Open Access Repository

Geographical change in Tasmanian agriculture during the Great Depression


Downloads per month over past year

Kellaway, RG 1989 , 'Geographical change in Tasmanian agriculture during the Great Depression', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

PDF (Front matter)
Kellaway_front_...pdf | Download (1MB)
Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.

PDF (Whole thesis)
1Kellaway.pdf | Download (25MB)
Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.


One indicator of a stagnant economy has been a slow rate of
population growth . If Tasmania had been able to retain its natural increase
between the first postwar census in 1921 and the second in 1933 , the fmal'
population would have been 256,170 . The recorded populatIon was only
227,599 . The difference was a result of out-migration during the 1920s .
The flow across Bass Strait was sufficient in one period , 192 3 / 24 to
1 926/27 inclusive , to cancel the natural increase and reduce the population
of the state . The poor performance of agriculture was seen as the central
factor in the process of economic decline . Report after report condemned
farming as backward, inefficient and disorganised and called for a
restructuring of the rural economy as the first step in overcoming the
state 1 s chronic problems of low incomes and population loss .
The initial strategy of agricultural reform was defined by Dr . S . S .
Cameron , Director of the Victorian Department of Agriculture . Cameron
had been brought to Tasmania in 1 92 5 by the Labour government of J . A .
Lyons to examine the deteriorating agricultural situation . He concluded
that the principal aim of agricultural development should be to increase the
output of commodities that had a proven export record from Australia ( e . g .
wool , wheat , lamb , fruit and butter ) or that could be worked up into a
profitable export trade such as peas or eggs . Efficiency in production and
marketing was to be stressed . Crops that were produced primarily for the
domestic market ( potatoes , barley , hops ) were to be reduced .
The Department of Agriculture was reorganised and given a mandate to
bring Tasmanian agriculture up to the Australian norm . It followed the
Cameron plan with the exception that livestock enterprises were favoured
over cropping in order to restore fertility to the depleted farmlands of the
Northwest Coast and North Midlands . Considerable progress was made along
these lines before the rural economy was overcome by the collapse of
commodity prices in CX:tober 1 929 .
This study has been structured as a developmental narrative .
Statistical and archival sources have been brought together to investigate
the evolution of farming systems between 1 926/27 and 1 936/ 3 7 . The
thesis begins with an overview of the agricultural situation in the
mid-1 920s . Agricultural reglons are defined for 1 926/27 usmg both the
Weaver method and cluster analysis on derived estimates of net farm income
at the municipality level . The body of the thesis examines

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Kellaway, RG
Additional Information:

Copyright the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Item Statistics: View statistics for this item

Actions (login required)

Item Control Page Item Control Page