Saturday, October 06, 2018

Borderline

This is a map of the State of Victoria in Australia. Down the bottom you can see a large bay with a narrow entrance. That is Port Phillip Bay. To your left lives Sister. To your direct right lives Mother and ABI Brother, and down along your right hand edge of the bay lives the rest of the family. Melbourne where we live is at the apex of the bay. To the top of the map is the state of New South Wales and to the left a small part of South Australia can be seen.


Victoria has a nice straight border with South Australia and our southern border is of course dictated by the coast. But let us focus on Victoria's northern border. In the voice of Sir Les Patterson, are you with me? 

The Murray River dictates most of the border. Victoria lost out big time against New South Wales as the dividing line is the top of the southern bank of the river, meaning the Murray River is in New South Wales. Technically, or perhaps even for real, if a Victorian wants to fish in the Murray, he or she needs a New South Wales fishing licence. Along with stealing our water upstream, it is just another reason for Victorians to hate New South Wales people. The Murray rises in the east, the right of the map, and flows into South Australia where it empties into a large estuary. 

But what about the straight bit of the border to right, to the east? The line goes through heavily timbered and mountainous country. It was laboriously surveyed in the 1800s, yet with primitive instruments, surveyed quite accurately.  It has been checked with modern GPS technology and the early surveyors were pretty well spot on. There is a walking trail along the border. Better that you walk than me. You can see some early cairn markers of stones left by the surveyors. The border was accepted in the 1800s. 

Accepted the border was, but official? No, not until 2006 did it receive official recognition with a ceremony just south of the small border town of Delegate. Then Governor of New South Wales Dame Marie Bashir and then Victorian Governor Mr John Landy officiated at the ceremony. Did Landy nick Bashir's fishing license from her back pocket as they shook hands, so that he could fish in the Murray River?

Photo from news.com.au

31 comments:

  1. An interesting tit-bit about fishing in the Murray. I wonder how many comply?

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    1. EC, while I would not, I expect locals do.

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  2. A little confusing to me. But that ok I bet some of things here in United States can be confusing
    Coffee is on

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    1. Dearest Dora, puzzling about things in the US is my forte.

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  3. Since Melbourne was the capital of Australia following Federation in 1901, and since all Commonwealth departments were in Melbourne, the entire Murray River should have been in Victoria. Only in the 1950s did The Menzies Government speed up the transfer of the Commonwealth departments from Melbourne to Canberra.

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    1. Hels, stop showing off with your knowledge. It really doesn't seem fair that the Murray is in NSW.

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  4. Most people from NSW would be unaware that their lives would be in jeopardy from fearsome Victorian Bushwhackers should they be seen fishing on the banks of the Murray river.
    Ta for the Info.. Oldies like myself pay no licence fees in NSW. Its catching them is the problem . Most of my fish is from the supermarket.

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    1. Vest, we haven't gone to war yet, but we can rattle sabres at each other. I agree, fish from a shop is the way to go.

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  5. Geography was one of my worst subjects in school and I've been trying to make up for that for some time now, so it's nice to get this mini-lesson in such a painless way!

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    1. Jenny, I hope one day you can slip the knowledge into a conversation and everyone will be so impressed.

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  6. I've always found straight lines as 'borders' very odd. Usually they follow rivers, or mountain ranges. In the case of Ireland the two sides were simply fighting over a pencil, and the dreadful squiggle left on the map became the 'official' fighting line.

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    1. Cro, I think straight borders can be very troublesome, especially when imposed by a colonial power. In spite of the occasional nastiness, thank goodness the Troubles are mostly over. I don't expect to ever see a united Ireland though.

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  7. Do they still have those big Murray Cods there or are they all died out?

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    1. Lady J, in increasing numbers, I believe, and coming about because of increased environmental river flow and a campaign against carp in the river.

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  8. I didn't realise that about the border being on the southern bank of the river.

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    1. I did know Diane. Perhaps Victorians know because we think it unjust.

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  9. I think the border should be in the middle of the river, then both sides could fish. There's been a lot of talk over the years about the unfairness of water sharing from the Murray. We get the short end of the stick here in SA and often enough the stick doesn't even get wet!

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    1. River, using common sense will get you nowhere, and of course it should be in the middle. Yes, I know well what a raw deal SA gets with water, and it supposed to be improving with the Murray/Darling Plan, but I am not sure of the result.

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  10. Interesting info Andrew. Made me think about when we crossed the border from Zimbabwe into Zambia, or maybe it was the other way around, but whichever we had to dive through sheds where the cars were sprayed for tsetse flies!

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    1. Ah Grace. Am I dumb? Couldn't the tsetse flies just fly across the border? But then we aren't allowed to bring fruit into Victoria to stop fruit fly populating in Victoria...but surely they too can fly.

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  11. I think the border should be in the middle of the river, so each state would have their own fishing rights.

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    1. Oh Sami, you are old enough surely to know that government and common sense seldom go together.

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  12. I did another google maps tour of Australia, because I keep forgetting where the major cities are. I didn't remember Melbourne is so far south and at the top of that bay. That narrow entrance is interesting. Do you ever go out on boats along the coast? Have you ever been up in the northern territory much? Like to Darwin?

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    1. Strayer, the water on the south coast is normally very rough, so we certainly don't, but fishers do...and at times lose their lives, especially the amateurs. I've only been to Northern Territory once. There are two posts with the label NT, but they weren't about the visit. I did not label posts when I began my blog but if you want to have a look, and I will now myself, at the holiday report, it was back in July 2005. http://highriser.blogspot.com/2005/07/holiday.html

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  13. I had no idea about the fishing license issue. I guess it would also be relevant if I decided to do research on fish in the river...I'll need to apply for NSW permits! Good to know.

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    1. Ad Rad, I expect you would need NSW permits. I think I am correct in my comment above to Lady Jicky.

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  14. Very interesting.

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    1. I thought so Lee. I was surprised when I heard about the border never being official.

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  15. Victoria also has a land border with Tasmania. I know borders are weird artefacts, but that surprised me.

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    1. Jim, that is a terrible tease to me. Now I have to find out the answer. Maybe across King Island or something like that?

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    2. I was half right. Boundary Islet. Interesting, thanks.

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