Questions from the Legislative Assembly on loss of damage and disruption to construction of railway lines, 1882


Legislative Assembly

Wednesday, 2nd September, 1882



6. Mr. William Forster to ask The Colonial Secretary, –

(1.) Do the Government intend, and if so how soon, to lay before Parliament an estimate of the probable loss and damage of public property caused by the burning of the Exhibition Buildings?

(2.) Can they state in round numbers, or approximately, how many pastoral runs, leases, or holdings will have, in consequence of the fire, to be to any considerable extent or entirely re-surveyed or re-adjusted?

(3.) In how many cases will any considerable delay in the construction or commencement of Rail- way Lines be caused thereby?

(4.) What time, in such cases, is likely to elapse before the several plans, sections, and other necessary preliminaries will be equally available, as before the fire?

(5.) In how many cases have such plans, sections, and other records been so destroyed as to render it necessary to have all the work done over again?

(6.) In particular, how will the Railway between Gundagai and Cootamundra be affected thereby, or will the Government still be able to fulfil their promise of inviting tenders for this Line on certain day?

(7.) Is it a fact that the Government have been frequently requested by officers of the several Departments, or any other persons, to remove public records or other valuable public property from the Exhibition Buildings, or to secure such records or property by safes or other expedients?

(8.) In how many and what particular instances have such requests been made and not attended to?

(9.) Can the Government state approximately the total amount of loss or damage done?



(3) Some delay will occur in the construction of the lines from Homebush to Waratah, Orange to near Forbes, Cootamundra to Gundagai, Bungendore to Cooma, Young to Balyney, and from 24 Miles

–  on the Illawarra Line to Kiama.

(4) Probably from six to eigth months

(5) In no case will it be necessary to

have all the work done over again.

Nearly all the lines are permanently

staked, and in the case of the line

from Homebush to Waratah (93 miles

in length) the Working Plans and

Sections of 63 miles only have been


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(6) Tenders for the construction

of the line from Cootamundra

to Gundagai cannot be in-

vited on the date promised,

as a new Working Plan and

Section will have to be perpared.

(7) Only on one occasion, as far

as the Railway Survey branch

is concerned.

Vide M.P. 82/1246 with

Under Secretary of Works.

[INITIALS] 27/9/82


From record series NRS 906 Colonial Secretary: Special Bundles – 1879-82 Garden Palace (applications for space in, report of the Colonial Architect on the fire, newspaper reports of the inquiry into the fire, re records lost in the fire, etc [1/2527.2]