TIMBER TALK: Timber clearing in the Uki district in 1890.
TIMBER TALK: Timber clearing in the Uki district in 1890. File

Tyalgum pleas to retain land access

A MEETING protesting the locking up of Tyalgum country as a timber reserve attracted a huge crowd to Murwillumbah's School of Arts building on November 22, 1890.

The meeting's chairman, James Black JP, protested the government's decision.

"By reserving Tyalgum the Government had locked up the best and most extensive block of agricultural land on the Upper Tweed, a large extent of which was totally unfit for the growth of cedar, while there was a large area of broken country which was almost useless for other purposes lying idle,” he said.

Mr JJM Marks convened the meeting as he felt locking up the area would be detrimental to the district's best interest.

He understood the government had plans to plant the Tyalgum forest with cedar trees, but believed locking up 72,000 acres of the forest's richest land would be a drawback.

"This meeting while admitting the desirability of reservations for cedar cutters in suitable locations, strongly deprecates the locking up of the richest agricultural and pastoral lands in this district, such as the bulk of the Tyalgum Reserve is, for that purpose,” he said.

The motion to oppose the lock-up passed, with only Mr DR Campbell saying the reservation of the Tyalgum forest was a wise move.

"Cedar was a most valuable timber and steps should be taken to prevent its eradication,” Mr Campbell said.

Tweed historian Di Millar contributed significantly to the Tweed Daily News' 125-year commemorative publication in 2013, from which this information has been extracted.

The Tweed Daily News will celebrate 130 years of publication this October.