roxanne Kennedy as Junior Deputy. Schoolteacher Michael Barrett again accepted the Secretary/Treasurers position.

A number of matters were discussed at the following meeting. Of most importance was the above average chance of the coming spring/summer developing into a busy fire season.

Bill Britt said he felt it was unlikely that there would be repeat of last years wet weather which prevented fires in this area, though he did comment that the fires in the north-west corner around the Tiboobura area had been a wake up call.

Census 2011

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released the first batch of data collected in last years census.

It shows that for the first time the population of Central Darling Shire Council area has slipped below 2,000 The area boundaries appear to be different to the previous census, so the figures for both Wilcannia and White Cliffs include surrounding rural areas.


Total number of residents 1991
There were 1048 males and 943 females
758 indigenous
1762 born in Australia
739 dwellings in the shire
26 New Zealanders,
Median personal income $387
There were 480 visitors in the shire on census night who gave their usual place of residence as outside the shire
362 residents were listed as being a volunteer at some time during the previous year
246 males did no unpaid domestic work and 147 females said they did no unpaid domestic work. The   highest age groups in this section were 55 males between the age of 55-64 and 31 females between the age of 55-64
26 males were shown as lone parents compared with 88 females.


This week, students at St. Therese’s Community School took a visit to the new park in the Mallee.

Before our students could play, we had to clean up the park.

Please help keep the new park clean by encouraging children to take their rubbish home and not leave it there.

Perhaps some rubbish bins could be put at the park?

Thank you, St. Therese’s Community School.


Pedestrians urged not to use Hospital Road during construction.

View Larger Map

Due to construction works and changed road conditions on the  Broken Hill Health Service campus, the public are advised to use the footpath along Hospital Road (Thomas Street side) when entering the hospital from the hospital car park.

For safety reasons, visitors are also asked to avoid walking on the road from Thomas Street to enter the campus. The hospital can be entered via the Thomas Street footpath entrance or the main entrance, near the Emergency Department.

Drivers are also reminded that   Hospital Road is one-way to traffic entering from Thomas Street until further notice. For safety reasons, the speed limit has been reduced to 10 kilometres / hour.

Notes from the Wilcannia and White Cliffs Works Committee Meeting


1 resident attended the Wilcannia Works Committee meeting held on the 12th June. The following points  were raised. The Wilcannia Cemetery boundary extensions are to be completed in the next financial year and have been included in the budget. TheManager of Environmental Services has spoken to Summit regarding work at the cemetery. Summit now need to hold talks with the Cemetery Committee.White Cliffs Works Committee

Open bins will be replaced with new wheelie bins and stands in parks and tourist areas. Baker Park and Ray Hunter Park will have steel bins that are non-inflammable due to past incidents.

A funding proposal has been submitted through the Remote Services Delivery for $80,000 for new playground equipment in Baker Park. Council have been asked to contribute $25,000 towards the project.

Mission Footpath. The upgrading of the footpath has commenced and needs to be completed by the end of June. (photo right).

At long last — A playground for The Mallee

The much awaited and long promised playground for children who live and visit in the Mallee has finally been completed.Playground in Wilcannia

Originally suggested as part of the housing redevelopment in the Mallee in 2003, the project stalled for whatever reason.

Funding was then made available in 2010 for the construction. A bit over 12 months ago the “Save The Children” organisation took on the project. The first step was to have a suitable piece of land set aside. There were a few stumbling blocks with land ownership and the physical layout of land title in the Mallee however Central Darling Shire Council have agreed to gift the land to the Wilcannia Local Aboriginal Land Council.

The builders, who were from Brisbane, were still packing their tools away as the first of the kids descended on the new equipment.

The cost of the playground and seating was around $85,000.

Photo: Knomi Johnson enjoys the slippery dip

Wilcannia Tourism Meeting June 29, 2012

Date & Time:
Friday, June 29, 2012 - 6:30pm



29th JUNE 6.30pm


To be followed by the General Meeting


· Finalise Tidy Towns entry

· Proposed Business Directory at town entrances

· BBQ Baker Park

· Ray Hunter Park

Catchment Management Authority seeks local knowledge

Western CMA  acting Catchment Officer Aboriginal Communities Blackie Gordon along with CMA staff Guy Gibbs and Andy Mackay spent last Thursday in town talking to, interviewing and filming local Aboriginal elders.

Of particular interest was the local knowledge about native foods, especially the quandongs, wild oranges and leopard wood trees. There was some interesting discussion on the different regional names for the wild orange.

The video filmed on the day will be used in later CMA publicity and education programs. Comments and thoughts on the Catchment Plan were also recorded.

Right: David Clark with Guy Gibbs and Andy McKay