[FltOM OUR OSVX CORRESPONDENT.]
December 22, 1882.
The usual .activity in business circles, the antecedent of the svet season, has been sue coeded by ii lull ominous of the unbearable stagnation which is the natural attendant of the deluge that Cliristniustide or tho New Year in- variably ushers in. Probably over 100 teams have been despatched to the Etheridge and Tableland stations, to the south and srestof Nor- manton, and the inff nx of squatters and business people either to order goods, use the telegraph svire, or embark for Brisbane, via Thursday Island, in the useful little steamer Truganini,
lias made our stores, streets, and hotels ex- ceedingly busy.
To give your readers some idea of the value of the B.I.S.N. Company's service to the Gulf settlers I may tell you that a quotation has been asked from Mr. James Burns for 000 tons of svire to be landed in the Gulf waters. That means probably £13,000 cash to the indentor and £1200 to the Customs. Our Customs revenue for the twelve months ending Nos-cm ber last exceeded £12,000, and next year svill be much increased. Vet s»*e have no wharfage accommodation, no bhed for our goods, except Mr. Burns's store, on the river, and not a pick has Ijcen put in our roads to improve them. An expression of our indignant feelings at being tims neglected was wired to the Treasury and Works Departments lately, but »»?ithout any satisfactory results, Mr. Macrossan only stating that he had no money to lay out in our necessary improvements, and recommend- ing the Doonmunya Divisional Board to com- mence operations. This treatment has elicited
many utterances reflecting on the partiality of the Government, svho aro blamed for refusing this boon while spending money at Herberton, Port Douglas, and other places, not equal con-
tributors to the consolidated reveniu. No doubt tlie Doonmunya Board will soon be established, and perhaps the Government svill then loan the funds for carrying out necessary improvements.
The Normanton Herald and Carpentaria Advertiser, "circulating in and representing also the Etheridge, Clonchirry, Burketown, Thursday Island, and squatting districts on the Mitchell, Norman, and other noble rivera," is shortly to be published under the editorship of Mr. W. I. Booth, an old Queensland journalist, who has leased it under very favour- able conditions from the trustees. The paper is eagerly looked for. the want of a loeal repre- sentative in this thriving district being patent.
Numerous additions to our town population have been made of late weeks. New houses are springing up as if of mushroom growth for the accommodation of fresh arrivals. Mr. Comley, an experienced chemist and an old Queenslander, has established himself here; Mr. Thomas, chemist, lias got an aerated waters and cordial factory in full swing, much to the relief of both tipplers and abstainers, and is about to open u fancy goods shop imme- diately ; n Chinese storekeeper lias opened in fine premises near his countryman butcher Ah Foo (who, by tlie way, is our sole purveyor of good beef, good milk, and bad bread), and tlie hotels, not before it sues needed, are increasing their accommodation. An hydraulic ''dumping machine is in process of erection at tho rear of Mr. Sutherland's fine store for scrs-ico during tho coming shearing season. The Customs staff lias boen increased by the advent of Mr. Bond, of Kockhampton, svho svill relievo Mr. Sub collector Greenaway of a great deal of hard clerical labour, for some time past unfairly im- posed upon liim. Our school is in a thriving condition, and a nctvly-clectcil committee is about raising funds for fencing in the reserve.
Not a little interest lins been raised by the rumour that possibly Mr. James Burns's manager might establish a branch store at Floraville, a most eligible site near the head of tho navigable svatcrs of the Leichhardt Kiver, and au old settlement of Mr. Totvns. Access to the buck country or tublc lund can bo had from this jiliice ¡it all times of the year, and during the heaviest rains, even by svheeled traffic it is said, and the tossai could never be inundated nor insulated. Should Floraville bo inhabited, Burketown will become a more miserable place than it is now.
The choice of Point Parker as the terminus for the Transcontinental Hailtvay has not ulEectcil the Normiintonitcs much. Confident in possessing with au indefeasible tenure the trade of a magnificent back country, and of »»Testing from Townsville the remaining portion of tbo lutheridge trade, they arc keeping their souls in silence, making money tho ivhiic, and living verv comfortably indeed, being pesta ed by little else than a few persistent specimens of tho musra domesticas or common house fly,
Thunderstorms arc of timely occurrence, cooling the superheated earth and atmosphere, yielding a copious supply of clear cool water, and causing a spring of succulent grass which is improving the condition of our cattle.