Page:The Coming Colony Mennell 1892.djvu/25

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THE COMING COLONY.


I.


Boom in Western Australia—Outlook for Emigrants—Production behind Consumption—At the Beginning instead of End of "a spirited Public Works Policy"—Cinderella again!


I have no desire to get up what is called a "boom" in Western Australia, though that peculiar phenomenon has often uprisen on slighter grounds than those which are now directing public attention to the undeveloped resources of what, in a sober and sensible spirit, may justly be styled the "Coming Colony."

The "outer man" of Australia, as a whole, is monotonous and unattractive from a picturesque point of view, and its fauna and, to an extent, its flora, present characteristics which, even in the tropical regions, make tameness their chief attribute. Even the fast-disappearing natives lack the nobility of the Maori or Zulu, and though occasionally dangerous to the detached settler, have shown no disposition to war with the white intruder in the open. South Africa, on the other hand, with its more luxuriant vegetation, its man-devouring animals, and its warlike aborigines, presents just that element of romance and danger which renders colonisation piquant to the "young bloods" of the time. Western Australia, though a veritable land of flowers, participates in the prevailing characteristics of the rest of the continent. In a word, whilst to the nine­teenth-century representatives of the "gentlemen adventurers"