The Royal Commission to enquire into the possibility of Land Settlement and successful farming in the Mallee Belt and Esperance Lands at Esperance. Charles Edward Dempster, Esq (Chairman), Mathew Thomas Padbury, Esq, Ranald McDonald, Esq. were representatives on the board. The Commission held 111 sittings, and at 24 of these, evidence was taken.
The remainder were occupied with the inspection of land and the study of departmental files and reports. There were 86 witnesses, including settlers and owners of property, in the Esperance district, departmental officials and the Parliamentary member for the district.
Work was suspended on the Esperance to Salmon Gums construction, and work ceased when plate laying reached Collier, four miles away from the shore. Many miles of earthworks beyond this point had been completed and were adopted temporarily as a roadway.
For some years thereafter, the Collier section was worked by the Public Works Department in conjunction with the jetty tramway operation. The siding at Collier, with a loop line running to the lakes salt works, was a much needed improvement.
The settlers faced extreme hard times on the land. The extended delay in the railway line further hindered the settler’s market opportunities.