Australian Colonial Settlement

What is Lachlan Macquarie famous for?


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Lachlan Macquarie was Governor of the New South Wales colony in Australia from 1810 to 1821. Because of his military training and strong sense of organisation and discipline, he was ideal to restore order to the colony, after the chaos which followed the Rum Rebellion against Governor William Bligh.

Macquarie aimed to develop the New South Wales colony from from penal colony to free settlement. He was the one to introduce the first building code into the colony; requirements of the building code included that all buildings must be constructed of timber or brick; they must have a shingle tile roof; and they must have a proper chimney, to minimise fire risk. He also ordered that roads, bridges, wharves, churches and public buildings be constructed. After Macquarie inspected Hobart Town in Van Diemen's Land, now Tasmania, he ordered a proper survey of a regular street layout, and this layout still forms the current centre of the city of Hobart.

Macquarie promoted exploration in order to facilitate the spread of settlement. In 1813 he sponsored Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson on their journey across the Blue Mountains, where they found the grazing plains of the interior. Following their discovery, Macquarie ordered the establishment of Bathurst, Australia's first inland city. He appointed John Oxley as surveyor-general and sent him on expeditions up the coast of New South Wales and inland to find new rivers and new lands for settlement. The Lachlan and Macquarie Rivers in NSW are named after him.

The related link below gives specific details of Macquarie's plans and improvements.