Kyabram Free Press

Workers in short supply

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MT SCOBIE QUARRY – Part 2 By the early 1950s the Deakin Shire Council was managing Mt Scobie Quarry.

At that time many migrants were encouraged to come to the area to work in the quarry. In September 1950 a committee was appointed to investigat­e the possibilit­y of establishi­ng a settlement at Mt Scobie to provide accommodat­ion for staff for manning the crushing equipment, which could not cope with the demand for crushed rock.

In December 1950 a secondhand plant for the rock crushing scheme was purchased and production delays were expected due to the lack of supply of electricit­y and shortage of labour.

In 1951 the council commenced a small quarry operation on the highest part of the Mt Scobie property. It was reported in the Kyabram Free Press that there was a need for housing in the area to encourage workers for the quarry. Three homes were erected in Girgarre and were occupied by the end of 1951. The manager at that time was Mr Selwyn Neale. A decision was made to purchase an electric welder, as two of the staff were competent welders.

Unfortunat­ely, two of the council homes and contents in Girgarre were destroyed by fire in early April 1952. The occupants were Victor Barwick and family from England and George Bonar and family from Scotland.

District hospitalit­y was generously given to families. Council trucks assisted in removing and covering the few items saved.

A subscripti­on list was opened by a committee at Girgarre for donations for the two families. Members of the Girgarre CWA held a kitchen and linen tea and there was a great response to an appeal for clothing.

The council purchased the site of 11.7 hectares in 1954. It took over the crushing plant from the private operator and dumpers were purchased at the sale of equipment from the Snowy Mountain Scheme. These dumpers were low set because they had been working in the tunnels of the Snowy Scheme.

• Compiled by Eileen Sullivan, Kyabram Historical Society voluntary Librarian, with extra research from Jenny Wadelton.

 ??  ?? A truck is collecting the crushed rock from under the structure at the Mt Scobie Quarry.
A truck is collecting the crushed rock from under the structure at the Mt Scobie Quarry.
 ??  ?? A tip-truck is unloading rock from the quarry from the tip head into the crusher.
A tip-truck is unloading rock from the quarry from the tip head into the crusher.

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