From The Age, Thursday May 31, 1934
THE BADGER CREEK SANCTUARY.
Official Opening Ceremony.
In perfect weather amidst charming bushland scenery, and with some of the most interesting samples of Australian fauna surveying the proceedings from an adjacent tree, the Sir Colin McKenzie sanctuary for Australian fauna and flora was officially opened yesterday at Badger Creek, near Healesville. The ceremony was performed by the Chief Secretary (Mr. Macfarlan), assisted by the Minister of Lands (Mr. Dunstan). There were also present the Minister of Water Supply (Mr. Goudie), Messrs. Everard and Prendergast, M's.L.C., the heads of various public departments, the president of the shire (Cr. Blackwood), and other local councillors, members of the committee of management, and representatives of several organisations which take a close interest in the protection of animal and bird life: also several hundreds of the general public. The sanctuary comprises an area of 78 acres, which was set aside from the large area of land controlled by the Aborigines Board.
Prior to the ceremony luncheon was provided for the vistors in the Badger Creek hall. Mr. Everard, M.L.A., occupied the chair. In calling upon the Minister of Water Supply to propose the toast of The New Sanctuary, Mr. Everard referred particularly to the enthusiasm displayed by Mr. R. Eadie in connection with the development of the sanctuary.
Mr. Goudie said he was suprised at the very good work performed by the committee of management in such a short period and with such limited capital; (Applause.)
Mr. Angliss, M.L.C., said the unemployed could be profitably employed in developing the sanctuary, which deserved financial assistance from the Government.
Rev. J. H. Cain (Employment Council) said the committee had done a magnificent job, and he had been deeply impressed with what he had seen. (Cheers.)
Dr. N. McArthur (Fauna and Flora Advisory Board) said that the board had not received from the Government quite the sympathetic consideration that it deserved. It desired to appoint honorary inspectors to assist in the protection of the flora and fauna, which were being destroyed at an alarming rate. Extraordinarily good work was being done at the sanctuary. (Hear, hear.) After several other speeches the toast was drunk with enthusiasm.
Mr. Eadie, in responding, said the whole idea was to make the reserve a sanctuary in the true sense of the word. Were it not for the vigilance of the Games and Fisheries department a number of Australian animals would already be extinct He paid a tribute to the Healesville shire council for its great work in preserving the fauna and flora of the district. (Hear, hear.)
Mr. Prendergast, M.L.A., in expressing the thanks of visitors to the ladies for the excellent luncheon provided, paid a warm tribute to the excellent work of Sir Colin McKenzie. (Applause.) Although splendid work was being done at the sanctuary, it was pitifully small; it was a national duty to preserve a portion of Australia as it really was. The Employment Council could not do better with its money than to spend it on the development of the sanctuary. (Hear, hear.)
The Chief Secretary, in declaring the sanctuary open, said there was no doubt the sanctuary was much too small, and it would have to be much larger. It had been suggested that the Aborigines Board should transfer some more of its area, but that area was producing revenue which was being devoted to meet the expense of the Lake Tyers aboriginal settlement, which was costing the State from £6000 to £7000 a year. It had been suggested to him that 400 more acres should be transferred to the sanctuary. If his department could obtain a quid pro quo from the Lands department, nothing would give him and the Government greater pleasure than the transfer to the sanctuary of the land it required. The land was valuable in the Healesville district, and it might mean that his department would have to receive more land than it transferred. But there should not be insuperable difficulties in the way of a transfer. (Applause.)
The Minister of Lands congratulated all those connected with the sanctuary on their initiative and enterprise. It was not only a wonderful asset for the district, he said, but for the State. He always thought it was a tragic thing to see men and boys destroying with rifles or "shanghais" the fauna which should be protected. (Applause.) In connection with the proposed extension of the area, he quite agreed with the Chief Secretary's remarks, and saw no reason why the two departments concerned should not cooperate in this matter. He hoped at the earliest opportunity to arrive at a satisfactory solution of the problem. The Government should help the people who were helping in such a splendid work (Applause.)
A letter was read from Sir C. McKenzie (Canberra) expressing regret that he was unable to be present.