21 SEPTEMBER 1912, Page 2

The ceremony of turning the first sod of the trans-

Australian railway, which will connect Port Augusta with Kalgoorlie, and link Western Australia by land with the rest of the Commonwealth, was performed last Saturday at Port Augusta by Lord Denman. The cost of the railway, which will be 1,060 miles in length, is provisionally estimated at £5,000,000, but there is good ground for believing that this will be reproductive expenditure, as the isolation of Western Australia is a source of weakness both economic and strategic. Mr. Fisher, the Commonwealth Prime Minister, who, with other Federal Ministers, was present at the ceremony, made a good point when he observed that the Government of Western Australia, though deeply interested, were unable to attend.