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The Melbourne Harbour Trust Commissioners. Reports of Royal Commissions on Noxious Trades. 1870 & 1871., Silting up of the Bay. 1871 & 1872., Low Lands. 1873. Folio. Bound in maroon calf with gold letterering and simple gold tooling. The personal copy of Commissioner Paterson with his name lettered in gold on the front cover.

James Paterson, (1826-1906), arrived in Victoria from Scotland to seek his fortune as a gold miner. He was very successful and after quitting life as a gold miner, he became a coal importer, founding James Paterson & Co, the largest coal importers in Victoria. He went into shipping and steam tug boats. A successful businessman he entered politics and became a City of Melbourne Councilor as well as many other civic posts.

The Noxious Trades Commissions of 1870 & 1871 were to enquire into the polution of the atmosphere and water around the City of Melbourne and its effect on public health.

The Commission on Silting Up of the Bay. 1871 & 1872 was to enquire into the alledged silting up of Port Phillip Bay due to dredging activities.

The Low Lands Commission. 1873, was held to establish the best means to develope the low-lying land adjacent to the Yarra River downstream from the City of Melbourne, as docks, commercial use and public use.

This series of Royal Commissions were highly important and influenced the future developement and town planning of Melbourne's western suburbs for the following 130 years. Not untill the Kennett government of the 1990's were the conclusions and uses allocated  for this land revisited and overturned, leading to the new suburb of Docklands and the projected developement of Fishermans Bend.



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