Just over 100 years after it was established, the majority of Bonegilla was under water.
In 1835 Charles Ebden took up the Bonegilla pastoral run. The name is thought to be derived from an Aboriginal word meaning deep water hole or big battle camp, both of which would be accurate. Much of the development of the town was due to the Cudgewa railway line which opened in 1889 (and closed in 1981). The line was used both in the development of the Snowy Mountains Scheme, as well as transporting materials for the scheme.
Though the establishment of Lake Hume in 1936 would drown the town, Bonegilla would become the temporary home for over 320,000 migrants when the military camp, which originally harboured prisoners-of-war, would be turned into a short term immigration reception centre. Up to 5,000 lived there on some occasion (the local primary school struggled with erratic school populations and over 40 nationalities). It is now estimated that over 1.5 million Australians are descended from migrants who spent time at Bonegilla.
North East Water
In December 1999, the North East Region Water Authority connected Ebden to the Wodonga water supply. This followed negotiations between the Authority and the Army, who requested upgrades to their water and wastewater systems. As a result, Bandiana, Latchford Barracks, Ebden and Baranduda were linked to the proposed Wodonga works, and to Wodonga reticulation.
Today, Ebden’s water is from the Murray system. Water is sourced from the Wodonga Creek, an anabranch of the Murray River. Raw water is pumped 5.5 kilometres, from the Wodonga Creek via five pumps, to a 32 megalitre raw water storage situated at the Wodonga Water Treatment Plant. The treated water from Wodonga is transferred to a 10 megalitre tank at Baranduda and from there the water is supplied to Ebden Bonegilla.
Septic tanks are used to treat Ebden’s domestic wastewater.