Victoria’s power problems will be solved by great Morwell scheme


VICTORIA is dependent upon New South Wales for her coal supplies.

But for the coal brought at great cost by rail or steamer from the sister State Victorian industries would vanish.

It is a lamentable state of affairs, and we have paid dearly indeed for our experience.

Our only hope of the future lies in the Morwell electric power scheme. That there is reason for hope at all is due to the Lawson Ministry.

Successive Ministries for the past thirty years have failed to make anything of an asset given by nature that means so much to Victoria.

Inquiry after inquiry has been conducted into the possibilities of brown coal as a source for the provision of power for industries, but it remained for the Lawson Ministry to take the step towards actual achievement.

The recent appointment of Sir John Monash as general manager of the Morwell electric power scheme represents another stage in the programme of work undertaken by Mr. Lawson and his colleagues to make Victoria absolutely independent of outside sources for power for industries.

Many lessons were taught by the war. One of the most important was that the stability of a nation is measured by its resources.

Lack of shipping, curtailment of supplies of imported manufactured goods emphasised the extent to which Australia relied upon other countries for her requirements. That lesson has fallen on fertile soil, and on every side are to be seen industries that would have remained foreign to this country but for the war.

British capitalists are looking round for openings in Australia, and it is becoming increasingly evident that they are finding those openings in States with cheap power to offer as the chief attraction.

Tasmania already has its hydro-electric power scheme in operation, and several large industries have been established on the island.

Other States, too, are competing, and without a cheap power scheme Victoria would be left in the backwash of industrial expansion.

In the brown coal deposits of Gippsland, Victoria has a truly wonderful asset. The existence of thousands of millions of tons of coal in the Morwell area has been proved, while the wealth that lies hidden in other parts of the southern province is untold.

The particular advantage of the Morwell coal is its accessibility. It can be won without the sinking of shafts, and some day on the Morwell field will be seen perhaps the biggest open cut coal mine in the world.

A project of such magnitude as that of Morwell necessarily entails a vast amount of preliminary preparation.

Before involving the State in an expenditure that will run into millions of money the Lawson Ministry fortified itself with the opinions and advice of the world’s most eminent authorities.

The soundness of the scheme has been proved beyond all question, and the utmost care is now being exercised to ensure that no mistake will be made in its execution.

Within one square mile of the power house site there are between 120,000,000 to 150,000,000 tons of open-cut coal.

With an output of 100,000 kilowatts of power a year this coal would last for 150 years.

Outside of the area mentioned there are over 20,000,000,000 tons of coal.


Frankston Police Court

MONDAY, AUGUST 16th. Before Messrs C. G. V. Williams (chairman), C. Grant, W. J. Oates, and W. Armstrong, J’s.P.


Brody & Mason v G. White; claim for rent.

Mr. Rostron appeared for plaintiffs, and Mr. Chumley for the defendant.

The plaintiffs alleged that White entered into a verbal agreement to lease a cottage at Frankston for a period of 12 months.

A lease was drawn up, and forwarded to White for signature, but was never returned.

The rent was paid at the rate of £2 14s 2d per month.

The last two payments were made by a man named Lesker on behalf of White.

The last payment was made on 24th July, 1920, and was forwarded by post by Lesker.

The key of the house had never been returned to plaintiffs, and in May last, Mrs Huon, the owner of the house, was compelled to take forcible possession.

After July 1919, plaintiffs made several visits to the house to try and collect the rent, but were never able to find defendant at home, as he was a week-ender.

Neighbors had advised them that the house was occupied at week-ends last season.

The defence was that there was no tenancy for more than a weekly tenancy, that there was no use or tenancy of the property since May, 1919, that if there was tenancy it was weekly and terminated when last rent was paid, and that plaintiffs had no authority to give tenancy for a year.

Gordon White, accountant, in the employ of the Gippsland & Northern Agency Co., now residing at Romsey, said he rented the house in question from plaintiffs at 12s 6d per week.

There was no lease. In May, 1919, he was affected with influenza, and on leaving the hospital, was transferred to Romsey.

In that month his wife visited Frankston to tidy the house.

She then went with witness to Romsey, and had been there ever since.

On leaving for Romsey, witness instructed Lesker, his friend, to pay the rent until June, 1919, and to return the key of the house.

Witness had not been in the house since April, 1919.

Herbert Lesker, indebtor, Melbourne, deposed that early in July 1919, he forwarded the rent to Brody & Mason with a covering letter terminating the tenancy, and returned the key by post.

He had not been in the house since April last year.

The Bench dismissed the case, and allowed £2 2s counsel fee.

Defendant’s claim for costs was dismissed, as it was considered he should have exercised more care terminating the tenancy.


John Perry pleaded guilty to the charge of being drunk and disorderly at Seaford on 14th August, and was fined 10s, and on a charge of assault was fined £1.


Frankston Cool Stores – Forming the company. Provisional directors appointed

A further meeting of those interested in the formation of a company for the purpose of erecting Cool Stores at Frankston was held last evening.

Cr. W. J. Oates was again voted to the chair, and others present were – Messrs J. Nott Marsh, C. W. Grant, J. Clark, S. Corlett, Aisbett, Patten, Janes, Young, Cr. F. H. Wells, and the acting secretary, Mr H. Vicars.

The canvassers having submitted their reports, Mr Werner, of the firm of Werne and Co., gave the meeting a lot of valuable information.

Mr Marsh moved, and Cr Oates seconded, that this meeting resolve to form a Company for the purpose of establishing Cool Stores at Frankston. – Carried unanimously.

It was further resolved, on the motion of Cr Wells, seconded by Mr Aisbett, that the capital of the Company shall be £25,000, divided into 50,000 shares of 10s each.

Mr C. W. Grant moved, and Mr J. Clark seconded, that each member shall pay 1s per share on application and 6d on allotment. – Carried.

It was also resolved that the minimum number of shares issued to one member be 50.

Cr Oates and Messrs Marsh and Clark were elected provisional directors.


FROM the pages of the Mornington Standard, 20 August 1920

First published in the Mornington News – 25 August 2020


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