THE opening of the stone quarries at Moorooduc on Friday, January 7 proved a notable event, destined to prove memorable in the history of the district’s development.
Men competent to express an opinion on the subject give the unqualified verdict that the Council of the Shire of Frankston and Hastings has done the right thing in establishing an industry so vital to the needs of the municipality.
The great need of the day is for roads and yet more roads.
The council, assisted by the Country Roads Board, has not been unwilling to supply all reasonable demands for improved thoroughfares, but in many instances construction has been retarded, owing to the inability to obtain adequate supplies of road making material.
In establishing quarries and crushing plant of its own in the heart of the shire, the council has become independent of outside supplies, and although the initial cost had been heavy, the ultimate gain will be proportionately large.
The official opening attracted a large number of visitors to the works, where the Shire President (Cr W. P. Mason) directed the proceedings.
Mr Calder, the Chairman of the Country Roads Board, was in attendance, and representatives of many neighboring municipalities were also present.
The extensive nature of the works caused considerable surprise to many and great interest was taken in the working of the massive machinery and the adjoining quarries.
Light refreshments were provided under the supervision of Mrs H. McComb, assisted by other lady helpers, and as the weather was extremely hot, the council’s thoughtfulness in this connection was much appreciated.
The Shire President (Cr Mason), in welcoming the visitors, said they were taking part in a function of considerable importance.
From a monetary and utility standpoint, it was one of the biggest enterprises undertaken by any shire. When first mooted it seemed too large, as several thousands of pounds had to be provided, and the money market presented difficulties.
Ultimately all obstacles had been overcome, and the plant was now in running order at a present cost of £12,000.
The Council had been fortunate in securing as manager, Mr Frank Jolly, in whom they had implicit faith, and he was carrying the full responsibility of the works.
In launching the new venture, the council had been subjected to much criticism.
This was not resented as long as it was fair and reasonable. Some critics said they had paid too much for the land—400 acres had been purchased at £6 per acre.
The area was covered with timber, still growing, and the value of the wood as fuel was £6 per acre.
He was satisfied the council had secured a very fine asset.
The machinery was capable of turning out 400 yards of metal per day and no difficulty would be experienced in disposing of the stone.
A contract had just been entered into to supply the Railway Department with 12,000 yards of metal at a very favorable price.
He wished to make it clear that the council would never have been able to establish the plant had it not been for the forward policy of the Government in establishing the Country Roads Board. (Applause)
They were pleased to have Mr Calder (chairman of the Roads Board) present at the opening of their quarries. (Hear, hear)
The Board had done such excellent work that the system was now being copied by the Government of New South Wales.
It was at last recognised that good roads were essential to the proper development of the country. Good roads made good neighbors and good towns, and kept the railways going.
The Mornington Peninsula would have remained in a somewhat primitive state had not the Country Roads Board stepped in and provided adequate highways for the producers, and he hoped before long to see the Board take over Humphries Road and the 3-chain road linking Tyabb and the main Hastings Road.
If these were treated as developmental roads, the council would have little to complain about.
Mr Calder, who met with an enthusiastic reception, said he was acting on behalf of Mrs Mason, the wife of the shire president, in setting the machinery in motion.
He felt flattered at being asked to take part in such an important ceremony.
He congratulated the shire council on the progressive step it had taken.
People were inclined to whine a little when large expenditures were mooted and deplore the high cost of labor, etc.
It was necessary, however, to look forward hopefully, for times were not always to be as they were now.
The effect of the backwash of the war was being felt all over the world.
The country or State that made provision for the future would reap the full benefit when the change for the better came.
It was necessary to have good highways, and he was glad to notice the progress being made in that direction by the shires of the Peninsula.
He had strong faith in the future of the Peninsula. (Cheers)
It was admirably adapted for Closer Settlement with its splendid soil, which was easy of cultivation.
The Frankston and Hastings shire council had taken a broad and favorable outlook, and the ratepayers would have no cause to blame them for lack of enterprise.
Mr Calder said he had inspected this quarry site 8 years ago, and was surprised that it had not been developed before.
As soon as the council expressed its desire to establish a quarry, the C.R.B. gave the movement every encouragement.
It was a costly undertaking, but he believed it would be remunerative.
The C.R.B. would use as much of the stone as possible, and the adjoining shires of Mornington and Flinders would find it convenient to do the same. Neighbouring councils were under a debt of gratitude to the Shire of Frankston for making available supplies of metal at their very doors.
While the stone was not quite first class, it was superior to the best basalt from Melbourne, and was well suited to the requirements of the district.
The C.R.B. would do its best to keep the plant going. (Cheers.)
AT the Frankston Police Court on Monday last — before Cr W. P. Mason and Mr C. W. Grant, J’s.P — a female offender, who admitted prior convictions, was fined £1, in default three days, for being drunk and disorderly at Frankston on Saturday last.
A defendant, charged with non-compliance with the Vaccination Act, was fined 10s.
WESTERNPORT Bay owes its discovery to Sir George Bass, the surgeon, who came to Australia in 1795.
Its discovery was the outcome of a remarkable feat on Bass’s part, for the voyage from Sydney to Westernport was made in a miniature type of whaling craft.
Bass was a fearless, wandering spirit, but his fate was ultimately a sad one, for whilst visiting Valparaiso, he was seized and sent into the slavery of the Brazil quicksilver mines.
SPORTS in the Bittern and Balnarring district are thinking about holding a race meeting at the Emu Plains Racecourse shortly. Nothing definite yet, but it’s coming.
SOME of the latest land buyers in the Frankston district include residents of Barnwartha, Kiewa, Benalla, Rushworth, and Strathmerton.
FROM the pages of the Frankston and Somerville Standard, 21 January 1921