The ordinary monthly meeting of Condobolin Pastures Protection Board was held at the board's office last Thursday week. Present, Directors Moulder (Chairman), Mooney, McLellan, Gavel, Reardon, Dawson, Hope and Maxwell.
Inverell P. P. Board, circular letter asking other boards to cooperate in urging the relief of the primary producer of the inflated cost of wire netting, iron, etc., brought about by the high duties. Resolved, on the motion of Dir. Reardon and Maxwell, to cooperate.
Narrandera P. P. Board, with reference to sheep brands and marks, T. Rowsten, Weethalle, agreeing to Condobolin board's proposal, but claiming that the fees paid to Condobolin board should be handed to their board. Resolved, on motion of Dirs Mooney and Maxwell, to pay the money as requested.
West Milby Branch of the Farmers and Settlers' Association, asking that the rabbit inspector be sent to visit that district, and make an inspection of the neighbourhood. Chairman remarked, that there had already been an inspection. It was resolved to reply accordingly.
Council of Advice, with reference to the description and number of sheep, to the effect that the Stock and Brands Branch has advised that the new amendment of the P. P. Act will more clearly set out the nature of the information required in permits. Filed.
Council of Advice, stating that the annual meeting of P. P. Boards will be held in Sydney on May 24 and 25, and that if the board desires to place any matter on the business papers, notice of same should reach the secretary not later than the 15th April. The name of the board's delegate was also required. It was resolved, on motion of Dirs. Maxwell and Dawson, that the Chairman he appointed the Board's delegate, with power, in the event of his inability to attend, to appoint a substitute. Several Dirs expressed a desire to see the Chairman nominated for a seat on the Council of Advice. Replying, Dir. Moulder said he was not anxious for it as there were already a lot of good men there and well able to do the work. However, if it was the wish of this Board to nominate him, they could do so, and he would consider the matter as to whether he would contest in the election. He was then nominated on the motion of Dirs Mooney and Maxwell.
Institute of Stock Inspectors, intimating that the annual conference will be held in Sydney on April 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. A cordial invitation was extended to the Chairman and members of the Board. It was also asked that the Stock Inspector be given the usual leave to attend. Resolved, on motion of Dirs Moulder and Reardon, that Mr. O'Neill' (Stock Inspector) be given the usual leave of absence to allow him to attend.
Government Saving Bank, with reference to mortgaged lands of a certain settler. It was resolved to refer the matter to the board's solicitors.
C. M. Fraser, directing attention to the bad state of the drain leading into the tank at Euglo siding. Left in the hands of the stock inspector for attention.
Wamboyne branch of the Farmers and Settlers' Association, referring to the bad state of the dip. Resolved to reply that this matter had previously been referred to the Stock Inspector for attention, but that, on account of his holidaying during the past month, he was unable to give it attention. He will now be in a position to do so.
S. Esler, who had received the usual notice respecting the unsatisfactory condition of his holding, asked for an extension of two months, during which time he would be able to get rid of the rabbits to the satisfaction of the inspector. Resolved that he be informed the Act will not allow the board to grant any extension of time. We may add that several other applicants received the same answer.
Stock and Brands Branch, giving official record of the resolutions passed at the Rabbit Conference held in Sydney. We referred to this in last issue.
Young. P. P. Board, with reference to the proposed conference of board delegates, and stating that delegates had agreed that groups of boards be formed to work in unison and on concerted lines in the various parts of the State for the purpose of taking simultaneous action towards the destruction of rabbits. Young Board was prepared to establish a group consisting of the following boards—Forbes, Carcoar, Yass, Young, Gundagai, Condobolin and Wagga. They would be pleased to have the assurance of Condobolin board that it would join such group. The chairman said that what they could do in Yass would be different to what should be done here. It may sit there to have groups of boards, and it could be discussed as to whether we should. He did not know whether any good would come out of it here. Hay and Balranald boards were in favour of continuing the barrier fence. Dir Reardon said he did not think there could be any harm in sending a delegate. Dir McLellan was of the same opinion. Some good may come out of it by the interchange of ideas. Dir. Gavel said the board was most concerned by the rabbits coming in from the west, more than from the east. If Condobolin board could work in with Hay and Narrandera boards it would be best. Dir. Reardon agreed with Dir. Gavel, but emphasised that the Young Board was the first to ask them, and they should consider them. The chairman suggested that they include in their motion that we would be pleased if they would invite delegates from Hay and Narrandera P. P. Board. Dir. Hope asked would it not be better to divide them up into groups. The Chairman said that was not likely to come about. This board should get in with Hay and Narrandera boards. In answer to an inquiry about the state of the north of the district, Mr. O'Neill said they would have practically a barrier of netting right to Tottenham, as all the settlers have good rabbit-proof fences." The Chairman said that was the sort of thing he had in mind in his resolution at the rabbit conference. Eventually, it was resolved to have Condobolin board represented, and to ask the Young board to arrange to have delegates there from Hay and Narrandera. The Chairman had been previously selected as the board's delegate.
Report of Solicitors Driffield and Hodby was a lengthy one, dealing with various subjects. One part, stated that, at the police court on the 1st March, two private cases were heard, under section 108 Qf the P. P. Act, one Morrison v Barnes, and the other Morrison v Nayden. In each case a fine of £2 was inflicted, such fine to go to the Condobolin P.P. Board. Another part of the report dealt at length with the prosecution of Mrs. Yeo, under section 58, failing to destroy rabbits. There was also a letter from Mr. F. W. Gavel (Mrs. Yeo's father) on the subject. The board occupied a long time in discussing this matter and at one period went into committee. There appeared to be some complication as to which property is owned by Mrs. Yeo, whether Pine Grove, or that known as Dick's. It is not our custom to give report of discussion on matters where legal proceedings have been instituted. Hence we shall merely state that it was resolved to withdraw the summons that had been taken out and that a search be made by the solicitors so as to make sure of the position of ownership or occupation before issuing a fresh summons.
Stock Inspectors reports were few, and no usual monthly report. This is on account of. Mr. O'Neill having been on his usual annual holiday and only returned a few days before the board meeting. One important report was with reference to a communication from the District Surveyor, Dubbo, respecting the control of a number of reserves being again brought under the control of the board. Mr. O'Neill went on to explain that T.S. and C.R. 55633, parish Mogille, and T. S. and C.R. 55634, parish Miamley North, had not again been placed under the control of the board. For these 2 reserves applications have been respectively made by Messrs J. D. Davidson and Easey, jnr. And with regard to opposing the granting of these applications, the trouble now is that the board has no right to appear as a direct party before Local Land Board; it can only appear as a common objector which is a very different thing to appearing as an interested party with power to bring evidence. In the event of these reserves not being again placed under control of the board before the applications are heard before the Land Board, it may be possible for the Minister to do something whereby the P.P. Board could be directly represented as an interested party, in which case a number of witnesses could be brought to state the reserves are wanted in the interests of travelling stock, more especially when the board had already decided to make water provision there. The Chairman emphasised that the board should strongly protest to the Minister for Lands. Mr. Buttenshaw had said that no reserve would be taken away where it was shown the board wanted it. The full position could be pointed out to him and get him to alter the present conditions which prevent the board from appearing at the Land Board as an interested party. Dir. Gavel agreed with the suggestion, and moved that a letter be written to the Minister for Lands, telling him just what had happened, and that the board wants to put a tank on one reserve and cannot do so till it gets control of the land; also ask the Minister could he make provision to allow the stock inspector to appear before the Land Board on behalf of the Board as an interested party. Seconded by Dir. Mooney and carried.
Another interesting matter mentioned by the stock inspector arising out of a letter in his hands, was the price of strychnine. The Chairman informed the board that this matter was an important one before the rabbit conference, and it was then stated it could be landed from England at four shillings an ounce, and that provision is likely to be made for P. P. Boards to sell it to the settlers. Dir. McLellan said that, in the past, up went the price locally to the settlers once it was known that poisoning was taking place on a larger scale because of the suitableness of the period. Dir. Gavel considered something should be done to give the settlers cheaper poison and thus assist them in dealing with the rabbits. The board could apply for a license to sell poison. He moved that the secretary write the Stock and Brands Branch and get all the necessary information. Seconded by Dir. McLellan, and carried.
Referring again to control of reserves, the stock inspector, mentioned he had received from the District Surveyor, Hay, a list of reserves that had been placed back under the board's control, but there are still some which had been decontrolled from the board which should be given back, as they are required in the interests of travelling stock. It was resolved, on motion of Dirs. Hope and Gavel that the Minister for Lands be written to, to have the whole of those reserves placed back under the control of the board.
After hearing Mr. O'Neill's reference to a number of reserves having been taken from the board, and in some cases a lease of same having been granted, after assurance having been given in two cases (named) that such leases would not be granted without reference to this board, it was resolved to write the Minister for Lands, fully setting out these cases & others, so that he may see just what is being done. Special reference was made to the "strange" work done in connection with the Lake Cowal leases, which were intended to be originals, or additionals, and understood to be additionals to those holdings adjacent, and yet some given as additionals to people with holdings miles away. The case of Mr. T. Croft was emphasised as one, he being eight miles away from the Lake Cowal lands and yet granted a block as an additional holding, while an applicant who wanted it as an original holding was turned down.
Reports of rabbit inspectors, Messrs I. W. Moulder and J. Tough, showed a good many holdings quite satisfactory, a fair number unsatisfactory on first inspection conditions and three unsatisfactory on second inspection conditions. The holders of these three were named as Messrs. R. S. McCann (Gorman's Hill), Thompson (Gilgais), and L. Mazoudier. It was resolved that they be prosecuted.
Report of Auditor Arthur S. Lee on the books and accounts for the year 1932 was most satisfactory. The Chairman remarked that it was only what the board may expect with a secretary like Mr. Hughes.
Many applications were received for extension of time in which to pay overdue wire netting instalments, but not nearly so many as for each of the previous four meetings. They were recommended for favourable consideration of the Minister.
The applications of the following for supply of wire netting were recommended : E. Lindberg, G. D. Williams, O. E. Reynolds, A. E. Paton, J. Costello, S. C. Hewitt, L. H. Dawson, R. G. Medcalf, — Pawley, H. C. Burdack, A. C. Slade, Bassett Bros., C. H. Jackson. Some of these were subject to approval of the G. S. B. and odd ones for the special consideration of the Minister, in which cases the Department takes the whole responsibility, and the board none, in the case of the failure of payment.
Referring to netting fences, the Chairman remarked that in many cases they had been neglected and not kept in rabbit proof condition. He would like the inspectors to give the owners notice to put them in order in every case. Dir. Hope remarked that, in the new Bill to be brought in shortly, or supposed to be shortly, there will be no provision for half rates where the boundaries of holdings are wire netted.
The Chairman suggested that an advertisment be put in the Wyalong and Condobolin newspapers with respect to the general drive that is to commence on the 3rd April, and pointing out that this board, in keeping faith with the resolution, carried at the conference, expects something special and extra to be done during that month. It was resolved accordingly, on motion of Dirs. Gavel and Dawson The stock inspector remarked that the beard will also have to make a special effort, also the shire council. Dir. Dawson added that there were rabbits on the Condobolin-Wyalong T.S.R. A few places within the municipality were named, and the Chairman said the council would have them attended to at once.
Dir. Hope made very highly complimentary reference to the good work, and at very reasonable cost, done by Mr. McMurray, and expessed the wish that it might be brought under the notice of the shire engineer in the hope that McMurray would be employed to pIow out the rabbits on a certain road whilst McMurray is out in that locality.
Dir. Reardon wanted to know whether they had made any further move towards getting their own plant for the plowing out of rabbits and other work. He noticed the board had been giving out a lot of work that might have been done with their own plant if they had it. Dir. Hope expressed the view that the board could not have it done as cheaply as by getting McMurray on what he did—two shillings a burrow, many great big ones, and no charge for a lot of little ones. The Chairman also thought that quite as cheap as the board's plant could do it. It was decided to go fully into it at next meeting.