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Technology in Australia 1788-1988Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Table of Contents

Chapter 1

I Groping In A Strange Environment: 1788-1851

II Farmers Take The Initiative: 1851-1888
i Setting the scene for change
ii A transplanted community; a transplanted technology
iii The development of appropriate technology
iv Importation, adaptation and innovation in cropping
v Introduction and innovation in livestock husbandry

III Enter Education And Science: 1888-1927

IV Agricultural Science Pays Dividends: 1927-1987

V Examples Of Research And Development 1928-1988

VI International Aspects Of Agricultural Research

VII Future Prospects

VIII Acknowledgements



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Setting the scene for change (continued)

Gold was discovered in New South Wales and Victoria in 1851 and this brought a major influx of people to the Australian colonies from the United Kingdom and elsewhere; the total population of the colonies was almost tripled from 405,000 in 1851, just before the discovery of gold, to 1,168,000 in 1861. Nearly half the people were living in Victoria by the latter date.

Initially, agriculture was severely disrupted because people left the farms and grazing runs to search for gold, but the demand and therefore prices for food rose rapidly and a thriving trade soon developed in grain, vegetables and meat for the new immigrants. Such was the demand for meat that cattle were trekked to Victoria from as far north as Queensland. The southern Riverina in New South Wales became a fattening area for sheep and cattle on their way south to the Victorian markets. It was not until the end of the decade that meat and grain production finally caught up with the demand and the high prices began to fall rapidly.

Many people did not remain on the gold fields for long but instead drifted back to the burgeoning city of Melbourne or settled in the smaller towns which were growing up near the gold fields. Many looked to farming as a future occupation and political pressure was exerted to make land available for the settlement of the new immigrants on small farms.[18]

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© 1988 Print Edition page 8, Online Edition 2000
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher