100 Years of Closer Settlement

"Back-to Wando Vale"

June 10th & 11th, 2000

Celebrating the first land allocations establishing the first closer settlement in Victoria on July 10th 1900

Closer Settlement of Estate in Victoria was first moved by P. Daley, in Casterton, at an A.N.A. meeting as delegate to an A.N.A. Conference. This movement was supported by him. The "Age" newspaper vigorously supported the idea - also T. M. Burke, who at the time was seeking a Parliamentary career! Agitation from prominent business men in Casterton as well, resulted in the first experiment of Closer Settlement in Victoria.

Land Allocations

The following items of interest are taken from the "Land Board Edition" of the "Casterton News, Friday, July 13,1900.

one-tenth of the total value of the allotment, before the end the third year of the term of the lease. Leases would date as from the 1st July, 1900. On many blocks there was a good deal of fencing. This would become the property of the lessee, who was at liberty to remove and use it as he pleased. On the Homestead block there was a valuation of 400 pounds for improvements, and this sum would have to be paid within one month from the time of getting possession. Every lessee must reside permanently eight months during each year of the first six years. Personal residence by wife, or any child not less the 18 years of age, of the lessee would be considered personal residence by the lessee. Lessee will not be allowed to transfer, assign, mortgage, or sub-let during the term of six years.

  • "Applications totally 303 were formally made for the 66 allotments."
  • "There were 39 single men among the successful applicants, 26 married men, and the children in the families to be located there numbered about 120."
  • "The Board finished taking evidence at 11.30 o'clock on Friday morning, July 13, and took until 2 o'clock to complete their recommendations."
  • "The Special Land Board to deal with the application for the Wando Vale allotments was commenced in the Casterton Mechanics' Hall on Tuesday, July 10, 1900, at 10 a.m. The officers comprising the board were Messrs. J. M. Reed, Surveyor-General (Chairman), J. E. Jenkins, Officer Controlling the Closer Settlement Branch, and H. C. Malcolm, District Land Office."
  • "The application would be given the option of taking the land under the tablets set forth in the Act, namely a 6 per cent. table, extending for a period of 31 years, or a 6 per cent. table, the interest still being 4 per cent., and thereby shortening the term to 26 years, or a 7 per cent. table, with still the same interest for 33 years."
  • "A telegram had been received from the Treasurer, intimating that it had been decided to vote a sum of 500 pounds from the Closer Settlement Account, towards making new roads through Wando Vale where required, this being conditional on the Glenelg Shire Council spending a similar amount."

Celebrations will commence on Sat. 10th June with a Cabaret in the Wando Vale Memorial hall. Sunday the 11th will start with an Ecumenical Church Service, followed by an Official Welcome, Lunch, Photos and School reminiscence, concluding with an afternoon tea.

All former residents and members of the sporting bodies, ex pupils and school staff are cordially invited. For further information please contact:

  • Ross Davidson, R.M.B. 1833, Casterton, Vic 3311.
  • Edgar Donehue, R.M.B. 1831, Casterton, Vic 3311.
  • Dianne Ridley, R.M.B. C936, Casterton, Vic 3311.

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