The Tuncurry Afforestation camp which was established on 26 October 1913 was the first of its kind in NSW. (1) The purpose of such camps was to provide prisoners with a modified form of prison life and the opportunity to acquire skills which could be used on release. (2) Tuncurry (in the North Coast district) was the first site chosen for afforestation by prisoners.
An area of 6,000 acres was selected and twenty prisoners, plus four officers, commenced work in November 1913. Various preparations, such as fencing, levelling and grass-planting were undertaken. Tree-planting began in May and in the next few months the number of trees planted by prison labour was 121,896. (4)
The camp was deproclaimed on 1 April 1938. (5)
(1) Archives Authority of NSW, "The Concise Guide" Corrective Services, p. 86
(2) Official Yearbook of New South Wales, 1914, p. 487
(3) ibid, p. 487
(4) ibid, p. 488
(5) NSW. Department of Corrective Services. "An analysis of NSW Prison Proclamations compiled by Dennis Fitzpatrick, Sydney, The Department, 1996 " Appendix 9
(1) Archives Authority of NSW, "The Concise Guide" 2nd Edition, Sydney, The Authority, 1992
(2) Official Yearbook of New South Wales, 1904/5 - 1988. Sydney, Government Printer, 1906 - 1988
(3) "NSW Department of Corrective Services. An Analysis of NSW Prison Proclamations compiled by Denis Fitzpatrick, Sydney, The Department, 1996."