Dalgety, New South Wales

Dalgety is a small town in New South Wales, Australia, on the banks of the Snowy River between Melbourne and Sydney.

The town is located at what was once an important river crossing along the Travelling Stock route from Gippsland to the Snowy Mountains High Country dating from the 1840s.

New South Wales
Main street of Dalgety and the Buckley's Crossing Hotel
Dalgety is located in New South Wales
Coordinates36°30′0″S 148°50′0″E / 36.50000°S 148.83333°ECoordinates: 36°30′0″S 148°50′0″E / 36.50000°S 148.83333°E
Population205 (2016 census)[1]
Elevation760 m (2,493 ft)
  • 51 km (32 mi) from Cooma
  • 452 km (281 mi) from Sydney
LGA(s)Snowy Monaro Regional Council
State electorate(s)Monaro
Federal Division(s)Eden-Monaro


The first settlement was originally known as Buckley's Crossing after Edward Buckley who established a farm near the river crossing in 1832.[2] It was renamed Barnes Crossing in 1848,[2] by which time it had become an important waypoint on the stock route between Gippsland in Victoria and the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales. In 1874 the town was formally surveyed and named Dalgety after the maiden name of the wife of surveyor J. R. Campbell.[3] Like the founder of Dalgety and Company she was a grandchild of a Colonel Alexander Dalgety.[4]

At the time of the survey the population was 23 and it was recorded that a punt was operating across the river. A Catholic school opened in 1874 to cater for the children of Irish gold prospectors, and the first bridge over the river was constructed in 1888.[2]

The town also became a meeting place between white settlers and local Aborigines, who would camp along the river bank on the way to the Snowy Mountains.[5] The Thaua people and Ngarigo people lived in this area seasonally. [6]

Location for national capital

In 1903 a Federal Royal Commission named Dalgety as the location for Australia's national capital city. The choice was based on criteria including climate, food supply, land ownership and ability to support major industries,[7] and was formalised in the Seat of Government Act 1904. In an early demonstration of Sydney-Melbourne rivalry, the decision was immediately opposed by the Parliament of New South Wales which argued that Dalgety was too close to Melbourne and too far from Sydney.[8] A more practical objection was the distance to the main Sydney-Melbourne railway line and the expense involved in constructing a spur to the proposed capital.[9]

These objections were resolved with the passage of the Seat of Government Act 1908 which passed over Dalgety in favour of Canberra.[5]

Dalgety NSW river Stevage
Dalgety is situated on the Snowy River, seen here from a bridge on the west side of the town.


Situated on the Monaro Plains and in the rain shadow of the Snowy Mountains, Dalgety is a relatively dry area of rolling hills with granite boulders scattered across the landscape.

The town depends on the Snowy River for water supplies. In October 2007 the New South Wales Department of Water and Energy recommended a cut in river flows through the nearby Lake Jindabyne, to a level which may require Dalgety to import drinking water.[10]


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Dalgety (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 6 July 2017. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ a b c "Travel:Dalgety". Sydney Morning Herald. 2004-02-08. Retrieved 2007-11-09.
  3. ^ "Dalgety". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 4 August 2013. Edit this at Wikidata
  4. ^ Wynford Vaughan-Thomas. Dalgety, The Romance of a Business, Henry Melland, London 1984 ISBN 0907929079
  5. ^ a b "Dalgety". Tourism New South Wales. November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-09.
  6. ^ Tindale, Norman (1974) "Thaua" in his Catalogue of Australian Aboriginal Tribes. South Australian Museum. Quote: the Bemerigal or mountain people at Cooma belonged to the Ngarigo.
  7. ^ "A Guide to NSW State Archives relating to Federation". State Records New South Wales. October 2001. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-11-09.
  8. ^ Pegrum, Roger (1983). The Bush Capital: How Australia Chose Canberra as Its Federal City. Hale & Iremonger. ISBN 0-86806-066-6.
  9. ^ Welsh, Frank (2005). Great Southern Land: A New History of Australia. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-7139-9450-9.
  10. ^ "Dalgety residents fear cut to Snowy flows". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2007-10-29. Retrieved 2007-11-09.

External links

Australian Capital Territory

The Australian Capital Territory, formerly known as the Federal Capital Territory until 1938 and commonly referred to as the ACT, is a federal territory of Australia containing the Australian capital city of Canberra and some surrounding townships. It is located in the south-east of the country and is an enclave within the state of New South Wales. Founded after federation as the seat of government for the new nation, all important institutions of the Australian federal government are centred in the Territory.

On 1 January 1901, federation of the colonies of Australia was achieved. Section 125 of the new Australian Constitution provided that land, situated in New South Wales and at least 100 miles (160 km) from Sydney, would be ceded to the new federal government. Following discussion and exploration of various areas within New South Wales, the Seat of Government Act 1908 was passed in 1908 which specified a capital in the Yass-Canberra region. The territory was transferred to the Commonwealth by New South Wales in 1911, two years prior to the capital city being founded and formally named as Canberra in 1913.

While the overwhelming majority of the population reside in the city of Canberra in the ACT's north-east, the Territory also includes some surrounding townships such as Williamsdale, Naas, Uriarra, Tharwa and Hall. The ACT also includes the Namadgi National Park which comprises the majority of land area of the Territory. Despite a common misconception, the Jervis Bay Territory is not part of the ACT although the laws of the Australian Capital Territory apply as if Jervis Bay did form part of the ACT. The Territory has a relatively dry, contintental climate experiencing warm to hot summers and cool to cold winters.

The Australian Capital Territory is home to many important institutions of the federal government, national monuments and museums. This includes the Parliament of Australia, the High Court of Australia, the Australian Defence Force Academy and the Australian War Memorial. It also hosts the majority of foreign embassies in Australia as well as regional headquarters of many international organisations, not-for-profit groups, lobbying groups and professional associations. Several major universities also have campuses in the ACT including the Australian National University, the University of Canberra, the University of New South Wales, Charles Sturt University and the Australian Catholic University.

A locally elected legislative assembly has governed the Territory since 1988. However, the Commonwealth maintains authority over the Territory and may overturn local laws. It still maintains control over the area known as the Parliamentary Triangle through the National Capital Authority. Residents of the Territory elect three members to the House of Representatives and two Senators to the Australian Senate.

With 423,800 residents, the Australian Capital Territory is second smallest mainland state or territory by population. At the 2016 census, the median weekly income for people in the Territory aged over 15 was $998 and higher than the national average of $662. The average level of degree qualification in the ACT is also higher than the national average. Within the ACT, 37.1% of the population hold a bachelor's degree level or above education compared to the national figure of 20%.


Dalgety may refer to:

Dalgety, New South Wales, a town in the Monaro Region of New South Wales, Australia

Dalgety Bay, a town in Fife, Scotland

Dalgety plc, a former Australian pastoral company and British trading company

Dalgety Offices, Townsville, a heritage-listed building built by Dalgety and Company in Queensland, Australia

Seat of Government Act 1904

The Seat of Government Act 1904 was an Act of the Parliament of Australia which provided that the "seat of government of the Commonwealth" (i.e., the national capital) should be within 17 miles (27 km) of Dalgety, New South Wales.

The site turned out to be unacceptable to the Government of New South Wales, due partly to its distance from Sydney and proximity to Victoria. The Act was repealed in 1908 by the Seat of Government Act 1908 which selected Canberra as the new site for the territory.

Timeline of Australian history

This is a timeline of Australian history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Australia and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of Australia. See also the list of Prime Ministers of Australia.

Rural places


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