C1903

Plan Shewing Proposed Federal Capital Site in the Locality of Tumut Parishes of Blowering & Mundongo - County of Buccleuch N.S.W.-1903

Mapmaker:

Department of Lands, Sydney.

Rare map of the Tumut region dated June 1903, showing the territory for the proposed Federal Capital in blue. From the series maps made for the Federal government for the proposed selection of the site of the Federal Capital and … Read Full Description

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Details

Full Title:

Plan Shewing Proposed Federal Capital Site in the Locality of Tumut Parishes of Blowering & Mundongo – County of Buccleuch N.S.W.-1903

Date:

C1903

Mapmaker:

Department of Lands, Sydney.

Condition:

In good condition, with folds as issued.

Technique:

Lithograph, printed in colour.

Image Size: 

640mm 
x 595mm

Paper Size: 

683mm 
x 632mm
AUTHENTICITY
Plan Shewing Proposed Federal Capital Site in the Locality of Tumut Parishes of Blowering & Mundongo -  County of Buccleuch N.S.W.-1903 - Antique Map from 1903

Genuine antique
dated:

1903

Description:

Rare map of the Tumut region dated June 1903, showing the territory for the proposed Federal Capital in blue.

From the series maps made for the Federal government for the proposed selection of the site of the Federal Capital and the establishment of the site of the Federal capital city.

This process of elimination began in 1900 when over a dozen possible sites all drawn from within NSW were published for public consideration. This was in accordance with section 125 of the Australian Constitution which stated that the Federal Territory would be owned by the Federal Government, located approximately midway between Sydney and Melbourne (meaning it was to be situated in NSW), and no closer to Sydney than 100 miles. From 1901 favoritism was shown for different locations, with the Minister of Home Affairs William Lyne proposing Albury, the largest town in his electorate of Hume. In 1903 the House of Representatives voted for Tumut, while the Senate voted for Bombala. Following an assessment by a Federal Royal Commission, Dalgety was recommended as the best location for Australia’s national capital city, based on criteria including climate, food supply, land ownership and ability to support major industries. So by 1904 the House of Representatives was persuaded to accept Dalgety, to which the Senate agreed and their choice was formalised in the Seat of Government Act 1904.

Then the Government changed a few days later and no progress was made at the Federal level for 4 years. In an early demonstration of Sydney-Melbourne rivalry, the Dalgety decision was immediately opposed by the Parliament of NSW which argued that Dalgety was too close to Melbourne and too far from Sydney. A more practical objection was the distance to the main Sydney-Melbourne railway line and the expense involved in constructing a spur to the proposed capital. The only other prospective sites were Monaro, Tumut and Canberra, which, during the next Federal parliament, were carefully considered in the light of the earlier objections to Dalgety. In December 1908 after very narrowly resolving a tied Senate vote of 18-all between Tumut and Yass-Canberra, the enactment of the Seat of Government Act 1908 overrode the previous choice of Dalgety in favour of Yass-Canberra. During 1909 the choice of site for the Federal Capital and its territory was left to Charles Scrivener, NSW Government Surveyor, to survey, as he had done for Dalgety, and the Yass and Canberra Valley areas, preparing contour surveys and determining water catchments, on which his recommendation would be made for the optimal location for the city. His report was presented in February 1909 and accepted by Prime Minister Alfred Deakin and NSW Premier Charles Wade on 18 Oct. 1909. From 1910 Scrivener was appointed Director, Commonwealth Lands and Survey, and it took until 1 Jan. 1911 for the Territory boundaries to be determined and passed into law in the Seat of Government Acts of Surrender and Acceptance which created the Federal Capital Territory. It also took five years – from 1910 to 1915 – to mark out the Federal Territory boundary of 2359 square kilometres with a variety of markers.

The Territory to be surrendered by New South Wales was referred to as the Federal Territory from 1900. Later in 1910 it officially became the Federal Capital Territory which also incorporated, on Scrivener’s recommendation, Jervis Bay, a decision enshrined in the Commonwealth Seat of Government Acceptance Act 1909 and assented on 13 Dec. 13 1909. In 1938 the Federal Capital Territory was renamed the Australian Capital Territory.

Reference:
National Library of Australia, Canberra; Bib ID 4235805

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