Oral Histories

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Interviewer: Sue Rosen

Length: 7480 words

Date: May 1992

Jim Drinnan operated a dredging plant on the Nepean with a focus on the area between Cobbity Bridge and Ellis Lane near Camden. He had lived in the are since 1958 and started as a dairy farmer, but difficulties with water supply saw him turn to dredging, to clear sand from the Nepean, which was impeding flows. He

"… found that the river was completely dried up in ... the times of ... drought, from 1966 and through into the [19]70s ... there was no water at all, and at that time there was a water users association formed, and it .... Quite often we were down to pumping only three or four hours, four days a week, and for a large scale farm, for irrigation purposes, it was just ... like trying to wash a car with a bucket without a hose. It was sort of an impossible task, and at that time, I thought it would be a good idea to try and get some of the sand, that was causing the problems in the river, out of the river, and ... [I] set up a company called Nepean Dredging, and we have dredged the river from Cobbitty Bridge up to beyond Ellis Lane towards ... Sharpes Weir."

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