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Balranald

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Balranald is a town and local government area (see Balranald Shire) in the Riverina district of New South Wales, Australia. At the the population was 1,159.The town of Balranald is located where the Sturt Highway crosses the Murrumbidgee River in a remote, semi-desert area. Although it is part of New South Wales, Balranald receives Victorian television stations, with a range of Sydney and Melbourne newspapers available.HistoryBalranald is located in Mutthi Mutthi Nations traditional country. The area has a long history before European settlement and a strong indigenous culture persists to this day.Township beginningsIn about 1847–48 George James McDonald, the Commissioner for Crown Lands for the Lower Darling District, arrived at the site of the present-day township with a police escort. Commissioner McDonald had chosen the site as his base, and he and his entourage set up their camp under canvas. In 1848 Leighton Robinson and Thomas Duggan established a general store at Balranald and during the same year a public-house, the Balranald Inn, was erected by a Mr Robertson.In 1849 the Crown Lands Commissioner McDonald recommended to the Colonial Secretary that a township be established at the location. McDonald was a Scotsman, born at Balranald on North Uist in the Outer Hebrides; he chose the name of his birthplace for the new settlement. He pointed out that the township’s position, on the lower reaches of the Murrumbidgee River, was expected to be of strategic importance with the impending introduction of steam navigation on the Murray.
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