The Iron Gangs were used for men who had committed major crimes. Such men were chained at the ankles and then chained to each other as they worked on the roads.
They were closely guarded and brutally disciplined by the army. Iron gangs built the roads between Sydney and Bathurst and Sydney and Newcastle in New South Wales, and many of the roads in Van Daemon's Land.
The work of the iron gangs was hard and exhausting and rations were halved as part of the punishment.
Deep Transportation Shortly after the establishment of settlement in Sydney Cove, it became apparent that new penal settlements were required as places of secondary punishment for convicts who had committed further crimes after arriving in the colony. These new penal settlements were to be located away from existing settlements, and punishment was to be so severe that it would act as a deterrent, even though the average convict had no way of knowing what might have been happening due to the total lack of communications.
Most places of secondary punishment yielded tales of brutality, cruelty, and barbarism. They were effectively death camps. The Governor of NSW eventually ordered that the records be destroyed so as to conceal the true horror of what was being done form England, and thus prevent court-martials among his officer core.
Hanging was reserved for major crimes, such as murder and bushranging. But, in the first years of settlement in Sydney, when food supplies were extremely short, hanging was used to discourage the theft of food. In 1788, five men were hanged. Eight men and a woman were hanged in 1799.