Council News is a weekly publication that appears in Friday's edition of local newspaper The Irrigator. To checkout what's making headlines for the...
Leeton Shire Council resolved its intention to set aside a $15,000 contribution towards the Lyrics, Landscapes and Lintels project to be included...
At its March Council meeting Leeton Shire Council endorsed advocating for a “claw back” provision to regain lost indexation funding (CPI increa...
At its March Ordinary Council meeting Leeton Shire Council authorised the General Manager and Mayor to commence negotiations for a Voluntary Plan...
Leeton Shire Council endorsed the continued management and operation of the Leeton Golf Course for the period 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2021 at its ...
Leeton is located in the country of the Wiradjuri nation.
Leeton, unlike most country towns, did not develop around a local pub, supply store or railway station. It was purposely built as part of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Scheme.
The Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA) was developed through the foresight of the Water Conservation and Irrigation Conference, which was chaired by Charles Alfred Lee in 1905 and initiated the construction of Burrinjuck Dam.
The first buildings to be erected in Leeton in 1911/12 were the offices of the employees of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Trust (with control was later transferred to the Water Conservation and Irrigation Commission). Many businesses were created during the 1920’s and 30’s which has left the Shire with a legacy of many beautiful Art Deco style buildings.
After World War II there was an increase in Italian immigration to Australia. Many of the newcomers were experienced farmers so were drawn to the Leeton area. Those that prospered were able to sponsor family and friends to migrate, resulting in a high population of people with Italian heritage in Leeton.
The town of Yanco, located 5kms from the Leeton CBD, came into being when the railway line was extended from Narrandera to Hay. The railway arrived in the area in 1881.
Yanco is the home of the “Father of Irrigation”, Sir Samuel McCaughey, who demonstrated the viability of irrigation in the region. On his 'North Yanko' farm, 16187 hectares were irrigated using around 320km of channels drawing from the Murrumbidgee River with steam driven pumps.
It wasn’t until the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Scheme was proposed that the town began to take shape. The Yanco Experiment farm, now called Tocal College, was developed in 1908 to show settlers what could be grown in the area.
The historic township of Whitton, located 24kms west of Leeton, was established as a direct result of the extension of the South West Railway from Narrandera to Hay to connect valuable Riverina trade to Sydney.
The railway station became the nucleus of the town after it opened in 1881. Prior to this however the area was well known to bullock teamsters travelling the Victoria-Queensland stock route from the 1850’s onwards.
“Hulong” as it was known then (for the Hulong Pastoral Holding) became a campsite for teamsters waiting for the Murrumbidgee River levels to drop so that they could cross in safety. Later bullock teams were used to cart goods from outlying areas to the railway station. It was common to see as many as 200 bullock teams camped out at Whitton, either held up by bad weather or waiting for supplies to come by train.
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