Grid Reference DU 284408
Department DEPI
Work Depot Noojee
Region Gippsland
Grading Primary
Elevation (ASL) 1370m
Height 37m
Construction Steel
Cabin size 2.4m x 2.4m
Public access to site Yes
In use since 194? - 1953 (original)
1953 - 1977 (see photo)
1977 - 1994 (ex Crossover)
1994 - current

CFA Region 23 - North Eastern

Mt. Matlock had its first tower build shortly after the 1939 Black Friday Fires. After the Coroner's inquiry into the deaths at sawmills in the Matlock area it was found that: "Had there been a Fire Tower on Mt Matlock with telephone connection to the sawmills and Woods Point, many lives might have been spared."
The tower was a wooden structure and telephone lines were run to Wood's Point, 3 miles east and also to the then new Matlock Forestry Office some eight miles west of the tower.
In approx. 1953, the first Matlock tower was replaced with a new 60' wooden tower (see photo above), which was of much better construction. This new tower was in service until 1977 when the disused 70' steel tower from Crossover near Neerim (there since 1963?) was erected in it's place.
Telecom needed a tower on Mt. Matlock as part of its telephone upgrade for Woods Point and Matlock and in 1994 the current 37m tower with viewing cabin was built.

Please click on thumbnails for enlargements
Dale Simpson
on 3rd Matlock
Current tower constructed
in front of old one in 1994
Current tower in
August 2007

Photos and information supplied by Dale Simpson. Dale has been on Matlock for many years.
Dale Simpson was unable to start the 2005-06 season due to ill health. Dale has given 34 years of dedicated service.
The loyal service was broken twice; '83-'84 he had a broken leg and Dale looked after his ailing father during the '88-'89 season.

The following information was found in documentation supplied by David Bannear.

01-02-1973, an inspection by a Forester found severe rotting of sapwood in legs and splice joints and tower was swaying more in the North/South direction than the East/West direction.
The tower was again inspected in May '73 by an engineer and he gave the life expectancy of five more years after some renovations. The rusting of bolt heads and nuts and the splitting of the legs at the splice was to be checked yearly.
15-07-1976, another inspection by an engineer and he recommends "that the tower should be declared unsafe and moves be made to dismantle it."
09-11-1976, a quotation was received to shift the 18m steel tower from Crossover to Matlock; $3,900.00
This quote was extended by $328 after hold down bolts supplied by the Forest Commission were not tight enough and modifications had to be made.
09-10-1981, a report on the safety of firetower ladders recommends a friction locking climbing system to be installed. This system was used by the MMBW (now known as Melbourne Water) towers. The friction lock carriage was mounted on a rail welded to the ladder. This carriage clipped onto a belt worn by the towerman, who then draws the carriage up or down the rail as he climbs. On slipping, the carriage locks and limits the climbers fall to the length of the strap connecting his belt and the carriage. (see also Mt. Toorongo)
The cabin on the tower was damaged over the winter of 2007; either storm damage or willful damage.
The tower was unmanned for the whole of the 2007-08 fire season!!
The new cabin was finally installed in April 2008.

Photos were supplied by Dale Simpson
Old cabin removed New cabin; with walkway!! Nearly done!!

Mt. Matlock had it's ladders replaced in 2012

Photo (1955) supplied by the Melbourne Walking Club (Robin Bailey)

Photos (1979) supplied by the Ian Michie in July 2019. The second photo is looking to the South East.

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