The Overland Telegraph Line.
Early South Australian actions.


"The Government have sent despatches to the Agent-General, authorising him to inform the Telegraph Company that Parliament will be recommended to vote a subsidy to the Company on the line from Port Darwin to Port Augusta, if the Company will carry it that way instead of to Queensland".
South Australian Advertiser 31 March 1870.

The South Australian Government moved quickly. On 26 April 1870, the South Australian Advertiser reported:

"Another step has been taken towards the achievement of direct telegraphic communication between England and the Australian colonies. Mr Todd, the Superintendent of Telegraphs in South Australia, was directed by his Government to report on the best mode of connecting that colony with the Indo-European lines, and the extension thereof to Australia proposed by Commander Noel Osborne. Mr Todd reports in favor of a direct line overland from Port Augusta northwards to the new settlement at Port Darwin. This is approved of by the South Australian Government, and, if carried out, will require merely the deep sea cables to and from the Dutch possessions, and then the line will be complete".

The Mercury (Hobart) reported on 17 June 1870 as follows:


In the Legislative Assembly, the Port Darwin Telegraph Bill passed the first reading. The Government motion was affirmed that it was desirable to send a delegate to the Intercolonial Conference to be held in Melbourne. The debate on the land regulations has been again adjourned; the speeches are decidedly favourable to the Government. It is generally understood that the Hon. Captain Hart will be the delegate to represent this Government in the Intercolonial Conference.

One condition contained in the telegram received from England by our Government from the British and Australian Telegraph Company, consenting to make Port Darwin the terminus of the overland line from Port Augusta, is that the line must be open for traffic on the 1st December, 1871.

Progress was quick:

Modern Governments cannot move that quick - even on a matter of far less importance or complexity!!!