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PS Melbourne centenary (Mildura, Australia)

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Roderick Smith:
Backtracking to Friday, here is my Koondrook (Vic.) & Barham (NSW) selection, taken from the NSW bank.
Iron Dry had been here before: as part of the fleet assembled to celebrate the bridge's centenary.
The fourth of this series was my last view of the fleet.  This was day 42 for Adelaide.  I had been watching online from preparation day 0, and for days 1-4, then joined the chase on day 5.  Thanks to Michael and the port webcam, I was still able to keep watching progress to the arrival in Echuca on Mon.8.10: day 45 of this grand adventure.

There was a comfortable 1.6 m of water over the sill entering Torrumbarry lock.

Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor

Roderick Smith:
Excerpts from Kenneth Grahame 'Wind in the willows', a book which could well mean more to riverboat owners/operators now than when they were children:

* "There is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."

* "...all this is so new to me.  So - this - is - a - River!"  "The River," corrected the Rat.

* "Beyond the Wild Wood comes the Wide World," said the Rat. "And that's something that doesn't matter, either to you or me. I've never been there, and I'm never going, nor you either, if you've got any sense at all."

* Sudden and magnificent, the sun's broad golden disc showed itself over the horizon facing them; and the first rays, shooting across the level water-meadows, took the animals full in the eyes and dazzled them. When they were able to look once more, the Vision had vanished, and the air was full of the carol of birds that hailed the dawn.

* Home! That was what they meant, those caressing appeals, those soft touches wafted through the air, those invisible little hands pulling and tugging, all one way!  Why, it must be quite close by him at that moment, his old home that he had hurriedly forsaken and never sought again, that day when he first found the river! And now it was sending out its scouts and its messengers to capture him and bring him in. Since his escape on that bright morning he had hardly given it a thought, so absorbed had he been in his new life, in all its pleasures, its surprises, its fresh and captivating experiences. Now, with a rush of old memories, how clearly it stood up before him, in the darkness!...the home had been happy with him, too, evidently, and was missing him, and wanted him back, and was telling him so, through his nose, sorrowfully, reproachfully, but with no bitterness or anger ; only with plaintive reminder that it was there, and wanted him.  The call was clear, the summons was plain. He must obey it instantly, and go...It's my home, my old home! I've just come across the smell of it, and it's close by here, really quite close. And I must go to it.

For Adelaide, a grand adventure was completed on Monday.  My Wooden Boat Association journal arrived today, with the suggestion that Adelaide had been considering continuing, to be at Goolwa for the wooden boat festival (Mar.13).  Other steamers have done the journey before:
* PS Oscar W: Goolwa - Echuca - Goolwa, once or twice in recent years.
* PS William Randell: Goolwa - Echuca - Goolwa, 2003.
* replica PS Mary Ann & PS Lady Augusta : Mildura - Goolwa - Echuca - Mildura, 2003.
* PS Etona - Echuca - Goolwa - Echuca: twice in recent years (the second being 2001).
* PS James Maiden: Echuca - Goolwa - Wentworth.
At the centenary celebration for PS Pevensey, the Goolwa mayor described Goolwa and Echuca as 'the bookends of the Murray'.

My last live view was of PS Adelaide rounding a bend at Barham; I then headed to another paddlesteamer adventure (PS Curlip on Gippsland lakes).  Michael and Belinda captured the final stages of the return, and I watched the final minutes on the port's webcam (see the earlier post, out of sequence, but I won't change it now).

Of the Mildura adventurers, PS Marion is still at Berri for survey slipping, which makes the 19-26.10 return to Mannum seem like a separate exercise.  Karadoc (Mildura) PV Kulkyne headed for SA, but I don't know how far or for what duration.  Swan Hill PV Iron Dry is at Echuca; hoping to reach Yarrawonga before heading home.  I don't know the moves of SA boats PV Amphibious and PV Tamara Rae (which may have been tempted to revisit its former Wemen home first).  Other adventures in progress include SWPV Dromedary up the Darling, and another proposing to tackle the Wakool.  PS Curlip is sitting at Lakes Entrance ready for good conditions to sneak around the coast to Marlo.  I'm off to USA, probably with no riverboating, and Jessie II has to wait for November to start a new season: hopefully Barmah - Tocumwal.

My final photos from the 25.8-Sept.-8.10 Echuca - Mildura - Wentworth - Mildura - Echuca adventure.

Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor

Roderick Smith:
Mildura Paddle Steamers business shut down by NSW border restrictions
Michael DiFabrizio September 13, 2020 Mildura News
Even as some rules ease, Mildura’s iconic Murray River paddle-steamers are set to remain docked – all because of where the NSW state boundary starts.
Mildura Paddle Steamers marketing manager Ashton Kreuzer in front of PS Melbourne.
New South Wales border restrictions have brought an iconic tourism business to a grinding halt.
Mildura Paddle Steamers, which typically operates a three-vessel fleet, has been docked because of measures to keep Victorians out.
Murray River is part of NSW and therefore is covered by the state’s permit system, intended to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Mildura Paddle Steamers marketing manager Ashton Kreuzer said the business wanted NSW to introduce an exemption to allow regional Victorians to access the river.
As it stands, even a journey that begins and ends on the Victorian side at Mildura Wharf, and provides no opportunity to disembark onto NSW land, is not permitted.
“We are a commercial business, so it’s not like we’re just ferrying passengers across,” Ms Kreuzer said.
The PS Melbourne, one of three boats operated by Mildura Paddle Steamers, is docked.
In a cruel irony, even though Mildura Paddle Steamers has the option of servicing NSW customers, local accommodation on that side of the border has been booked out by defence force personnel and police officers staffing the border

checkpoints, leaving little room for tourists.
Ms Kreuzer said after the first lockdowns, the business was in June able to begin cruising again at limited capacity – then, a month later, the border closure hit.
“We had an income that was meeting the cost of maintaining the business without dipping into our emergency reserve funds,” she said.
“Whereas now, we’re eating into our reserves and there’s no income whatsoever, but there’s ongoing expenses having these three vessels, they are heritage vessels as well so there are a lot of costs.”
Defence force personnel at the New South Wales border checkpoint at Buronga, near Mildura.
Mildura Regional Development chief executive Brett Millington said tourism businesses had been “hammered” by border closures.
He said about 20 per cent of the region’s visitor market comes from South Australia, which has introduced harsher border measures.
A further 33 per cent came from regional Victoria and Melbourne.
“We’ve copped a hiding on all levels,” Mr Millington said.
Mildura Mayor Simon Clemence has written to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, asking her to allow border residents to make use of the Murray River.
He said it would have economic and wellbeing benefits.
“We’re a river community and for many of us enjoying the river for boating, fishing or camping is part of our lifestyle,” Cr Clemence said.
* How ridiculous. Anyone would think the Chinavirus is somehow going to jump off the boat and go ashore on the other side of the river.
* I assume the paddle steamers and houseboats at Echuca are under the same restrictions
* This is absolutely ridiculous all ports are in victoria the boat is in NSW only while it operates and no disembarkation in NSW does the NSW premier want these businesses and tourism to fold
* Australia has this year become an Idiot Country.
* When was the Murray River "given" to NSW?
* The Murray River, as a border, is rather an oddity, especially when the border is on the banks on the Victorian side of the river. Why is it so and why hasn't this been fixed long, long ago?
* Common sense gone missing again,but hey it's alright for the AFL players and Wags to swim in a resort pool in Qld?
* No common sense means no dollars and cents. Pedantic Politicians lurk in every corner of this country.
* There are lots of silly things in place to supposedly protect us but this takes the cake. The power hungry NSW Premier has finally flipped her lid. What has happened to that zone that stretches either side of the Border?
* This can't be true surely, Scomo and Dutton have said border closures are unessasary and shouldn't happen. Oh that's right only when imposed by non Liberal States. Border areas should not be victims of the NSW, SA and Federal Liberal

mismanagement of borders. Open border says Scomo, whilst you can only travel overseas if your Tony Abbott.
* Another rule that’s totally stupid
* How come the NSW premier is not copping it like the Qld one, clearly political. Why should Mildura or Swan Hill be restricted from using the Murray when they have hardly had any cases and none for months.
* Ridiculous..trouble when no commonsense is applied to anything anymore.
* The boaties don't wish to go to NSW, they just want access to the river.  Sounds like nit picking by NSW to me.
* Mildura you have to remember your on the west side of the Blue Mountains very few in Politics have ventured over these mountains and have no idea whats on the other side 
* same problem at Echuca
* Some businesses in Melbourne haven’t been operating since March, you’re lucky to have ‘emergency funds’
* Is it possible to base the vessels on the northern bank, and operate exclusively for NSW citizens on NSW water? Victorians can wait for a better life hereafter.

Roderick Smith


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