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3-012 (Raw)

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GEELONG
(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT)
Thursday, 11th September The news from Buninyong continues to be of a most exciting nature, each succeeding day reveals some new and startling account of good fortune, on the part of the diggers, many of which reports however must be looked upon with extreme suspicion, or I should rather say, acted upon with extreme caution; the result of the late intelligence from that quarter has driven many almost to madness. [285] No sacrifice is spared to secure an outfit for the diggings, families are left unprotected, and in some cases left on but scanty means, while their head and protector plunges without the least foresight into the exciting but fickle game. -
Such a reckless thirst for gain cannot be too severely censured, or such a sudden revolution of feeling too much deplored; the gold field is not confined to one square mile of country, it is not on one hill, one creek, or on one station only that it exists, it will not disappear of its own accord, it must be taken away, and there is not the smallest reason for this universal rush from comparative comfort, to a hard, toilsome, and perhaps precarious occupation to all who really intend going to the gold field, I would say, wait for fine weather; there is no chance of one hundred times the number of diggers that are there at present getting all the gold either this or next year; there is as yet no protection at the mines, wait for that also, and thus by a regular and steady stream of adventurers pouring into the mines, much good may result, but if the present general rush be not checked, a fearful scene of confusion and disappointment must follow.
Considering that at the time the present discovery was made, many parties had laid out a considerable sum of money, one shilling of which they had not recovered by gold digging; and also that very many have not been so fortunate as the few, it would hardly be fair to immediately exact the 30s. license. But it must be evident to every One, that it is now high time for the Government to interfere, and so long as it acts judiciously, it is necessary that we should support it.
I am informed on what I consider unquestionable authority, that the majority of the respectable class of diggers are crying out for police protection, and not only expressing a desire to obtain that protection, but expressing also their willingness to pay for it; but they do not think that after the loss they have sustained, and the hardships they have endured, they should immediately be called on to pay the full amount. - -
My informant left the diggings on Tuesday morning last; there were then two hundred and fifty people on the ground, he past about seventy on the road up, among whom was one man actually wheeling a bag of flour. [286] He reports that some of the diggers had been robbing Mr. Yuille of his sheep; that one man had been robbed on his way from the mines to Buninyong, of two ounces of gold, the robber having completely cut the left eye out of his victim's head with the blow of a sharp stone; that there are sad doings in the township of Buninyong connected with the public house, and that the country is in a fearful state, owing to the late rains.
The only protection at present afforded to the whole district consists of the Chief Constable of Chepstowe, and three constables. But, as the district is a very large one, only one can be spared for the diggings, and as we may reasonably suppose, that at least one-third of the diggers are not saints, we may be able to guess what would become of the constable in the event of any disturbance.
It is therefore apparent to every one, that immediate measures must be adopted by the Government, and if not too severe, supported by the people, to preserve order, and make the colony what there is every prospect of its becoming, the finest and richest country in the world.
A mounted patrol between the diggings and Melbourne, and Geelong, and some half dozen troopers, a constable at the mines, with at least three in the township of Buninyong, will be immediately required for the protection of the mails, as well as of the travellers to and from the mines, for the quantity of gold that may now be expected to arrive regularly, will be a great temptation to, some of the prowlers that are always found travelling the country.
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