History of the Great Dividing Range and Installation of new Signage - 8 September 2016

Long-time Oberon history buff Bill Hoolihan, has a great interest in the history and geography of our region especially when it comes to the Great Dividing Range and the division of the two west flowing rivers, the Lachlan and Macquarie. In September 2015 Bill offered to partner with council to erect some signage denoting both the Great Dividing Range and the catchment divisions. Bill very generously contributed $5000 to the project.

Council positively considered the partnership arrangement and Bill along with our Deputy Mayor Kerry Gibbons, who shares this interest and has an extensive knowledge of the local area, commenced work on the project.  Mark Taylor from Marks Signage was commissioned to design and erect the new signs. Mark came up with a great concept which was subsequently approved by both Council and Bill.  The new signs are now in place.

The location of the sign denoting the division between the Lachlan and Macquarie Rivers Catchment areas (just north of Isabella Road) is actually located on the Abercrombie Rd heading towards Goulburn, visible and kindling the interest of both locals and tourists. The division runs along the current fence lines of the properties Melville Park and Laska between the two dams one on each property. There are two signs marking the Great Dividing Range, one located at Forest Lodge on the Edith Road one kilometre west of Porcupine Hill and the other on Shooters Hill Road just one kilometre south of Shooters Hill – approximately twenty five kilometres from Oberon.

Bill has also approached Lithgow Council in relation to similar signage for each end of the Rydal Rd between Rydal to Hampton, which virtually runs along the Great Dividing Range. Interestingly where the Rydal Rd and the Hampton School Rd join the Jenolan Caves Rd the centre white line for several hundred metres denotes the Great Dividing Range. Another interesting fact alluded to by Bill was that the Range extends as far inland as Uarbry east of Dunedoo.

At Mt Lambie the Range at a height of 1150 metres runs between the Cox’s River catchment area and the Macquarie River catchment area and bizarrely at this point Bill assures me that the water on the western side runs eastward and on the eastern side it runs westward.

This is fascinating, since speaking with Bill I have increased my own knowledge of the Great Dividing Range, which is Australia's most substantial mountain range and the third longest land-based range in the world stretching more than 3,500kms from Dauan Island off the northeastern tip of Queensland, running the entire length of the eastern coastline through NSW then into Victoria and turning west, before finally fading into  the Grampians in Western Victoria. The Dividing Range does not consist of a single mountain range but a complex of mountain ranges, plateaus, upland areas and escarpments with an ancient and complex geological history.

I am sure I speak for the whole community when I thank Bill and his dedication and generosity to ensure we are all more alert to our geographic location and history.

Mayor Kathy Sajowitz