The boom of the early 80’s

Many of us remember historic facts and dates we learned by rote at school better than the happenings we have lived through.

Looking through a time-line and the growth of Albury-Wodonga, aided by the Albury-Wodonga Development Corporation during the 1970’s and 80’s, our local town was really transformed.

To put the $ values into perspective, the blocks of land in Parkland Estate, cnr of Brockley St and Melrose Drive were selling for a top price of $10,500.

As at November 1980:

  • At Bandiana, Rocla Industries extended its works with a $1.5 million concrete pole manufacturing plant.
  • Season-makers were building a $720,000 wood-wool factory.
  • A $600,000 Shell depot opened in Wodonga the previous year.
  • A syndicate of three business men bought Wodonga’s Sarah Coventry custom jewellery plant for $500,000.
  • A sheepskin processing plant was built in Wodonga for a cost of $350,000.
  • Brae Villa transportable homes launched a $200,000 venture in Wodonga.
  • Sanyo spent $200,000 on new manufacturing equipment for its Wodonga factory.
  • Arnold’s wholesale fruit and vegetables opened in Wodonga.
  • At Bonegilla, the Army is ploughing $30 million into new training facilities.
  • Target opened a $7 million variety store.
  • Business form manufacturer Moore-Paragon opened a $4 million plant in Wodonga in 1979.
  • At Bandiana, the Wodonga City Council is spending $3 million on new livestock selling facilities.
  • Rheem Australia will spend $2 million on the first stage of a container depot in Wodonga.
  • Wodonga Cold Storage has a $1.3 million investment in a new freezer plant.

Along with Target there was a large supermarket which also went under the Target brand, and seven specialty shops, built on the old sale yard site which had been acquired in 1979 for $975,000.

The Army training facility at Bonegilla would be named for Ernest William Latchford who died in 1962, and had been Major later Lt Col commanding the Small Arms School at Bonegilla between 1942 and 1947. He had previously been awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry during the Battle of Passchendaele-Ypres in October 1917. He was also awarded the MBE in 1934 for distinguished service, and retired in 1949 after 30 years’ service.