The Ashburton Guardian. Magna Est Veritas Et Prevalebit. MONDAY, DECEMBER 31, 1888. THE MILDURA IRRIGATION COLONY.
We recently compiled from the letters of " Telemachus " to the " Melbourne Argus " an interesting article deßcrip-
tivo of the wonderful enterprise which is being carried out by the Messrs Chaffey on a block of 250,000 acres m the Mallee country of Victoria. The following further particulars are extracted from a letter addressed to our Christchurch con temporal y, the " Press," m which the writer states that ho has received them from a friend resident m Victoria : — " Mildura is on the river Murray, m Victoria, eighteen miles by land from Wentworth. It was originally a sheep station, but lately purchased by Chaffey Brothers to form an Irrigation colony. The homestead is one mile from the postoffice. When I first came here m October 1887, there was only one boarding house, a few tents and the foundry, with a population of about fifty. Now thcro are several weatherboard and brick housea, about seventy. The principal buildings are seven general stores, two Banks (National and Commercial), three butchers shops, three bakers, eleven boarding houses, besides Bcveral tailors, bootmakers, tinsmiths, etc. It has telegraph communication with Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide. The township is laid out very well, all avenuca and streets being at right anglcß ; the principal avenuo is seven miles long and five chains wide. All tho avenues are called after fruit trees, e.g., Pino, Blnck Walnut, Cherry, etc. The Btreets aro not named, but numbered from 7th to 14th. The blocks of land vary m size from £ of an acre to 100 acres. The present population is about GOO, not thousands, as erroneously given m somo papers, but is daily increasing, Tho irrigation i*B all under the management of Chaffey Brothers. There are several pumping engines at work, one pumps water which runs seven miles back to a Lagoon, and from there is pumped again to a higher level. Tho Chaffeys plough all land free < f charge provided it was purchased before 31st of last May, all ploughing and grubbing being done by their traction engine. The tree-planting is dono by con trect, and those that have been planted are doing well. I have great faith m tho future of this colony (I mean the Mildura Irrigation Colony) and I have invested my savings m buying a few sections, I forgot to mention that there is a newspaper also published m the township, a copy of which I Bond you." The gentleman who favors the readers of the "Press" with tho foregoing adds : — " On the other side of the river m South Australia there is another irrigation colony called ltenmark, and, if I remember rightly, it is about seventy miles from Mildur*. I know the country well, as I used to visit it quarterly somo years ago, and a miserable desolate looking place it was ; m fact you could then buy any quantity of it for 10s an aero. But what n change has passed over it. Now it is ono of tho most fertilo spots m Australia." Wo again call attention to this interesting subjoct because we feel persuaded that it would pay Canterbury well to take a leaf out of the book of Victoria and South Australia. Wo are quito aware that at Mildura there is richer soil than for the most part obtains on tho Canterbury plains, but travellers inform us that our plains greatly resemble those of Lombardy, where irrigation has produced the most wonderful results. Even poor shingly ground may bo made to yield good crops if only liberally and cpnstantly pupplicd with water — the experiments conducted on tho County Irrigation Farm are quite sufficient to demonstrate that— and we believe that the produce of our land m crops and mutton might be multiplied [threefold if tho land were well reticulated wijth watercourses. Tljo water-races of tho county have proyed already an iiicsfc'mablo bopn to stockowners, but what is wanted is a system Ol f water-supply which will enabjo thp thorough irrigation of the soil. As we have already sa.V?, *0 bolievo it would pay and pay well to carry ?«t t' 10 newsKory works, and tho subject is ond *hftt should engage the serious attention of all our land-owners, great and small.