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' SYDNEY, April! 4. Tlie mining town of Cobar, a place of 5000 people, has suffered calamity as the result of the slump in copper. The Australian production of copper cannot be sold, owing to the huge accumulation of the metal in England, and the smelting works and mines have been suddenly closed. .There was nothing else to be done. The" Government 'thought of keeping the mines going for a Avhile, but the future of the copper market appeared so gloomy that it dared not take the risk. Therefore, many thousands of men are idle. ,

■■ Cobar, away out towards the Darling, 464 miles from Sydney, and the terminus of a railway, is surrounded with rich copper deposits and absolutely lives on the copper industry. Unless the mines re-open, the- town, built hi what is almost a desert, must simply disappear. how close is its connection with mining, it may be mentioned that, as soon as the mines dosed, the Government had to open relief depots there, otherwise a big section of the population would' liavo starved. Many hundreds of people are now being maintained there by the Government, and the number is increasing daily. It is a most difficult and awkward problem. Tlie Government announces this week that it can find employment for 1500 men and women elsewhere, mostly on the railways, tramways ,and in coal mines, and that it will grant them free railway passes to other places.

But it is. tho loss of money invested in Cobar that is the most serious aspect. Tlie Government, for instance, built •80 miles "of railway to connect Cobar with the Bourke 'line, and an, elaborate scheme of electric has just been completed. One has only to estimate the amount of public and private wealth invested in a town like Oa-maru, for instance, to get an idea of the calamity that has overtaken Cobar. It is said that the Cobar people are stunned, and do not know what to do. They have made frantic appeals to the State GovernState for asistance—but what can the Sato Government do that it is not already doing?

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Bibliographic details

RUIN OF COBAR., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9587, 15 April 1919

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RUIN OF COBAR. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9587, 15 April 1919