Every story must have a beginning and convey a journey.
The history of the Coleambally township is no different in that it didn’t not materialise out of thin air (well, not quite), but was the result of a series of developments over 130 years.
The Coleambally landscape consists mainly of gentle sloping plains and, except for sandhill formations and other small areas, the topography is perfectly suited to irrigation by gravity flow methods.
The first white men to pass near what is now the Coleambally Irrigation Area were members of Charles Sturt’s party, who travelled along the banks of the Murrumbidgee River in late 1829.
It was some years before Sturt’s exploration bore fruit because the government was anxious to restrict settled areas in a bid to counter administrative problems.
However, with much illegal settlement the government introduced the Crown Lands Occupation Act - also commonly known as the Squatting Act – in 1836 . Temporary “depasturing licences” were granted to approved applicants (squatters).
By the end of 1844 all the land on river frontages around Darlington Point had been completely occupied.
Those occupying runs on the southern side of the river - primarily “Uroly”, “Banadra”, “Ugoble”, “Uratta” and “Singorinbah” (“Toganmain”) - applied for leaseholds. “Uratta” and “Ugoble” were acquired from the original lessees and amalgamated with a large area away from the river to form “Kerabury”.
After the gold rush boom and resulting social and political change, many former miners and newly arrived migrants were searching for land, but it was mostly tied up by the large leaseholders.
This advertising feature is supported by the following businesses and organisations:
- Southern Cotton
- Hutcheon & Pearce
- Member for Murray Austin Evans
- Coleambally Community Bank (Branch of Bendigo Bank)
- Coleambally Solar Pty Ltd
- Marylin's Pharmacy
- Lions Club of Coleambally
- Coly Hardware
- Claire's Picture Framing
- Murrumbidgee Shire Council
- Elders Ltd
- Tim's Meats
- Mannes Agencies
- Member for Farrer Sussan Ley
- Barry's Transport
- Catalyst Accountants and Financial Solutions
- DeMamiel Bros.
- Serafin Ag Pro
- CIA Tyres
- JLB Livestock and Property
- Coly Concrete
- Cater and Blumer
- Coleambally Automotive Centre
- Coleambally Country Womens Association
- Coleambally Golf Club
- Coleambally Irrigation
- Coleambally Newsagency
- Coly Built
- Hi Trac Equipment
- Mens Shed
- Ledwidge 4 Pty Ltd
- Owen Motor Group
- Stitch In Time
- Wilks Water
- Akazien Hof Grain & Fertilizers/Yenda Prods
The Robertson Government introduced the Crown Lands Alienation Act (Free Selectors Act) in 1861, which became law in 1864. Under the act, any person was able to select from 40 to 320 acres of Crown Land.
During the 1860s, the large district pastoral holdings were left largely untouched by the selectors, but between 1864 and 1870 a small number of selections were taken up near the site of the Darlington Point township.
Janet and Alexander Ross had arrived in Adelaide in late 1854. Once the Robertson Land Act was enacted, eldest son Sandy was sent to investigate and in 1867 the family moved to NSW and began selecting.
After selecting at Holbrook, the family selected a third property, “Coleambally”, which formed part of the original “Kerabury” run.
In 1883 the family holdings expanded to include “Uri Park” and with the addition of smaller holdings the total area of the property was 22,000 acres (8903ha).
The Ross family partnership was dissolved in 1913, with John Ross acquiring “Coleambally” and passing it to his sons.
About half of “Coleambally” was resumed by the Water Conservation and Irrigation Commission (WC&IC) for the creation of the Coleambally Irrigation Area.