Cootamundra West Railway Station group | NSW Environment, Energy and Science

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Cootamundra West Railway Station group

Item details

Name of item: Cootamundra West Railway Station group
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Platform/ Station
Location: Lat: -34.6301985256 Long: 148.0335250600
Primary address: Cootamundra-Griffith railway, Cootamundra, NSW 2590
Local govt. area: Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Young
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
PART LOT1 DP1080119
PART LOT1 DP1187240
LOT1 DP916240

Boundary:

The listing boundary is formed by Bullecourt Street to the South, the level crossing on Olympic Highway (Old Yass Road) to the east, the property boundary to the north, and extends west to a line across the railway corridor 20m beyond the Temora end of the station platform.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Cootamundra-Griffith railwayCootamundraCootamundra-Gundagai Regional  Primary Address
Bullecourt StreetCootamundraCootamundra-Gundagai Regional  Alternate Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government22 Oct 98

Statement of significance:

Cootamundra West is a major station building which was abandoned as a station because of the change of proposed route for the main southern line. It is one of the finest structures from the Edwardian period of railway building and is a good example of redundancy taking place not long after the time of construction. The station group are a strong element in the townscape and of high significance in the development and history of railway construction. The building was used for many years as offices after its original purpose was changed.
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.

Description

Construction years: 1911-
Physical description: A substantial country station building constructed during the Edwardian period and a good example of a major station building/station complex that became redundant soon after it was built. The main station building and secondary buildings/structures (including the Type E signal box) form a significant element within the townscape of Cootamundra (SRA, 1999).

Complex:
The station complex consists of four buildings:

1. Small single storey Station building with ticket counters.
2. Large double storey Station building.
3. Male Toilet block.
4. Signal Box.

BUILDINGS
Station buildings
- type 11, brick - abandoned for new route,1911

Refreshment room

STRUCTURES
Platform faces - brick, 1911
Current use: Railway Station
Former use: Aboriginal land, town lot, railway station

History

Historical notes: ABORIGINAL LAND
The traditional owners of Cootamundra are the Wiradjuri, for whom the Murrumbidgee River was a plentiful source of shellfish and fish. Plants, tubers and nuts of the country between the major rivers supplied seasonal food. Larger game such as possums, kangaroos and emus were captured by groups of hunters to make up a varied and nutritious diet. (Heritage Branch, 1996, p132).

The dislocation by European colonists of normal Aboriginal routines of life was increasingly severe from the 1830s and the new diseases took a terrible toll. There were predictable problems over cattle. A series of incidents along the Murrumbidgee near Narrandera c1840 have been called the 'Wiradjuri wars'. The end result was that the Wiradjuri were deprived of their riverine territory and driven to the hills or to local employment on the stations. Men worked as cattlemen, general hands, sheep-shearers and flour grinders, and women as domestic servants and child carers. Ultimately many Wiradjuri people ended up living in the towns established to service those who had supplanted them. By the late nineteenth century few of the surviving Wiradjuri people lived a traditional life. The numerous towns of the area, which became closely settled with irrigation schemes during the twentieth century, contained an increasing Aboriginal population. Today in the region, most Wiradjuri people live in Narrandera and Griffith, with significant numbers in Wagga Wagga, Leeton and Tumut and smaller communities in Junee, Harden, Young and Cootamundra (Heritage Branch, 1996, p132-133).

The name Cootamundra was likely derived from the Wiradjuri word guudhamang for 'turtle', as the town is aroudn a low-lying marshland, which is ideal turtle habitat (Cootamundra Heritage Centre & Visitor Information Centre, 2020, 1).

COLONISATION AND EARLY HISTORY OF COOTAMUNDRA
In 1829 the first British explorer Charles Sturt ventured into the Murrumbidgee Valley. Within 15 years most of the water frontages along the Murrumbidgee were occupied by pastoralists. John Hurley and Patrick Fennell obtained permissions to pasture stock on the Coramundra Run in the 1830s, which by 1849 had grown to 50,000 acres with an estimated grazing capacity of 600 cattle and 3000 sheep (Caskie, 2000, 1; CLHS, 2008). Meat prices soared in the 1850s and the Murrumbidgee stations 'became a vast fattening paddock'.

Cootamundry was surveyed and a plan of the proposed village was drawn up by surveyor P. Adams in 1861 on a site that was originally the horse paddock of John Hurley's station. The first town lots were sold in 1862. Like many other towns in the Riverina, Cootamundra's population increased with the brief gold rush of the 1860s. By 1866, the village had a population of 100, a post office, a police station and two hotels. The succeeding decades saw the triumph of sheep over cattle particularly on the saltbush plains at the western end of the region. The corollary of this pastoral expansion was the clearing of much of the bush, the sinking of wells, the building of dams for stock and the systematic fencing of paddocks. (Heritage Branch, 1996, p133-5; Wikipedia, 'Cootamundra').

The rail network helped in the growth of farming industries. Cootamundra's train station, linking into the main southern railway that links Sydney and Melbourne, opened in 1877. The development of Cootamundra was slow and steady and it was gazetted on May 20, 1884 as a municipality of 3010 acres. The town was finally gazetted as Cootamundra in 1952, changed from the official name of Cootamundry by which it had been known since 1860. The locals had always used the name Cootamundra (CLHS 2008). It became a quiet yet prosperous agricultural community. Today, Cootamundra has a population of around 7500 in the whole shire with a further 2000 in the surrounding district. (CSC, 2009)(Rappoport, 2011, p22-23).

Cootamundra Railway History:
The contract for construction of a single line from Yass Junction to Cootamundra was awarded in 1874 and the line opened in 1877. The line extended to Bethungra (1878), Junee (1878), Bomen (1878), Wagga Wagga (1879), Gerogery (1880), Albury (1881) and the River Murray (1883). Duplication of the line between Wamba and Cootamundra North was completed in 1917, between Cootamundra North to Cootamundra South in 1943, and Cootamundra South to Tanyinna in 1942 (Forsyth, 1989).

On 1 September 1893, the 38 mile branch line from Cootamundra to Temora via Cootamundra West opened for traffic but the station buildings at Cootamundra West were opened nearly twenty years later, on 22 March 1911. (The branch line to Temora was later extended to Lake Cargelligo). Cootamundra West railway station probably closed c1989, around the same time as the closure of Temora station (Scobie, 2000; SRA, 1993).

References:
Forsyth, J.H., Stations and tracks: volume 2: Main Southern Line: Granville Junction to Albury (State Rail Authority of NSW Archives, 1989).

Scobie, D., Heritage impact statement: Cootamundra locomotive inspection pit: revised report: Monday, 26 June 2000 (David Scobie Architects Pty Ltd, 2000).

State Rail Authority of NSW Archives, How and why of station names (State Rail Authority of NSW, 1993).

The town was heavily influenced by the railway due to its location on the Main Southern Line. With two railway stations, a pedestrian overbridge and numerous over- and under-bridges, Cootamundra is a train-spotter's delight (CHC&VIC, 2020, 1).

COOTAMUNDRA EARLY AVIATION HISTORY
The aviation history of Cootamundra began in 1917 when Mr W.J. Stutt landed in a paddock near the Cootamundra Showground in his Curtiss biplane during a flight that established a long-distance record for Australia (Windsor and Richmond Gazette Friday 16 November 1917).

By 1921 the strategic advantage of Cootamundra's location about mid-way between Sydney and Melbourne led to the Australian Government purchasing 75 acres of Quinlan's paddock on the northern edge of the town, making Cootamundra one of NSW's earliest rural aerodromes (Dannecker, 1976, 4-8, quoted in Rappoport, 2011, p37-38). With the implementation of an airmail service between Australia and Britain, Cootamundra was chosen as the southern terminus. The airfield was used as a base for airmail contracts temporarily from 1934 by Butler Air Transport, providing connection to QANTAS services between Brisbane and Darwin. However the company relocated its base to Sydney when the airmail contract was withdrawn in 1938 (Wikipedia "Cootamundra Airport").

WORLD WAR II AND AVIATION IN AUSTRALIA
When Australia entered World War II in September 1939 on the side of Great Britain, the war was far distant in Europe. However Australia soon became part of an international scheme to train pilots and aircrew across the British Empire. Known as the Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS), the scheme was instrumental in up-skilling many of the airmen who fought in Europe, the Middle East and the Mediterranean (Kass, in Robertson & Hindmarsh, Vol.2, 41-4).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Other open space-
1. Environment-Tracing the evolution of a continent's special environments Environment - naturally evolved-Activities associated with the physical surroundings that support human life and influence or shape human cultures. Changing the environment-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Developing local, regional and national economies-National Theme 3
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Events-Activities and processes that mark the consequences of natural and cultural occurences Developing local landmarks-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Transport-Activities associated with the moving of people and goods from one place to another, and systems for the provision of such movements Building the railway network-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Transport-Activities associated with the moving of people and goods from one place to another, and systems for the provision of such movements (none)-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Transport-Activities associated with the moving of people and goods from one place to another, and systems for the provision of such movements Railway Station-
4. Settlement-Building settlements, towns and cities Towns, suburbs and villages-Activities associated with creating, planning and managing urban functions, landscapes and lifestyles in towns, suburbs and villages Impacts of railways on rural development-
5. Working-Working Labour-Activities associated with work practises and organised and unorganised labour Railway work culture-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. State government-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - conserving cultural and natural heritage-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - building and administering rail networks-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria f)
[Rarity]
This item is assessed as historically rare. This item is assessed as scientifically rare. This item is assessed as arch. rare. This item is assessed as socially rare.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Recommended management:

Recommendations

Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Recommended ManagementProduce a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) 
Recommended ManagementPrepare a maintenance schedule or guidelines 
Recommended ManagementCarry out interpretation, promotion and/or education 

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions ORDER UNDER SECTION 57(2) OF THE HERITAGE ACT 1977

Standard exemptions for engaging in or carrying out activities / works otherwise prohibited by section 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977.

I, Donald Harwin, the Special Minister of State pursuant to subsection 57(2) of the Heritage Act 1977, on the recommendation of the Heritage Council of New South Wales do by this Order, effective 1 December 2020:

1. revoke the order made on 11 July 2008 and published on pages 91177 to 9182 of Government Gazette Number 110 of 5 September 2008 and varied by notice published in the Government Gazette on 5 March 2015; and

2. grant the exemptions from subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977 that are described in the attached Schedule.

Donald Harwin
Special Minister of State
Signed this 9th Day of November 2020.

To view the standard exemptions for engaging in or carrying out activities / works otherwise prohibited by section 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977 click on the link below.
Nov 13 2020

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0111902 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register     
Local Environmental PlanCootamundra Local Environmental Plan 2013 26 Jul 13   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
SRA Heritage Register Study1999SRA306SRA  No
Cootamundra Shire Heritage Study2010 Kabaila, Peter  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenCaskie, Patricia2000Cootamundra (1901-1924): Past Imperfect
WrittenCootamundra Local History Society (CLSH)2008Cootamundra History Highlights: A selection of events in the history of Cootamundra
WrittenCootmundra Visitor Centre and Information Centre2020'About Cootamundra' View detail
WrittenForsyth, J.H.1989Stations and tracks: volume 2: Main Southern Line: Granville Junction to Albury
WrittenHeritage Branch, DUAP1996Regional Histories of New South Wales
WrittenKass, Terry, in Robertson & Hindmarsh2006"Vol.2 Thematic History" in World Wars I and 2 Survey of Buildings Sites and Cultural Landscapes in NSW(Thematic Study)
WrittenMcKillop, Robert2009NSW Railways (RailCorp) Thematic History
WrittenOffice of Rail Heritage2012Railway garden and landscape conservation guide
WrittenRappoport P/L2011Conservation Management Plan No.3 Inland Aircraft Fuel Depot, Cootamundra NSW
WrittenScobie, David2000Heritage impact statement: Cootamundra locomotive inspection pit: revised report
WrittenState Rail Authority of NSW Archives1993How and why of station names

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage NSW
Database number: 5011977
File number: H03/00176/1: EF14/4577


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