Tallong/Debate Guide

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Is Tallong actually in the Southern Highlands?

Whether or not Tallong is actually located in the Southern Highlands, as opposed to the Southern Tablelands, has been a subject of debate for half a century. Topographically, Tallong, with its hilly terrain, replete with gullies, valleys and gorges, would seem better described as highlands than tablelands, as tablelands are generally considered to be plateaux in highlands.

According to articles by local author Robin Hunt in the now defunct Highland Way Magazine and highlandway.com.au (circa 2003), the editors looked up the record and found that Tallong is, indeed in the Southern Highlands; the residents made a decision to switch shires feeling that the Wingecaribee Council did nothing for them (popular sentiment is that Tallong is still very much ignored and underrated by Council).

Saint Stephen's Church, in Tallong, is in the Parish of Sutton Forest, together with churches in Sutton Forrest, Exeter and Bundanoon, all indisputably in the Southern Highlands.

The forced council amalgamations of 2004 dissolved the Mulwaree Shire and placed the villages of Tallong and Marulan in a newly-created Goulburn-Mulwaree Council; this has exacerbated the problem of Tallong's identity. The city of Goulburn is solidly in the Southern Tablelands. Further complicating matters is the fact that the Southern Highlands is not an official designation. Marketing and tourism personnel in Wingecaribee Shire tend to restrict the term Southern Highlands to mean only the towns and villages of that shire. Real estate agents place Tallong in the Southern Highlands, perhaps because of the cachet of the area, and Highlife Magazine, a lifestyle magazine showcasing upscale properties, has recently marketed Tallong as “one of the last true villages” in the Southern Highlands.

Tallong physically lies along the Southern Highland Way, Route 16, which runs from Moss Vale to Marualan. Perhaps because of that reason, Tallong is generally identified as the second, (or second to last, depending on whether you’re travelling from Sydney or from Canberra) village in the Southern Highlands.

Where's Tallong?

Most residents ask this question. Until recently nobody was able to answer definitely whether Tallong belonged to the Southern Highlands or the Southern Tablelands. We can now definitely answer the question. Tallong is indeed part of the Southern Highlands. The misconception that Tallong belongs to the Southern Tablelands is probably because the area is now part of the Mulwaree Shire Council. The Tallong area was previously under the umbrella of Wingecarribee Shire Council, but around 1950, Tallong residents petitioned to become part of Mulwaree Shire because they were unhappy with the services Wingecarribee Shire Council were (or weren't) providing. This may well be the basis for many people from other areas of the Southern Highlands wrongly believing that Tallong is a village of the Southern Tablelands. The official sources we consulted to put an end to the misconception were the Mitchell Library in Sydney, and the Federal Government's Mapping Agency, Auslig. Both sources confirmed that Tallong is indeed part of the Southern Highlands. So, if you happen to see Tallong listed as part of the Southern Tablelands (and you definitely will) you now know that it's been listed wrongly on the basis of heresay, (sic) not fact!

© Robyn Hunt From: http://highlandway.com.au/about.htm sourced: 5 November 2006. Used by permission.