"The past is never fully gone. It is absorbed into the present and the future. It stays to shape what we are and what we do."
Sir William Deane, Governor-General of Australia, Inaugural Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture, August 1996.

Red Gum Forest Condition, 1878

Extracts from a Report on the  Red Gum Forests of Gunbower and Barmah

"If we refer to the plan of the Barmah forest, it will be seen at a glance that the timber on the river bank, and back for an average distance of two miles, has been either partly or entirely worked, and that the mills which were laid down, with the exception of the Cornella mill, owned by Messrs. McCulloch and Co., have been abandoned on that account.

The forest which lies between this worked portion and the Tullah Creek may be looked upon as virgin forest, a few of the finest of the trees only having heen cut. The only reason why this portion has remained unworked is the unfavorable nature of the country, which renders the working of the timher from the Murray side both difficult and expensive. As the settlement of the Goulburn Valley, however, proceeds northward, the whole of the timber in this part of the forest will be required for railways and other works; and it will he worked doubtless from the south side of the forest."

"The Gunbower forest contains large quantities of box and other timbers besides redgum. The majority of the eastern half of the forest consists of box forest, more or less dense, redgum being found only in the lowlying and swampy portions. The western half of the forest, however, except small patches near the Gunhower Creek, consists almost entirely of redgum. The Gunbower forest, like the Barmah forest, has been pretty well worked along the entire Murray frontage, while the back portions, with the exception of a few small pieces, have been picked over more or less. This forest contains very little virgin redgum."

"The forests on both banks of the Goulburn have been all partly worked. A very large quantity of timber has been cut on this river during the last two years, the proximity of the forests to the banks and the contour of the surface having been most favorable to the working of the timber."

"The length of time that our redgum forests will last, at the present rate of consumption, is variously estimated at from four to six years."

Contact the Editor