With the northern border of South Australia and the western border of Queensland fixed by this time, it left the area to the north of South Australia totally separated from the colonly of New South Wales and as such, unmanaged.
Queensland had great a interest in including the plains around the Albert River region which was attracting squatters and the promise of a deep water port in the Gulf of Carpentaria, but it had no interest in extending its territory beyond the Longitude of 138o E.
Hence, the formalisation of Queensland’s western border by letters patent, in 1862.
There were suggestions that the northern half of this unmanaged territory be annexed to Queensland and the southern half to South Australia, however, Queensland rejected this proposal.
South Australia, on the other hand, was very keen to annex this area to its colony. After much persistence, it persuaded the British government that annexing the area to South Australia was a better scenario than it remaining a “no man’s land” – whereby no colony was taking responsibility for the land, as was the status quo at the time. The British government conceded as long as no costs were borne to the “Home Country”.
Hence, by Letters Patent, the entire unclaimed area to the north of Latitude 26o S was annexed to South Australia on the 6th July 1863.
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