Government Gold Regulations

When the population on the gold fields began to grow too large the government found it necessay to make arrangement s for the preservation of law and order. A commissioner was appointed, who was to act as a magistrate ; he was to be assisted by a small body of police, and was to take charge of the gold escorts. As the lands on which the gold was being found were the public property of the colony, it was thought to be just that the community, as a whole, should participate, to some small extent, in the wealth raised from them ; and the order was, therefore, issued that diggers should, in all cases , take out licenses before seeking gols and should pay for them at a rate of thiry shillings a month.

New diggings were, from time to time, opened up and fresh crowds of eager men constantly pressed towards them, leaving the towns deserted and the neighbouring colonies greatly reduced in population. For some months the Turon River was the favourite ; at one time it had no less than ten thousand men upon its banks. At Ophir , Braidwood and Maroo the most industrious and sagacious miners were generally rewarded by the discovery of fine pieces of gold, for which the California name of "nuggets" was now being extensively being used.

 

History of Australia