Wentworth, William Charles

Wentworth, William Charles

Wentworth, William Charles, 1793?-1872, Australian statesman. His exploration (1813) of the Blue Mts. in Australia revealed vast pasturelands in the western part of the continent. In 1816 he went to Great Britain to study law; while there he published (1819) a description of Australia. He returned (1824) to Australia, where he set up a lucrative law practice, championed the cause of the "emancipists" (liberated convicts), and founded (1824) a newspaper, the Australian, to promulgate his views on Australian self-government. Wentworth took a prominent part in the legislative council of New South Wales, formed in 1842, and was the leading figure in the fight for the constitution of 1855. In 1849 he put through the bill for the founding of the Univ. of Sydney. After 1857 he resided mainly in England. He wrote Australasia (1823), a poem about his native country.
Wentworth is a small border town in the far south west of the state of New South Wales, Australia. It lies at the confluence of Australia's two most important rivers, the Darling and the Murray, the latter forming the border with the state of Victoria to the south. The border with the state of South Australia lies approximately 100 km to the west. The town of Wentworth is in the Local Government Area of the same name.

History

Named after the famous explorer and politician William Charles Wentworth, the town is 34 km to the west (via the Calder Highway) of the Victorian regional city of Mildura. The famous mining city of Broken Hill is 266 km to the north along the Silver City Highway.

During the late 1800s Wentworth was an important river port; however, like many such towns, its significance faded with the development of the railways (railroads).

The town has been flooded many times by the two rivers. The most significant was in 1956, when both rivers flooded simultaneously. Local farmers, supplemented by the army and navy, worked for months to build levee banks to hold the water out of the town.

Visitor attractions

Wentworth is now an important tourist outback destination and provides a welcome break for those travelling to or from Broken Hill. In addition to its authentic outback charm, the town offers some interesting attractions:

  • P.S.Ruby - a restored 1907 side-wheel paddlesteamer
  • The annual Great Wentworth Tractor Rally
  • The Wentworth Gaol

The Great Wentworth Tractor Rally is a commemoration of the grey Fergie tractors that were used to maintain the levee banks and save the town from the 1956 Murray River flood.

Wentworth was a popular destination for 'pokie tour' bus rides from Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia, prior to the legalisation of poker (gambling) machines in that state ..

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