A MEETING was held in Bemboka, reported in the Bega District News in September, 1945, on discussions on post-war financial assistance for the electrification of Bemboka and district. Various speakers put their arguments for hydro electricity forward.
COUNCILLOR Handcock said that now was the time they wanted statesmen, and the only way to build up the nation was to put more people on the land, and great industries would follow.
Water must be conserved, and that was where statesmanship would come in.
In Australia they got their rainfalls irregularly, and so must conserve it for the dry periods. The average rainfall in Sydney was 47 inches, in Rome 33 inches, London 22, Paris 22 and Moscow 19.
In Germany the average farm was 24 acres, France 21 acres, Italy 13 acres, Japan two and a half acres. (A voice: "No wonder they are fighting").
In NSW, went on Mr Handcock, the average holding, excluding the water division, was 730 acres. They could not hold this country if they went on like that.
There was great need of men with brains in Parliament who understood the country.
Water conservation and electricity were national matters, and the country should have the same amenities as the cities; in many places in the country they had not enough water for a bath.
Unless these things were provided people would not come here.
He hoped Mr Fraser was pushing their case enough.
In 1842 he had visions of using the water after passing through the turbines at the hydro, and carrying it as far down as Numbugga.
An officer who came down to report on the water supply for Bemboka estimated the cost at 11,000 pounds, spread over 45 years, which he considered would be the cheapest scheme.
Mr Tregartha, the new engineer, was introduced to the gathering and made a short address.
Mr McNeil, the county clerk, outlined what the council had already done in extensions, and they intended going on to Eden, and later to Cobargo.
They thanked Mr Fraser MHR, for his efforts in having copper wire released for extensions; otherwise farmers would have to wait much longer for connections.
Mr Peteswald, manager of the Bank of NSW, said it was most interesting evening.
Speaking of water, he instanced the case of Batlow, where they irrigated fruit and potatoes, and where the sawmiller supplied electricity; the population soon increased from 50 to over 1000.
He considered there was a great future for this district.