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Chart of the east coast of New South Wales from Tacking Point to Coffs Islands

Date: 1953
Overall: 1317 x 1005 mm, 0.2 kg
Image: 980 x 670 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Transfer from Department of Customs and Excise
Classification:Maps, charts and plans
Object Name: Chart
Object No: 00028475
Place Manufactured:London

User Terms

    A chart of the east coast of Australia: Tacking Point to Coffs Islands, first published in 1865 and with small corrections 1924 - 1953. The chart was a result of a survey by Commander Frederick W Sidney, RN in 1862 - 1864. Outer soundings and other additions by marine surveyor Lieutenant John T Gowlland, RN, in 1869.
    SignificanceThis chart was originally drawn between 1862 and 1864 as part of a joint Hydrographic venture between the colonial governments and British Admiralty. Royal Navy, Colonial Navy and RAN vessels have used this and similiar era charts for navigation since their first publication in 1865.
    Though subsequently amended over the years, 1924 - 1953, they still show the reliability and accuracy of the initial surveys in their use 100 years later.
    HistoryIn 1860 the Australian colonies of Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania recognised the need for better coastal charts to aid in safety and trade growth. Together, they jointly agreed to "contribute to the cost of a coast survey if undertaken by the Lords of the Admiralty...The Admiralty propose to pay the salaries of the several surveying officers, to furnish chronometers, instruments &c., and to engrave the charts directly the surveys are received; leaving it to the colony to provide for the lodging and the subsistence of the officers and to find the means of locomotion, whether by land or by boats, sailing vessels or small steamers, as may be found requisite. The officer in charge of the survey will be instructed to furnish the Colonial Governments, quarterly, with a copy of his accounts.." (The Inquirer and Commercial News (Perth) 7 August, 1861).

    The hydrographic surveys were to go ahead despite any potential changes of politics in Australia and despite being in constant communication with the Surveyor - General of each colony, the officers in charge were answerable only to the Admiralty.
    The officer from the Royal Navy sent to survey the New South Wales coastline was Commander Frederick Sidney.

    Following the work of explorers, the British Admiralty established a Chart and Chronometer Depot in Sydney in 1897. [3] The depot was to supplement the activities of Royal Navy survey ships in Australian waters.[3] In 1913, the depot was taken over by the Australian government and was renamed the RAN Hydrographic Depot.[3] Despite this, survey activities were performed by Royal Navy vessels until World War I, when surveying operations were concentrated in European waters.[3]

    After the war, the Admiralty decided that with higher priorities in Europe, it would provide at most a single vessel for survey operations around Australia, and the Australian government was forced to create its own hydrographic surveying service. [3] After deliberation on whether the new hydrographic service would be military or civilian operated, the government decided that surveying would be a naval responsibility, with the RAN Hydrographic Service established on 1 October 1920

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