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

Chapter 12

I The First Half Century - The Initial Struggle

II The Second Fifty Years - The Start Of Expansion

III The Third Fifty Years - Federation And The First World War

IV The Fourth Period - Second World War To The Present
i General Conditions
ii Iron and Steel Production
iii Aluminium Technology
iv Innovative Copper Refining Process
v The EDIM-4WD Load-Haul-Dump Vehicle
vi Copper Rod Production
vii Copper Wire and Cables
viii The Diecasting Industry
ix Automotive Components
x Whitegoods or Consumer Durables
xi Hardware
xii Some Recent New Industries
xiii The National Measurement System
xiv Manufacturing Industry in this Decade
xv Acknowledgements



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The Fourth Period - Second World War To The Present

General Conditions

The period from 1938 to 1988 began with a nation preparing for a war which emphasized the great vulnerability of the country, relying as it did heavily on imports of many basic commodities. Supplies of these dwindled as the war progressed and established industries were called upon to expand quickly into areas where they had no previous experience and to handle equipment and processes for which skills and technical ability were initially lacking. It was a period that called for great inventiveness and many remarkable innovations were introduced, some of which have become largely forgotten today. The period of the war, however, helped to consolidate and expand many industries and to lay the foundations for considerably greater expansion in the post-war years. The decade between 1950 and 1960 could probably be called the Post-War Recovery period while that between 1960 and 1970 was one of great industrial growth, particularly with Australia's major basic metal industries. In the 1970s manufacturing continued to grow but came under increasing attack as suffering an acute 'malaise', with strong recommendations that considerable restructuring was needed. The next decade saw restructuring taking form with the help of various assistance plans instigated by Government. The decade was one of some uncertainty with adverse balance of payments and a loss of competitiveness with overseas felt by many industry sectors.

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© 1988 Print Edition page 878, Online Edition 2000
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher