1836 : Man with a Plan
The spread of farmland and settlements at the expense of the native forests continued unabated around Flinders Harbour. The ferry service had opened up lands all along the harbour and rivers and many new settlers took advantage of the convenience this service provided. The Settlements around Flinders Landing now had over 10,000 people and the region over 40,000, and the resulting pollution and waste were impacting on the amenity of the settlement. Some of the townsfolk, having lived in Flinders Harbour for over 20 years, began to think of themselves as separate from the Colonial Administration at Sydney (Port Jackson) and showed interest in the idea of self administration.
Flinders Harbour District 37,790
Flinders Landing 10,011
Sealers Cove 4,993
Bligh Bay 4,789
Surf Coast 3,100
Welsh Bay 2,896
Fleet Islands 1,796
Hawke Valley 1,725
District Overview - Road Network
District Overview - Settlement
Development around Flinders Landing
New town by the beach - Carlisle Beach
The growth in the population of Flinders Harbour saw the creation of many new townships around Flinders Landing. 3km South of Flinders Landing, a new settlement was founded on the long coastal strip fronting onto Bass Strait. The proximity to Flinders Landing and the wide strip of sand saw Carlisle Beach become a popular summer retreat.
New towns on the northern shore of the Grenville River - Preston Ferry
Development of land north of the Grenville River had long been stymied by the lack of a direct link to Flinders Landing. With the development of the ferry services around Flinders Harbour, land on the north shore was quickly snapped up for farming and residential development. A road constructed between Fleet Town and Preston Ferry led the the spread of farming communities all the way along the Grenville River out to it's mouth at Bass Strait.
A new port facility at Georgewater.
The growing population of the district saw the rise in the manufacturing industry and shipment of goods back to England and between the colonies of the south seas. The development of port facilities at Georgewater was crucial to reducing the congestion around Flinders Landing and to open up more land for industrial development.
Expansion of facilities at Barrack Point
The increase in lawlessness around Flinders Landing, coupled with the growing trade in convict transportation, saw the expansion of the convict barracks at Barrack Point. A new administration building and a dedicated gaol for the most dangerous of criminals were constructed. A platform built into the jetty side of the gaol was used for public execution of many a convict.
Tower Hill Gardens
The lack of open space around Flinders Landing led to the dedication of the first large parkland. Tower Hill, which had been covered in thick scrub, was cleared of folliage and a formal path network created with the Tower being at the centre of this new park. A concern of the town administration was that these important spots would be lost to the sprawl of housing around the settlement so by locking this land away from development, places of importance to the settlement could be preserved for the future. Tower Hill Gardens quickly became the go-to place for New Years Eve when garden parties and groups gathered to watch fire works and ring in the new year.
Arrival of the Colonial Surveyor-General (Robert Hoddle) in Flinders Landing
At the request of the Governor of New South Wales, the surveyor Robert Hoddle was sent in 1836 to Flinders Landing on the way to the new settlement at Port Philip district. As Flinders Landing had not been built with any formal plan in place to guide development, the narrow winding streets were particularly unsuited to the growing size of the township and the havoc caused by unregulated land use. Robert Hoddle was to report back to Governor Bourke with plans for the new colony at Port Philip and also a plan to improve the settlement and further development at Flinders Landing.