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Mr. G. 'H.' O'Donnell, chairman of the Woothakata Shire Council,' tendered the following statement to ihe Royal Coinmission on

Nórthern Development at Ma- ! reeba:- . * i The Shire of Woothakata comprises^ an area of about 15,480 square' miles/ of which approximately 300 square miles is more or less suitable, for dairying and agricultural purposes, comprised in the Molloy, Black Mountain, Smithfield, Kuranda'and Clohesy areas, covering 193,000 acres,' of which 23,000 acres have been 'alienated in the Molloy area,. and 30,000 in the Kuranda-Smithfield Clohesy area, leaving about 140,000 i acres unalienated, of which 50,000

acres may be classed as dairying and ? agricultural land. There is also an

area ef about 12,000 acres of land, in the Euluma area, which is considered highly suitable for closer' settlement, part of which is jn the Douglas Shire, and which, from its (geographical ! position,' should be part of : the I Woothakata Shire.' It must, however,

be understood' that these figures) are ! approximate, as only part of" the' areas

referred to have been surveyed. , -r

Specific, evidence has been Vgiveri regarding these areas by . repre- sentatives from Rumula-Julatten" and Kuranda, who have first hand'know-' ledge, of the country " they require thrown open for closer settlement.

Thc main development works re- quired for the opening up óí the beforementioned areas^ . would be arterial roads primarily from, Oak? Forest through Smithfield and ."Black Mountain area to. the Julatten butter factory, and an extension of " the Júlatten-Devil Devil 'Creek main .road to Cassowary Valley and down:the' spur bearing that name .to Mossman, thus giving direct access to the" coast of the lands on the rforth-eastern;por tion of the. Shire, and others as re- quired. The, opening upTöf - bye or access roads to be thc work of the Shire Council.

I In the designing of these areas

! special attention '..should-be; given ta,

the plotting out of both' the arterial and bye roads, so as to obtain the best roads at reasonable cost. In this! connection it may be pointed, out that, in the past roads have been , surveyed, in inaccessible places and along,

streams, thus entailing expensive re-; sumptions.- ?_. .,. . {


Dealing with the purposes. for .which the land: may be used, it is suggested that possibilities of tobacco cultivation in the Mareeba district have been, amply proved under the adverse" con-

ditions of an abnormally .low' raggatt during the planting and' cultivation, period* The area of land suitablç/fpr. the production of this crop is ëxténf sive, and- its boundaries have Konly been remotely fixed.. The quality" of ihe leaf produced during the 1930-31 season has attracted State-wide -atten- tion, and the : opinion has been ex- pressed by experts that the soil and climate of the Mareeba district are singularly adaptable for the próduc

ron ot high grade leaf. It should

i therefore be the aim of the Laridä De-j

.partaient to make, a feature surrey of/

this extensive area, with the view . oB having further land made 'available for ; selection as early as possible. . At the present time there is existing a.:,verit-' i able land hunger, the-'success of "the-, first producers of leaf {having fc^ssed' attention upon this, part of "Norttö Queensland There is à^arge ar.çabB Crown lands in the" vicinity, of Mareeba, which should be designed; as soon as possible, ,<and ,the question.' of reducing the areas for tobacco grflw-' ing might be given, early considera-1 tion. The consensus of ; opinion is¡ that the land should be. more closely: settled, and it is contended, in the light of expérience, that, five acres is, the limit that a man with an ordinär-«

lamny can handle, and even then out- side help is necessary at thecrnciçat periods. It is therefore considered-tliat

farms should not exceed 30 acres' of ' land suitable, for the cultivation ,-ofV tobacco, with 30 or 40. acres/ of ordinary grazing land W ;paddo«¿king stock. It should be the, aim otf ïhe Lands Department tr > encourage; close settlement, thus prer-enting land, being acquired for specnlrjtive purposes.

i COTTON. . < ,

Another, crop, that is adaptedLjo the Mareeba area, is, cotton. A very "üne field of 17. ùcres was produced:, on Emerald Creek, nine miles from Mareeba, this year, which I am; in- formed ^averaged three bales per .acre, equal to 6070 lb, which is paid-for at thc rate o£ Sd. per lb., of which lid. is bouiity. The value of the'.crbp per ?"e,'is therefore £12/10/-. Tobacco ,s 'grown in the same area. ..Cotton lirls also been produced successfully at X^arbeeij, about 13 miles from Mareeba; close to the Atiieirton railway.- Under more favorab/e conditions of roads and transport the cotton industry

should flourish in; the course of a year

or two.


' On thc question of develópmen'

works to encVourage viand .settlement action should ibe initiated by thé Stat« to have a census taken of the horse power} than can be generated by wate lin the area.north'of Ingham,, with : view of establishing electrical powe ¡ stations where economically sonn<

and settlement is projected..'. In thi connection it. is only necessary t vision the wonderful development, ths has followed, in" the wake of th I establishment of the " Nymboid j Hydro Scheme ,in Northern Ne1

South Wales; What has been don I there is possible in North Queensland land it is onßy necessary to' cite tl I Barron "Fallsj, the Tully, and ïfareel

as areas in which big possibilities a latent so-far äs. hydro-electricity 1 concerned.; Tn addition to these thc are quite Í number of other po w schemes, awaiting development Dje ing with that projected at Mareetya is pointed out that its installation -TS prove a b5g factor in the developjnc of the tobacco industry, as the duri of tobacco by. electricity can be carri out more eföpieiitly and at leiss;< penditure by this means, always'. i>¡ vided the cost of the current . is;

right The Mareeba scheme'is. 'a vi simple one,, it can be installed generate 600 k.w. at a capital.cost 250 per k.w., and it wiri lie in a p< tion to supply energy for indust purposes in bulk at from ld. to-; per unit. If the'- necessity for: creased power becomes apparent further 300 k.w. can be generated under £50 per k.w., about 400 y: below the initial, scheme. Ecqnoni

about four mites further up the Bar- ron River, f .

The installation of this scheme pro