Re-charge | Part II.I

Part II was a field trip across the Victoria/New South Wales border due north of Melbourne.  The aims of this were as follows:

  1. To identify the processes and operations that occur across/are facilitated by the border
  2. To decode the logic behind their operational tactics
  3. To intervene in and potentially to re-create the border and its related territories.

More image-heavy than the essay of Part I, hopefully it offers an easier/more palatable discussion.


About the trip.

The border condition that I considered on the field trip broaches Cobram in Northern Victoria and Barooga/Berrigan in Southern New South Wales. The region is one that I’ve spent a reasonable amount of time in over the past 20-odd years, as it’s the home of my mother’s family. Whilst I’m not a ‘child-of the-farm’ I did spend most holidays there until the age of 14 running around on a quad-bike after cows, baling hay, helping in the dairy, and planting wind-rows amongst other tasks.

The first day we arrived late afternoon and I spent a couple of hours documenting the farm and the activities that occurred that might be linked to/influenced by the border.

On the second day I drove back and forth over the border at Cobram/Barooga a few times, documenting the ways in which the border is regulated, as well as other characteristics of the region and mulling over why the act of crossing the border seemed so different to that which I remembered.

On the last day, on which we returned to Melbourne, I crossed the Cobram/Barooga border twice, once in each direction, and as I was no longer driving the car I was able to document the journey itself through a series of photos. Finally we drove the last time over the border through the border town of Tocumwal, to see how the conditions differed 16km further along the state border.

Please pardon the tumultuous/stormy images… the weather was none-too-friendly and I had to take photos whenever the rain ceased enough to escape the house. It’s a contrast from the decade(s) of drought I remember as a child!


1. Identify the processes and operations that occur across/are facilitated by the border

The region is an agricultural area in the Southern Riverina, with produce ranging from beef, milk products, sheep, grain, olives, to stone-fruits. The region is predominantly irrigated rural land in nature, and much of the region relies on its proximity to the Murray River for its livelihood, including agriculture and recreation. The Berrigan Shire, including the townships of Berrigan, Barooga, Tocumwal and Finley recorded a 1.4% population rise in the year leading up to June 2009 (source).

Irrigated fields for dairy farming (Lalalty-Berrigan) . M. Prescott

Rotary dairy (Lalalty-Berrigan) . M. Prescott

‘The Drop’, The irrigation channel on Melrose Ln. (Lalalty-Berrigan) . M. Prescott

Farm-scale irrigation channel, cnr Melrose Ln. and Sherwin Rd. (Lalalty-Berrigan) . M. Prescott

(note the impending storm…)

The single-lane lift-bridge that spans the Murray at the Cobram—Barooga border crossing is no longer in use due to increased traffic requiring upgrades to the crossing . M.Prescott

Old bridge / New bridge, the timber and steel bridge is still used as by pedestrians, whilst vehicles cross the border on the 80km/hr concrete bridge close-by . M. Prescott

Flood markers, bank of the Murray River (Cobram) . M. Prescott

“Welcomes to Cobram: home of peaches ‘n’ cream”, Victorian signage along the road as you enter Cobram township . M. Prescott

“No fruit allowed on return trip”, Victorian signage along the road as you prepare to cross the border into NSW . M. Prescott

“Welcome to Barooga: sport ‘n’ sun”, NSW signage on the approach to Barooga township . M. Prescott

“Footrot protected area”, NSW signage on the approach to Barooga township . M. Prescott

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