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The New Zealand Journal, Saturday, May 02 (1840)


Australia Felix.

Prosperity of the Colony—Growth of Wool.—Mr. Russell says, the quantity of stock alone depasturing on these fertile plains, is estimated to exceed 500,000 sheep and 15,000 head of cattle; whilst the export of wool for the present season—the second year of its existence— will amount to 750,000 pounds, being positively a greater quantity by 342,884 pounds than was exported from the entire Colony of New South Wales in 1827. Next year, in consequence of the immigration of settlers from New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land pouring into this district with their flocks and herds, and of capitalists from South Australia, it is anticipated that the export will not be less than 1,500,000 pounds—a quantity equal to the export from the whole Colony of New South Wales, even so late as the year 1832, and being sufficient to load fifteen ships direct to England. Independent of this extraordinary export, this district has, directly and indirectly, through the enterprising spirit of the Colonists, forwarded to the sister Colony of South Australia an export of no less than 2,500 head of cattle and 4,500 sheep; the importance of which importation at Adelaide has been acknowledged. It was the energetic spirit of a Port Philipian which first established the possibility of supplying this Royal Province of South Australia with stock by an overland route, thus opening a communication from which incalculable benefits must flow.
Emigrants at the Colony.—The emigrants by the David Clark (229 in number), have been nearly all engaged; their account of their voyage and reception abounds with their satisfaction and their hopes. Upon their arrival they were landed in the ship's boats opposite William's Town, and on their arrival at their tents on the banks of the Yarra, many of them were engaged in a few hours. The females, who did not exceed thirty, were most in requisition. In the evening the piper struck off some of the wild national airs; and after a dance, the whole party, headed by the piper, went through the bush for about a mile, to see a grand corroborie of the blacks. It was singular to hear the blending of the Highland music with the deep monotonous chaunt of the aborigines.
Mechanics' Institute.—A mechanics' institute has been established at Melbourne, with the somewhat sounding title of "Mechanics' School of Arts of Australia Felix." It is likely to be very useful, and to be vigorously supported by the Colonists.
The Port Philip Gazette gives a flaming account of the prosperity of the settlement, and especially of Melbourne—
"The present capital of Australia Felix, founded so late only as the year 1837, has extended its walls over a space of a square mile; presenting to the astonished view of the visitor between three and four hundred substantial English-built houses, with all the evidence of a busy thriving trade and valuable commerce. The inhabitants may be computed at full two thousand; its religious denominations are five in number; and all are in the enjoyment of convenient places of worship, ministers, and schools. The town is supplied with eighteen hotels, inns, and houses of accommodation; it has two newspapers published twice a week, a small circulating library, and among the mechanics a union benefit society. Of the mercantile houses we may observe that branches of those wealthy and respectable firms, Strachan and Co. and Willis, Garrett, and Co., of Van Diemen's Land, are established at Melbourne. Among the institutions which have sprung out of the industry and success of the inhabitants, should be noted a fire and marine insurance company and local bank; branches of the banks of Australasia of Sydney, of the Union Bank of Australia in Van Diemen's Land, with an agent of the Commercial Banking Company in Sydney, are flourishing on their discounts and circulation. The receipts of customs in 1837, were about £2,000; in 1838, £3,500; in 1839, £10,000: its ordinary revenue for this year is estimated at £20,000, arising from the customs, publicans and auctioneers' licenses, fees and fines of the local courts, and permits for various occupations. It has been computed that the quantity of wool shipped from this port during the current year, will amount to 800,000 pounds; the value of which will exceed, in round numbers, £80,000 sterling. Such are the improvements which have been effected by private enterprise in the space of two years and seven months."

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