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THE BENDIGrO ADVERTISES.
SANDHURST, WEDNESDAY, ZHth MAY, lSDli.
AN AUSTRALIAN MUD CITY.
Mud ! Mud ! Mud! Mud in the roads and on the footpaths. Mud on the doorsteps and in the houses. Carta made of mud, running on :nud wheels, and drawn by mud horses. Mud men, moving on pillars of mud. Mud women and children. Mud everywhere. Mud from Epsom to Kangaroo Flat; from View Point to Myer's Plat. Such is the state of Sandhurst and its envi
rons. Wherever we move—sometimes up to our ancles in mud, frequently half way up to our knees—around in all directions we see an endless, dreary scene of mud. Is this to last? Can we
abate it? And if so do we intend to act with
energy in the matter, or following our usual custom, apathetically to sit down and leaving everything to everybody, find nothing done. The onus of grap pling with the difficulty rests with our Municipal Council. What steps has it taken to meet the diffi culty ? It has now been' several. months in existence; its members are well [aware of the deplorable state of our roads in winter, and have had a long lease of fine weather, which would have enabled them somewhat to diminish the vast evil which forms the every-day topic of conver sation and reprobation. But instead of recog nising the extent and importance of the work that lay before them, and promptly decidiug on their course of action, and actively carrying it at once into operation, they dallied with this as with their bye-laws,—ever going to do, but nothing doing. No plan of operations has been fully discussed. A. piecemeal system has been pursued; a few stumps have been taken out here, a few holes filled up there. Market .Square, a large opeu space, was one of the first places for the improvement of which contracts were made, although it was not required for the purposes of traffic; and whilst important thoroughfares, such as Mitchell and Mundy streetsj were entirely neglected. Within the last week or two, if we remember rightly, a member of the Council made a proposition that Pall Mall should be levelled, whilst Williamson-street, where there is always n considerable traffic, and which last winter was, as it is now, a perfect quagmire— was left to its fate—an ocean of mud, the despair of travellers. Luckily for the townspeople, the suggestion appears to have lapsed, and William son-street has taken precedence of this gentleman's hobby. But this system of grubbing up a few stumps, and iilling in a few holes, will aever accomplish what the residents in Sandhurst not very unreasonably require, that in a wealthy town like this, they may be able to move about whilst following their various avocations without having to plough their way through the Mitchell-street morass, or the bogs of Bull and Williamson Btreets. The Municipal Council has shown a want of prudent daring ; all their movements hay9 had reference to what the ratepayers
would say. These gentlemen, a not very tyran nical class, have been converted into a bug-hear. Councillors have urged or abandoned their views -^cording as they would be favorably or otherwise viewed by their constituents, and irres pective of thei • justness. On these grounds no effort was made to procure a loan which one of the Banks wnsperfectly willing to grant. l''or this reason
some small contracts have been made for various
places,—sops to keep the voters quiet. The same spirit actuated the Chairman of. the Council wlien, with the representative of the White Hills—as Mr, Simons may fairly be termed—sitting at the Council table, he soothingly pro posed that the residents of that locality should be invited to state what slice of the .£7500 they would wish to have. The Council is not, as it should be, composed of a certain num ber of gentlemen representing a certain district, but representing different portions of that district. I As long as this shall continue to be the case, we much fear that our progress will be none of the
fastest. We do not wish to be misunderstood—we are 110 advocates for the lavishing of money on one particular portion of the Municipal district, to the exclusion of the just claims of other portions. The point we are urging is this, that the Council should expend the Corporation funds in tlie im provement of those localities where the obstructions cause the greatest amount of inconvenience, mak ing the urgency of tlie requirement the only test. In this view of the case we conceive that the Council should at once proceed to advertise for tenders for the formation of the footpath in Pall Mall, in the various streets leading out of it, and as far as a judicious expenditure of the corporation funds will permit, wherever the traffic is suffi ciently great to require it. If this is not doing substantial justice we do not know what is. If at any other portion of the Municipal district, even at the furthest limits of the Municipal boundaries, the traffis can be shewn to be greater than in Pall Mall, by all means let the commencement be made there. The winter has not yet commenced and the streets of the township are in a worse state by far than they were two years ago. We believe that a greater amount of public benefit will be con ferred by the adoption of the suggestion we liave thrown out than by any other. Tlie improving the roadways is a secondary matter except where the traffic is seriously impeded. The traffic of vehicles, large as it is, is small compared with the constant stream of foot-passengers. Great as undoubtedly is the trouble and delay experienced by drivers of vehicles, it cannot be compared with the endless discomfort experienced by the "large number of persons who day after day have to make possibly some half-dozen or dozen j ournies from one part of the township to another. Whatever may be the course adopted, something must be done to' provide the public with dry tracks through the swamp (foritis little better) in which weare living. If the Council- excuses itself for having done so little by saying that it had no funds at its disposal, we must confess we think it a very lame apology, for with propel- energy it could have obtained the grant-in-aid, besides other fluids. It lias not that excuse now, when it has'secured a moiety of the Grant, and can obtain tlie other half when ever it chooses to apply for it. The Council may assure itself of this fact, that the town lias arrived at that state when the public will insist upon some improvement being made, and will refuse to hear anything of impossi bilities. If the rate and grant in aid united, are, as we shrewdly surmise, insufficient to meet the pressing requirements of the district, let some other and prompt steps be taken for procuring ad
ditional funds. Let tlie Council at once face the
difficulty and come to a decision on it; and should they arrive at the conclusion that a loan is neces sary, 1 et them cal 1 the ratepayers together,and frank] y and clearly state.tlicrcasons which induced them to arrive at..that conclusion. Should those to whom
they appeal be adverse to the adoption of such a
course the Cmmeil will have done what it con sidered to be Lest, and will have raised itself in public opinion b'" a display of energy.