THE township of Coleambally is still one of NSW’s newest – if not the newest – stand-alone towns.
Established in 1968 for the sole purpose of supporting those who established irrigated agriculture in the area, Coleambally remains very much a pioneer community.
The site for the town was selected quite early in the creation of the irrigation area. This made it much easier in terms of planning, including the construction of roads to access the site.
On February 1959, the Department of Local Government prepared a report on the size and type of town that would be needed to become the the administrative, social and service centre of the area, predicting a final population of between 4500 and 5000 people.
When the Water Conservation & Irrigation Commission (WC&IC) was digging irrigation channels through the Bretts State Forest in 1962 it was told certain areas would be required for a future township.
In March 1964, Murrumbidgee Shire Council commissioned Clarke, Gazzard and Partners to prepare a town plan, which was completed nine months later.
As Coleambally was being developed from scratch, instead of haphazard evolution from a smaller settlement, there was plenty of focus put on what would be required to allow for the town and its population to grow, including a study that raised the issues of future agricultural production trends and processing industries, creation of employment opportunities and relationships to existing town centres.
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 first revocation to allow for the town was made on May 29, 1964 when 104 acres was claimed as the site for the settlement.
Envisaged as a “town in the forest”, a major objective of the development of Coleambally was to preserve as many trees as possible. There was a co-ordinated effort with Forestry Commission officials working closely with town planners to ensure as much timber cover as possible was retained to provide shade and shelter.
However, there was some clearing required and in March 1965 roadways were pegged out and 500 trees were removed.
The first occupation permit on the new area was granted to the Department of Education on January 1, 1965, for a school site of five acres.
Land designated for the town - an area of 330 acres in the Parish of Argoon, County Boyd - was revoked in the Government Gazette of May 3, 1968.
Coleambally was always designed to be off main roads with just one road into the town from the Kidman Way. As a result, the town’s main street - Brolga Place - would not be plagued by long-distance through traffic, although it was designed to be a channel for cross-town traffic.
Coleambally was officially declared open on Thursday, June 27, 1968 by P H (Pat) Morton, Minister for Local Government and Minister for Highways in Robert Askin’s Liberal government.