• Twenty five trucks of bluestone spalls are despatched to Rochester. A second consignment of seventy trucks has been ordered. [This loading is probably from Axedale Station and not Ingham Siding].
• The special train from Bendigo for the Knowsley races met with a serious mishap to the driving gear of the engine before reaching Axedale. The connecting rod of the engine, which was running tender first, had broken, bringing the train to a standstill short of Axedale. The broken rod was removed and the train was able to continue inefficiently to Axedale. The first-class carriages were shunted to another line and the passengers transferred to the second-class carriages. Unfortunately, the lightened load still did not permit the engine to haul it up the long incline beyond Ingham. Passengers alighted during repeated attempts to scale the gradient. In a last-ditch attempt, half the carriages were detached and the train was run on to Knowsley.
After arriving at Knowsley, the engine was detached and returned to pick up the remaining carriages and passengers, the last contingent of which arrived at 4pm. As the train was timed to arrive at Knowsley at 2.15pm, the racing Club was put to some inconvenience. A relief engine was despatched to Knowsley from Bendigo, accomplishing the return journey with the complete train and no further mishap.
• Martin Burns, Jnr., is appointed Trustee of the land temporarily reserved on 18 June 1871, as a site for Racecourse and Recreation purposes at Axedale, following the death of his father.
• A combined junior football team, composed of St. John's and St. Andrew's School teams, visit Axedale to try against a team of juniors from the Axedale district. A Heathcote team also journeyed to Axedale with special arrangements being made to stop at the reserve siding [Axedale Racecourse Platform] in both directions to save walking distance.
• Stone from the Axedale quarries is railed to Kerang, a distance of some 92 miles [147km]. It is expected that with a delivery of 12 trucks per day, it will take three months to fulfil the order.
• Owing to the shortage of trucks, 50,000 bluestone cubes are lying at Axedale. Bendigo Creek paving has been stopped and the paving contractors had to discharge 20 men. The Railway Commissioners assure that four trucks will be sent to Bendigo exclusively to convey cubes from Axedale to Bendigo.
• Mr. V.A. Deane calls attention to the bad condition of the main road at Ingham's Hill. [In theory, this road runs past his front door].
• Grain traffic is quiet, due in part, to a shortage of trucks and the state of the wheat market. Wheat is stacked at various sidings and stations.
• Mr. Deane advises the McIvor Shire that he could not put 2 inch [50mm] metal on the road at Ingham's Hill as he had no crusher, but he would put a coating of metal chips and gravel; also that a channel was required down the left hand side of the road.
• Ronald McDonald was charged with unlawfully assaulting Constable Fattorini at Longlea station on Saturday, 3rd February. He was also charged with using obscene language in a railway carriage on the same day. Mr. O'Halloran appeared for defendant.
Constable Fattorini deposed that he was going to Axedale on 3rd February. When the train arrived at Longlea witness got out of the carriage and watched defendant, who was using obscene language. Witness was in plain clothes, and he told defendant he was a Constable. He asked defendant to moderate his language as there were ladies about. Defendant made use of a certain expression, and struck witness in the face. Defendant had a bottle in his hand. Witness then pulled his handcuffs out, and defendant apologised. When they arrived at Axedale they went into the Stationmaster's office, and witness took defendant's name. Witness's mouth, was cut and swollen to such an extent that he was unable to eat. His teeth were also broken.
Senior Constable Semmens deposed to arresting defendant at Heathcote. He said he was not aware that Fattorini was a Constable or he would not have acted in the way he did. The defendant had an excellent reputation in Heathcote. The defendant went into the box and swore that he never used any bad language on the day in question. When the constable came to the carriage door he thought he was an interfering civilian. He came to the carriage, and after accusing witness of using bad language, threatened to 'fix him up.' Witness told him to get out, and struck him. He afterwards apologised when he discovered that he was a Constable.
Dr. Rockett deposed that Fattorini had a small bruise on the lip, a small cut underneath the lip, and also had a small bruise underneath the tongue.
Michael Barrett and Arthur Warne, fellow passengers, denied that any bad language was used in the carriage during the journey. William Quinn, another passenger, swore that bad language was used, but not by defendant.
A fine of 20/- wan imposed for using obscene language and £3 for the assault, with £7/17/0 costs, in defaultt three months' imprisonment.
• The gates at the crossing near the Stationmaster's residence at Axedale, are being removed and replaced with cattle pits. The Stationmaster's residence is to be removed and re-erected on a more convenient site close to the station. [There is no separate mention of the removal of a Gatekeeper's cottage that would no longer be required. Also, a shooting article at that location in November, 1891, stated that the person to whom the victim was speaking, was Mrs. Smythe, wife of the Gatekeeper. The Stationmaster's residence was opposite the passenger plaatform in later years].
• Together with 120 acres [48.6ha] of first class agricultural land, adjoining the township [Axedale], within a half mile of the railway station, the only bluestone quarries now working in Axedale is advertised for sale. The quarries are bringing in a good weekly rental. The Allotments concerned are 11, 12 and 13, of Section 6, in the name of O'Neill, and adjoining the townsip on its northern side. The owner of the property, Mr. O'Neill, has purchased a larger property in the north. The property includes a 5 room dwelling and outbuildings. [Brasier, Nelson and Riley may have been leasing the quarry at the time the property was advertised, and may even have bought it].
Mr. V.A. Deane gives a demonstration and starting of a new 13 b.h.p. [9.7KW] portable Tangye oil engine at Ingham's Siding. It has just been purchased, together with a large circular saw for cutting firewood box blocks.
The Deputy Postmaster General advises Sir. John Quick that he has asked the Railway Department if there are any objections to installing a telephone, for the receipt and transmission of telegrams and for public conversation, in the Department's residence close to Longlea Station.
Boxing Day is Bendigo's visiting day with crowded special trains and visits to Kyneton, Castlemaine, Marong, Axedale, Elmore, Bridgewater and Campbell's Creek. Motor cars are also used. At least 20,000 people are believed to have passed through Bendigo Station.
Heathcote is now connected by telephone with Longlea and it is available for public conversations.
Mr. and Mrs. R. Kennedy of Graytown, are driving along the road near the McIvor Timber Company's tramline, above the Red Gate. A train comes along in a narrow cutting and startles the horse, which then capsizes the vehicle down the embankment where the last truck strikes it and smashes it. The occupants are found to be badly bruised and shaken. Mr. Kennedy is taken to a neighbor's house and put to bed.
Mr. C. Rowe, Longlea Railway Repairer, leaves his his home and is not seen for a few days. Mounted Constable Earnshaw and ten horsemen search for him. Rowe had been in delicate health for some time and fears are felt for his safety. He is under the delusion that a man is after him and leaves home in the direction of Bendigo. He is found some days later, drowned in Sweeney's Creek.
An inquest is held. William Charles Henry Rowe, the missing Repairer's 15 year old son says that, on Feb 15th, his father said, 'I'm going away to hide in the bush. There is a man after me to shoot me'. The verdict is death by drowning with the comment that 'it was clear that Rowe had walked into the creek whilst partially insane'.
Mr. V.A. Deane complains of a 'menace' and 'nuisance' on the shire road approaching Ingham. The Shire engineer will inspect it. [The road is now known as Quarry Road].
A party of scouts will go to Longlea by the 4.15pm train [from Bendigo] on Saturday to choose a camp site, returning to Bendigo at 10pm.
Mr. V.A. Deane again complains about obstruction and damage to a road at Axedale by a sawmill plant. Samuel Doak also complains about obstruction on the road leading to Ingham's Siding. He has no objection to the sawmill remaining on the road and neither has Mr. James Heffernan. The City Engineer reports that he inspected the road from the Heathcote-Bendigo Road to Ingham's railway siding [Quarry Road]. The sawmill referred to, consists of a portable engine and small bench used for cutting firewood. Persons collecting or cutting firewood try and place themselves as close as possible to the siding in order to limit cartage to the siding. The public accommodation at the siding is very limited outside by a sawmill believed to be owned by Mr. Deane. The mill on the road is owned by Mr. Curthoys. As the road is being illegally occupied, he suggests that Council give Curthoys a reasonable amount of time to remove it.
The advance scout party arrives at Longlea on Thursday morning and have the camp erected by dinner time. The site is well chosen on the picturesque banks of Axe Creek with good, safe swimming pools. The locals have supplied fruit and drinking water. There are 40 scouts in the camp, housed in nine tents in the charge of District Scoutmaster Usher and Scoutmaster Tilley. Wet weather threatens the camp.
Mr. V.A. Deane again complains that the road is blocked by a firewood sawmilling plant. The previous Council notice requesting removal has been ignored and he intends bringing the matter to the notice of the Minister of Lands.
Mr. J. Treweek loses the top joint of of one of his left hand fingers while handling sleepers on a ballast train at Tooborac.
Another record shipment of antimony ore is handled at Argyle Station from the mine of the Victoria Syndicate, Costerfield. The loading consists of 83 trucks or 401 tons. The ore is trucked to Port Melbourne for the SS Anchises.
The Railways Commissioners decide to extend the system of connecting stations in the charge of Caretakers with their supervising stations, and authority has been issued for connecting Longlea to its supervisor, Axedale.
A public meeting is convened with the object of having a rail extension from Heathcote to Costerfield. They decide on a deputation to the Ministers of Mines, Lands and Railways.
Mrs. Curthoys, wife of Mr. W. Curthoys, passes away after an illness of only a day at her Ingham residence, leaving a widower, four boys and three girls. [Mr. C. Curthoys was Stationmaster at Axedale in 1926].
The Heathcote-Moormbool via Costerfield deputation waits on Mr. Billson, Minister for Railways. He says that he favours the extension of the existing private tramway into the heart of the settlement and will make appropriate enquiries. The deputation says they were courteously received but, for all the good they had done, they might as well have stayed at home.
The Railways Commissioners pass through Heathcote. At Derrinal, they are approached regarding an extension of the trucking dock as there is only room for loading one truck of sheep before manhandling it onto another siding. At Kilmore, a request to have the passenger platform lighted, is readily agreed with. Responding to a query about electric lighting, Mr. McClelland says that kerosene is a cheaper method for country districts. He is informed that the Kilmore Electric Supply Co. could supply the light at 6d per unit. He states that the request will receive favourable consideration. A speedier train service is also mentioned.
A number of stations are in line for improvement: Derrinal - the trucking yard siding will be extended, Willowmavin - accommodation for trucking sheep and lambs, and Kilmore - the passenger platform will be improved.
The Commissioners are asked to install electric light at Heathcote and Argyle stations, and to improve the road leading to Argyle Station.
Mr. John Gordon, MLA, asks the Minister of Railways if he has seen a report from the Railways Commissioners on the Moormbool Tramway. Mr. Watt (Premier), in the absence of the Minister for Railways, says the matter is under consideration.
The Argus publishes an article, under the pseudonym of Clutch, describing a circular motor vehicle road trip from Melbourne through Kilmore, Heathcote, Axedale, Bendigo and returning through Castlemaine and Kyneton.
The trip followed the main Sydney Road, one of the best highways in the state, as far as Kilmore. About two miles beyond, at the approach to a rather steep hill, the Bendigo road turns off at right angles to the left, and wooded, hilly country is at once entered. The road winds in a most picturesque manner among the hills. It pitches into valleys at alarming angles and rises out of them in steep pinches. One minute the road overlooks the rilway line from a great height, the next instant the rails are far above it.
After nine miles of fair going, High Camp Plain was reached. The five miles of road, separating this place from Pyalong, winds through a pretty valley, bounded on both sides by steep, rocky hills. For the greater part of the way, the track hugs the Eastern range, sometimes climbing halfway up the slopes. Every few minutes, the tourist is given a fine view of the country through openings in the trees. about three miles on the Melbourne side of Pyalong is a bad patch of sand about 150 yards [46m] long.
After leaving Pyalong, the road is not quite so good, sand patches becoming more frequent. The greater part of it, however, is metalled and has a comparitively smooth surface. The seventeen miles separating Pyalong from Heathcote is heavily wooded, the road being sheltered almost the whole of the way by tall trees. There is evidently little motor traffic along this road, as nearly every horse met with on Saturday, shied at the machine. In some cases, the animals became so scared that I pulled into the side of the road, and stopped while they were led past. "Not many of you fellows will do that!" exclaimed one horseman, as he went by, "We are not quite so bad as we are painted", I told him in reply.
Heathcote is a pretty town nestling snugly in a valley formed between two ranges of high, densely wooded hills. Road making is in progress here and repairs are certainly needed. It is the last thirty miles separating Heathcote from Bendigo which will give the motorist the most trouble. The road is metalled in places, but there are stretches absolutely unmade, which can only be covered at a crawl.
Half a mile before reaching Knowsley, and for about two miles after leaving that town, the road is one mess of dried mud. During the wet weather, this mud, which in places is fully 18" deep, was churned into deep ruts by the wood drays and now that the mixture is dried, the going is as bad as it possibly can be. There is a patch of about three miles of good road to Axedale. This place, a favourite picnic resort of Bendigonians, is situated on the Campaspe River, which here runs through high basalt cliffs. The bridge over the river is approached by an extremely steep descent, with a dangerous curve which is met with unexpectedly. A house on one side of the road, and stables and sheds on the other, prevent the traveller from seeing the descent until he is within a few yards of the curve. The remaining fifteen miles into Bendigo, 104 miles from Melbourne by this route, runs through gently undulating country, covered with stunted trees. The road is rutty, full of potholes, and uncomfortably dusty.
Representations regarding establishment of telephonic connection between Bendigo and Melbourne via Heathcote and Kilmore are receiving attention.
Mr. Schlapp [McIvor Timber and Firewood] will now take up the agreement with the settlers that was not taken up or confirmed in 1908. The Railways Department suggested to him that he take the matter up with the settlers who had been advised to make the best arrangements with the company that they could.
The first season's wheat, two wagons of 120 bags, is hauled to Heathcote Station by Mr. James Trantor's traction engine. Trucking of grain has also commenced from Derrinal Station. Wheat traffic through Bendigo from the northern areas has fallen off considerably. It is expected to pick up in a few days.
Over 200 men are engaged in combating a bushfire between Tooborac and Heathcote, including a large number who are despatched from the McIvor Timber Company's works, a gang of railwaymen engaged in the vicinity, as well as others from Heathcote and other parts.
Farmers are complaining of loss of grain from bags left standing in stubble paddocks near Axedale, waiting carting to the railway station. Many bags have lost most of their contents through the depredations of birds.
The Manager, Costerfield mines, states that they had been advised that they will only be allowed to stack ore four bags high on the Argyle platform, as it has given way. The platform accommodation is inadequate. The company requires to stack 3,000 to 4,000 bags at a time and they could rot if stacked on the ground. The Commissioners say that, in their view, facilities at Argyle are adequate. The Council is not content and says that bags need to be stacked 8 bags high.
Longlea experiences an outbreak of diptheria at a residence close to the station. It is the family of the Postmistress, the wife of the Repairer who drowned in Sweeney's Creek, the Caretaker of Longlea Station, that has the condition. During Mrs. Rowe's illness, someone, not a resident of Longlea, carries out the responsibilities. The Postal Department has the view that no further action needs to be taken but, if there is any exception taken to Mrs. Rowe continuing to carry out her duties, there will be no option but to close the station.
Mr. Victor Allen Deane, now, a farmer of Axedale, is sued for £50 by Phillip Anton Adrian Mueller for work and labour done between 13th and 19th of April. Mueller introduces Deane to auctioneers and opens up negotiations for the purchase of certain land at Axedale, for which he is to be paid £50. The property is purchased but Mueller is not paid. The case goes against Mr. Deane as his evidence is 'very unsatisfactory.' There is an order for the amount claimed and £5/5/- costs. [The property so purchased, may have been Deane's 'Waverley Estate'].
Line Repairer J. McInerney, who has been stationed at Axedale for some years, receives notice of transfer to Kangaroo Flat.
A special train load of cattle passes through Heathcote on its way to Derrinal - 300 head from Morwell in Gippsland.
• Weekly Notice WN18/15 of 03/05/1915 advises that Tooborac has been provided with Electric Staff in lieu of Train Staff and Ticket for the Kilmore - Tooborac section. Also, a General Appendix amendment states that the Kilmore - Tooborac Master Key has been withdrawn.
• Weekly Notice WN21/14 of 25/05/1914 advises that the Tooborac Up Home Signal has been moved 85 yards further in.
• Anti-collision 'contrivances' are being trialled by the Victorian Railways on the Glen Iris line. [These 'contrivances' are track mounted, automatic train stops that actuate a valve on the train if it passes certain signals under certain conditions, thereby operating the train brake and bringing it toa stand].
• Weekly Notice WN27/14 of 06/07/1914 advises that High Camp has been provided with a Plunger Lock.
• Weekly Notice WN43/14 of 26/10/1914 advises that Willowmavin has been provided permanent sheep trucking yards.
The Railways Department advises that, on investigation, it considers that the accommodation at Heathcote is ample for requirements. Cr. Kilroy moves that the Department, and the local Member, be advised that it is not considered adequate.
Crs. Farley and Kilroy suggest that the Railways Department be asked to place Heathcote on the list of drought-stricken centres and that a claim be made for a reduction in freight rates.
• Weekly Notice WN08/15 of 22/02/1915 advises that Kilmore Junction, and Kilmore, have been provided with Electric Staff in lieu of Train Staff and Ticket, for the Kilmore Junction - Kilmore section.
Sort this out XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
• Weekly Notice WN18/15 of 03/05/1915 advises that Electric Staff has been provided in lieu of Train Staff and Ticket at Kilmore for the Kilmore - Tooborac section, and also a Divided Staff with detachable name plate a/c Pyalong. (See also High Camp). A General Appendix amendment deletes the Master Key Kilmore - Tooborac. Also, the same Weekly Notice advises that, at High Camp, Electric Staff instruments have been provided and High Camp may open as an Electric Staff Station as required. The sections will be Kilmore - High Camp - Tooborac. A divided staff will be provided in the Tooborac section a/c Pyalong.
At Axedale, Electric Staff has also been provided in lieu of Train Staff and Ticket for section North Bendigo Junction - Axedale - Knowsley. Provided Divided Staff in Knowsley section a/c Axedale Racecourse.
• Weekly Notice WN21/15 of 24/05/1915 advises that Electric Staff has been provided in lieu of Train Staff and Ticket, for the Heathcote - Knowsley section.
Axedale Racecourse Platform: WN21/15 (24-05-1915) - May open as temporary Stafft Station by divided staff in Axedale - Knowsley Electric Staff section.
Longlea: WN21/15 (24-05-1915) - May open as Temporary Electric Staff Station in Axedale - North Bendigo Junction Electric Staff section.
North Bendigo: WN21/15 (24-05-1915) - Provided Electric Staff in lieu of Train Staff and Ticket, North Bendigo Junction - Axedale.
Sort this out XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
A special excursion train is to run from Melbourne to Wallan and then stop all stations via Heathcote to Longlea.
A resident protests against the loss of the early morning train to Bendigo.
The thirty-fourth Annual Heatcote Show is to be held. Special trains are to run from Bendigo, also picking up at Ingham, and an excursion train will run from Melbourne.
The All Saints' Sunday School and St. John's Presbyterian Sunday School is held at Axedale.
Mr. James Tranter advises that he has been appointed local district representative for Mr. John F. Goulding, government agent, and is prepared to accept wheat in any quantity at Heathcote, Derrinal and Argyle stations.
Under the present timetable, residents of Pyalong and surrounding district, when called to Kilmore on business, have to remain overnight if travelling by train and request that the afternoon train from Kilmore should be reinstated on one or two days a week. Consideration is promised and, later that day, it is decided that a train should be run to Tooborac and back on Thursdays, connecting with the 2.40pm train from Melbourne.
Provision is made in the Railway Loan Bill for improvements to a number of railway stations. Unless it is related to non-specified additional sites for stacking grain, no station on the Wallan-Bendigo line gets a mention.
Wheat carting is in full swing and the Longlea Station presents a busy appearance. A block has again arisen at Axedale owing to want of sufficient storage room, platform accommodation and scarcity of trucks.
350 tons of antimony ore leaves Argyle Station in one week for shipment to St. Helen's smelting works. For the year ended 1915, 3,159 tons 18cwts are raised and shipped.
The City Engineer reports on road works required close to the siding entrance at Ingham. In wet weather, the gully becomes soft and water lies in places rendering the passage of sheep difficult. Cost should be about £20.
Axedale supplies road metal to Rochester.
A special train will run from Bendigo and excursion fares will be charged for the Thirty-Fifth Annual Heathcote Show. Farley's garage now has the 'celebrated Ford car'.
The Railways Commissioners comply with a request to erect temporary trucking yards at Bylands Station.
Weekly Notice WN10/17 of01/03/1917 advises that Tooborac is closed for private telegraph business.
Arthur Anderson, 15 years of age at South Heathcote is holding a horse with a gig load of rabbits at Argyle Station when the horse becomes startled and bolts. The lad is thrown out and rendered unconscious. He is taken to the Lake Hotel and then to hospital.
Axedale Stationmaster, Mr. F.A. Forbes, has received his notice of promotion and transfer. He is to be replaced by Mr. Collins from Fish Creek.
At a Pyalong Shire meeting on the prevalence of St. John's Wort, Stinkwort and other noxious weeds, the Railway and Forestry Departments, through their inaction, are blamed for their spread.
The Road Users' Association is asked by the Royal Commission on Victorian Railways to place before it, evidence showing how road construction, maintenance or development can be used to increase the revenue of the railways. There are five headings:
1. Railways that do not pay, and would be better by being turned into main roads.
2. Tourist places, which, with road maintenance, could increase passenger revenue.
3. Paying railways which neglect local traffic through lack of road communications.
4. The extension of development railways many miles into the country, without the provision of adequate road communication.
5. Neglected railway extensions where the provision of a main road would meet the need of the case and increase railway revenue.
The third session of the State Parliament will commence this month. Increased rail freights and fares will be an important issue for some.
Samuel Doak draws attention to the unfinished state of the culvert near Ingham and requests a drain be made at the junction of McIvor Road.
Kilmore Dairy Company district agents have been appointed at Pyalong, Tooborac, Argyle, Heathcote and Axedale railway stations for the purchase and despatch of cream to the factory.
Weekly notice WN02/18 of 14/01/1918 advises that High Camp is opened as a Temporary Electric Staff Station.
• Weekly Notice WN05/18 of 04/02/1918 advises that High Camp is disestablished as an Electric Staff Station.
Mrs. Rowe, the Caretaker of Longlea Station in 1913 when her Repairer husband drowned in Sweeney's Creek, and now Caretaker of Leonards Hill Station [South of Daylesford], receives word that her son, William Charles Henry Rowe, has been killed in action in France. Prior to enlisting, he was employed as a labourer on the Victorian Railways under Works Master Oakley of Bendigo. [William was 15 years old in 1913, and was the last person that his father had spoken to before heading off into the bush, and subsequently drowning].
Road metal is being sent from Axedale to Quambatook.
• Weekly Notice WN17/10 of 02/05/1910 advises that South Heathcote is renamed Argyle.
Mr. W.R. Philpot, late Stationmaster of Golden Square, passes away. He was in charge of Axedale Station for some years and was highly esteemed.
When a special train is running through the Argyle Station yards it runs over and kills a fine young cow belonging to Mr. P. O'Dea.
Mr. V.A. Deane gives a public demonstration of a patent, self-feeding chaff cutter and hay press at his Waverley Estate property at Axedale. It has a capacity of nine tons of chaff per hour. He is congratulated for introducing such an up to date plant to the district.
"The Whip" [a movie film?], is not shown by the Heathcote Fire Brigade's Biograph owing to the carelessness of the Railway officials overcarrying it to Bendigo.
The Shire Secretary is asked to write to the Railway Commissioners about the condition of the Heathcote and Argyle station yards. The railways reply that they have issued instructions to have the roadways leading to Heathcote and Argyle stations put in order.
The McIvor Timber Company, in response to Council complaints of overflow of side drains damaging the roadway, says that more damage is being done by narrow tyred drays carting huge loads of wood. They also draw attention to the bad state of the Tooborac-Seymour Road.
Talbot Quarries in Cohuna say that Axedale bluestone could be put on rail for 6/- a cubic yard [0.9 cubic metres] and that the freight to Cohuna is 4/-.
A special train will run to the Thirty-Sixth Heathcote Annual Show, from Bendigo at 11.45am, arriving at Heathcote at 12pm and returning at 7pm.
Special trains to the recent Hibernian picnic conveyed over 2,000 patrons to Axedale.
A lunatic who is arrested at Mandurang passes through Knowsley. It appears that his horse got away from him at Derrinal and he intended to take the train on to Bendigo. The horse is now in the Police paddock at Wild Duck and Mr. W. O'Sullivan has charge of the wagonette.
Representatives of the sawmilling industry submit their views on the alleged shortage of railway trucks and its affect on their business, to the State Railways Standing Committee.
In 26 years, Mr. W.J. Hicks has never experienced such trouble as he has recently. As idle employees have to be paid, the price of firewood has gone up by an estimated 3/4 per ton. Mr. L. Caelli, of Nagambie, says that ordered trucks are taking a fortnight to be supplied and there is an average transit time of seven days and he has been barely clearing £3 a week for himself during the past year. Mr. W.E. Prince, Secretary of the McIvor Timber and Firewood Company of Tooborac, says that the firm's output for 1918 was 3,755 trucks, whereas in 1919, it is only 2,850. He blames the shortage of trucks. The number of mills have been cut down from seven to three. When questioned, he does not agree that there is a shortage of trucks. The trouble is in the way they are handled.
Mr. Alexander McDonald says that the efficiency of the Railways suffered for a want of 'the power of the sack'. He knows of Railway employees being discharged for doing too much, but never for doing too little.
Mr. J.H. Stephens, Secretary of the Fuel Merchants' Association, expresses the opinion that the Railway management is out of touch with the requirements of business people. If the Commissioners cannot grasp that fact, they should be removed. One hundred firewood merchants have gone out of business in the last six months.