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Barmah

4.4
National Parks
Barmah is a town in Victoria, with the distinction of being located north of the border with New South Wales. At the, Barmah had a population of 181.The border between the two states is the mostly westward-flowing Murray River. Just downstream of Barmah, the Murray winds south, then east far enough to put a small point of New South Wales directly south of Barmah before resuming its generally westwards course.Barmah is near the largest river red gum forest in the world. The Barmah National Park is on the floodplain of the Murray River, and when it floods is an important breeding ground for Murray cod. The flood is enhanced by the geological features of the riverbed, as the channel narrows at an area known as the Barmah choke.The Barmah Forest is listed under the Ramsar Convention for wetlands and, with various state forests in New South Wales, has been identified as an Important Bird Area. It is rich in bird species and is the breeding ground for the superb parrot, a species listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.HistoryThe Barmah area was first settled in 1856 by Joseph Waldo Rice who established the Murray Fishing Company to supply fish for the gold mining region of Bendigo, Victoria. Barmah was, for a time beginning in the early 1880s, a prosperous centre, whose chief industry was sawmilling. There were two major sawmills; that of Robert Barbour on the N.S.W. side of the river, and James MacIntosh's and E. Whitely's on the Victorian side. Much of the timber was exported to India for piles and railway sleepers until a government prohibition of the export of redgum, which forced closure of the Barmah mills. Trade picked up later, with the expansion of the railway network and a new sawmill was opened by R. Evans, who shipped the sawn timber to Echuca on his steamboat, the Edwards.
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