1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Victoria (Australia)
VICTORIA, a British colonial state, occupying the south-eastern corner of Australia. Its western boundary is in 140° 58′ E.; on the east it runs out to a point at Cape Howe, in 150° E. long., being thus rudely triangular in shape; the river Murray constitutes nearly the whole of the northern boundary, its most northerly point being in 34° S. lat.; the southern boundary is the coast-line of the Southern Ocean and of Bass Strait, the most southerly point is Wilson’s Promontory in 39° S. lat. The greatest length east and west is about 480 m.; the greatest width, in the west, is about 250 m. The area is officially stated to be 87,884 sq. m.
The coast-line may be estimated at about 800 m.It begins about the 141st meridian with bold but not lofty sandstone cliffs, worn into deep caves and capped by grassy undulations, which extend inland to pleasant park-like lands. Capes Bridgewater and Nelson form a peninsula of forest lands, broken by patches of meadow. To the east of Cape Nelson lies the moderately sheltered inlet of Portland Bay, consisting of a sweep of sandy beach flanked by bold granite rocks. Then comes a long unbroken stretch of high chffs, which, owing to insetting currents, have been the scene of many calamitous wrecks. Cape Otway is the termination of a wild mountain range that here abuts on the coast. Its brown cliffs rise vertically from the water; and the steep slopes above are covered with dense forests of exceedingly tall timber and tree-ferns. Eastwards from this cape the line of cliffs gradually diminishes in height to about 20 to 40 ft. at the entrance to Port Phillip. Next comes Port Phillip Bay, at the head of which stands the city of Melbourne. When the tide recedes from this bay through the narrow entrance it often encounters- a strong current just outside; the broken and somewhat dangerous sea thus caused is called “the Rip.” East of Port Phillip Bay the shores consist for 15 m. of a line of sandbanks; but at Cape Schanck they suddenly become high and bold. East of this comes Western Port, a deep inlet more than half occupied by French Island and Phillip Island. Its shores are flat and uninteresting, in some parts swampy. The bay is shallow and of little use for navigation. The coast continues rocky round Cape Liptrap. Wilson’s Promontory is a great rounded mass of granite hills, with wild and striking scenery, tree-fern gullies and gigantic gum-trees, connected with the mainland by a narrow sandy isthmus. At its extremity lie a multitude of rocky islets, with steep granite edges. North of this cape, and
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opening to the east, lies Corner Inlet, which is dry at low water. The coast now continues low to the extremity of the colony. The slight bend northward forms a sort of bight called the Ninety Mile Beach, but it really exceeds that length. It is an unbroken line of sandy shore, hacked by low sandhills, on which grows a sparse dwarf vegetation. Behind these hills comes a succession of lakes, surrounded by excellent land, and beyond these rise the soft blue outlines of the mountain masses of the interior. The shores on the extreme east are somewhat higher, and occasionally rise in bold points. They terminate in Cape Howe, off which lies Gabo Island, of small extent but containing an important lighthouse and signalling station.
The western half of Victoria is level or slightly undulating, and as a rule tame in its scenery, exhibiting only thinly timbered grassy lands, with all the appearance of open parks. The north-west corner of the colony, equally flat, is dry and sometimes sandy, and frequently bare of vegetation, though in one part some seven or eight millions of acres are covered with the dense brushwood known as “mallee scrub.” This wide western plain is slightly broken in two places. In the south the wild ranges of Cape Otway are covered over a considerable area with richly luxurious but almost impassable forests. This district has been reserved as a state forest and its coast forms a favourite holiday resort, the scenery being very attractive. The middle of the plain is crossed by a thin line of mountains, known as the Australian Pyrenees, at the western extremity of which there are several irregularly placed transverse ranges, the chief being the Grampians, the Victoria Range and the Sierra Range. Their highest point is Mount William (3600(3600 feet). The eastern half of the colony is wholly different. Though there is plenty of level land, it occurs in small patches, and chiefly in the south, in Gippsland, which extends from Corner Inlet to Cape Howe. But a great part of this eastern half is occupied with the complicated mass of ranges known collectively as the Australian Alps. The whole forms a plateau averaging from 1000 to 2000 ft. high, with many smaller table lands ranging from 3000 to 5000 ft. in height. The highest peak, Bogong, is 6508 ft. in altitude. The ranges are so densely covered with vegetation that it is extremely difficult to penetrate them. About fifteen peaks over 5000 ft. in height have been measured. Along the ranges grow the giant trees for which Victoria is famous. The narrow valleys and gullies contain exquisite scenery, the rocky streams being overshadowed by groves of graceful tree-ferns, from amid whose waving fronds rise the tall smooth stems of the white gums. Over ten millions of acres are thus covered with forest-clad mountains which in due time will become a very valuable asset of the state. The Australian Alps are connected with the Pyrenees by a long ridge called the Dividing Range (1500 to 3000 ft. high).
Victoria is fairly well watered, but its streams are generally too small to admit of navigation. This, however, is not the case with the Murray river. The Murray for a distance of Rivers. 670 m. (or 1250 m. if its various windings be followed) forms the boundary between New South Wales and Victoria; it receives a number of tributaries from the Victorian side. The Mitta Mitta, which rises in the heart of the Australian Alps, is 150 m. long. The Ovens, rising among the same mountains, is slightly shorter. The Goulburn (340 m.) flows almost entirely through well-settled agricultural country, and is deep enough to be used in its lower part for navigation. The valley of this river is a fertile grain -producing district. The Campaspe (150 m.) has too little volume of water to be of use for navigation; its valley is also agricultural, and along its banks there lie a close succession of thriving townships. The Loddon (over 200 m.) rises in the Pyrenees. The upper part flows through a plain, to the right agricultural and to the left auriferous, containing nearly forty thriving towns, including Bendigo (formerly named Sandhurst) and Castlemaine. In the lower part of the valley the soil is also fertile, but the rainfall is small. To the west of the Loddon is the Avoca river with a length of 140 m.; it is of slight volume, and though it flows towards the Murray it loses itself in marshes and salt lagoons before reaching that river.
The rivers which flow southwards into the ocean are numerous. The Snowy river rises in New South Wales, and in Victoria flows entirely through wild and almost wholly unoccupied territory. The Tambo (120 m. long), which rises in the heart of the Australian Alps, crosaes the Gippsland plains and falls into Lake King, one of the Gippsland lakes; into the same lake falls the Mitchell river, rising -also in the Australian Alps. The Mitchell is navigated for a short distance. The Latrobe empties itself into Lake Wellington after a course of 135 m.; it rises at Mount Baw Baw. The Yarra Yarra rises in the " Black Spur " of the Australian Alps. Emerging in a deep valley from the ranges, it follows a sinuous course through the undulating plains called the " Yarra Flats, " which are wholly enclosed by hills, on whose slopes are some of the best vineyards of Australia; it finds its way out of the Flats between high and precipitous but well-wooded banks, and finally reaches Port Phillip Bay below Melbourne. Owing to its numerous windings its course through that city and its suburbs is at least thirty miles. Nearer
to the sea its waterway, formerly available for vessels drawing 16 ft., has now been deepened so as to be available for vessels drawing 20 ft. The Barwon, farther west, is a river of considerable length but little volume, flowing chiefly through pastoral lands. The
Hopkins and Glenelg (280 m.) both water the splendid pastoral lands of the west, the lower course of the former passing through the fertile district of Warrnambool, well known throughout Australia as a potato-growing region.
In the west there are LakeS Corangamite and Colac, due north of Cape Otway. The former is intensely salt; the latter is fresh, having an outlet for its waters.
Lakes Tyrrell and Hindmarsh
lie in the plains of the north-west. In summer they are dried up, and in winter are again formed, by the waters of rivers that have no outlet. In the east are the Gippsland lakes, formed by the waters of the Latrobe, Mitchell and Tambo, being dammed back by the sand hills of the Ninety Mile Beach. They are connected with Bass Strait by a narrow and shifting channel through a shallow bar; the government of Victoria has done a great deal of late years to deepen the entrance and make it safer.
The upper lake is called
Lake Wellington; a narrow passage leads into Lake Victoria, which is joined to a wider expanse called Lake King. These are all fresh-water lakes and are visited by tourists, being readily accessible from Melbourne.
(T. A. C.)
^'ictorIa includes a more varied and complete geological sequence than any other area of equal size in Australia. Its geological foundation consists of a band of Archean and Lower Palaeozoic rocks, which forms the backbone of the state. The
sedimentary rocks in this foundation have been thrown into folds, of which the axes trend approximately north and south. The Lower Palaeozoic and Archean rocks build up the Highlands of Victoria, which occupy the whole width of the state at its eastern end, extending from the New South Wales border on the north to the shore of the Southern Ocean on the south. These Highlands constitute the whole of the mountainous country of Gippsland and the north-eastern districts.
They become narrower to the
west, and finally, beyond the old plateau of Dundas, disappear beneath the recent loams of the plains along the South Australian border. The Lower Palaeozoic and Archean rocks bear upon their surface some Upper Palaeozoic rocks, which occur in belts running north and south, and have been preserved by in folding or faulting; such are the Grampian Sandstones in the west; the Cathedral Mountain Sandstones to the north-east of Melbourne; the belt of Devonian and Lower Carboniferous rocks that extends across eastern Victoria, through Mount Wellington to Mansfield; and finallyr far to the east, is the belt of the Snowy river porphyries, erupted by a chain of Lower Devonian volcanoes. Further Upper Palaeozoic rocks and the Upper Carboniferous glacial beds occur in basins on both northern and southern flanks of the Highlands. The Mesozoic rocks are confined to southern Victoria; they build up the hills of southern Gippsland and the Otway Ranges; and farther west, hidden by later rocks, they occur under the coast of the western district.
Between the southern mountain chain and the Victorian Highlands occurs the Great Valley of Victoria, occupied by sedimentary and volcam'c rocks of Kainozoic age. The North-
western Plains, occurring between the northern foot of the Highlands and the Murray, are occupied by Kainozoic sediments. Victoria has a fairly complete geological sequence, though it is poorer than New South Wales in the Upper Carboniferous and Lower Mesozoic. The Archean rocks form two blocks of gneisses and schists, which build up the Highlands of Dundas in the west, and of the north-eastern part of Victoria.
They were originally described
as metamorphosed Silurian rocks, but must be of Archean age.
Another series of Archean rocks is more widely developed, and forms the old framework upon which the geology of Victoria has been built up. They are known as the Heathcotian series, and consist of phyllites, schists and amphibolites; while their most characteristic feature is the constant association of foliated diabase and beds of jasperoids.
Volcanic agglomerates occur in the series at the typical locality of Heathcote. The Heathcotian rocks form the Colbinabbin Range, v.'hich runs for 40 m. northward and southward, east of Bendigo. They are also exposed on the surface at the eastern foot of the Grampian Range, and at Dookie, and on the southern coast in Waratah Bay; they have been proved by bores under Rushworth, and they apparently underlie parts of the Gippsland coalfields.
The Cambrian rocks have so far only been definitely proved near Mansfield. Mr A. M . Howitt has there collected some fragmentary remains of Olenellus and worm tubes of the Cambrian genus Salterella. These beds at Mansfield contain phosphatic limestones and wavellite.
The Ordovician system is well developed. It consists of slates and quartzite's; and some schists around the granites of the western district, and in the Pyrenees, are regarded as metamorphic Ordovician. The Ordovician has a rich graptolitic fauna, and they have been classified into the following divisions: —
The Ordovician beds are best developed in a band running north north-west and south-south-east across Victoria, of which the eastern boundary passes through Melbourne. This Ordovician
band begins on the south with the block forming the plateau of Arthur's Seat and Mornington Peninsula, as proved by Ferguson. This outlier is bounded to the north by the depression of Port Phillip and the basalt plains west of Melbourne. It reappears north of
them at Lancefield, whence it extends along the Highlands, past Ballarat, with southern outliers as far as Steiglitz. It forms the
whole of the Ballarat Plateau, and is continued northward through the goldfields of Castlemaine, Bendigo and the Pyrenees, till it dips under the North- Western Plains.
Certain evidence as to the
age of the rocks in the Pyrenees has not yet been collected, and they may be pre-Ordovician.
Some Upper Ordovician rocks occur in
the mountains of eastern Gippsland, as near Woods Point, and in north-eastern Victoria, in Wombat Creek. The Silurian system consists of two divisions: the lower or Melbournian, and the upper or Yeringian.
Both consist in the main
of sandstones, quartzite's and shales; but the upper series includes lenticular masses of limestone, at Lillydale, Loyola and along the Thomson river.
The limestones are rich in typical Silurian corals and brj'ozoa, and the shales and sandstones contain brachiopods and trilobites. The Silurian rocks are well exposed in sections near Melbourne; they occur in a belt running from the southern coast at Waratah Bay, west of Wilson's Promontory, north-north-westward across Victoria, and parallel to the Ordovician belt, which underlies them on the west. The Silurian rocks include the goldfields of the Upper Yarra, Woods Point, Walhalla and Rushworth, v;hile the limestones are worked for lime at Lillydale and Waratah Bay. The Devonian system includes representatives of the lower, middle and upper series.
The Lower Devonian series includes the
porphyries and their associated igneous rocks, along the valley of the Snowy river.
They represent the remains of an old chain of volcanoes which once extended north and south across Victoria. The Middle Devonian is mainly formed of marine sandstones, and limestones in eastern Gippsland.
It is best developed in the valleys
of the Mitchell, the Tambo and the Snowy rivers. The Upper
Devonian rocks include sandstones, shales and coarse conglomerates. At the close of Middle Devonian times there were intense crustal disturbances, and the granitic massifs, which formed the primitive mountain axis of Victoria, were then intruded. The Carboniferous system begins with the Avon river sandstones, containing- Lepidodendron, and the red sandstones, with Lower Carboniferous fish, collected by Mr Geo. Sweet near Mansfield. Probably the Grampian Sandstone, the Cathedral Mountain Sandstone, and some in the Mount Wellington district belong to the same period. The Upper Carboniferous includes the famous glacial deposits and boulder clays, by which the occurrence of a Carboniferous glaciation in the Southern Hemisphere was first demonstrated. These beds occur at Heathcote, Bendigo, the Loddon Valley, southern Gippsland and the North-Eastern district. The beds
comprise boulder clay, containing ice-scratched boulders, and sometimes rest upon ice-scratched, moutonne surfaces, and some lake deposits, similar to those laid down in glacial lakes. The
glacial beds are overlain by sandstones containing Gangamopteris, and Kitson's work in Northern Tasmania leaves no doubt t^at they are on the horizon of the Greta or Lower Coal Measures of New South Wales.
The Mesozoic group is represented only by Jurassic rocks, which form the mountains of southern Gippsland and include its coalfields. The rocks contain fossil land plants, occasional fish remains and the claw of a dinosaur, &c. The coal is of excellent quality. The mudstoncs, which form the main bulk of this series, are largely composed of volcanic debris, which decomposes to a fertile soil. These rocks trend south-westward along the Bass Range, which reaches Western Port.
They skirt the Mornington Peninsula,
underlie part of Port Phillip and the Bellarine Peninsula, and are exposed in the Barrabool Hills to the south-west of Geelong; thence they extend into the Otway Ranges, which are wholly built of these rocks and contain some coal seams. Farther west they disappear below the recent sediments and volcanic rocks of the Warrnambool district. They are exposed again in the Portland Peninsula, and rise again to form the Wannon Hills, to the south of Dundas. The Kainozoic beds include three main series: lacustrine, marine and volcanic. The main lacustrine series is probably of Oligocene age. and IS important from its thick beds of brown coal, which are thickest in the Great Valley of Victoria in southern Gippsland. A chff face on the banks of the Latrobe, near Morwell, shows 90 ft of It, and a bore near Morwell is recorded as having passed through 850 ft. of brown coal. Its thickness, at least in patches, is very great. The brown coals occur to the south-east of Melbourne, under the basalts between it and Geelong. Brown coal is also abundant under the Murray plains in north-western Victoria. The Kainozoic marine rocks occur at intervals along the southern coast and m the valleys opening from it. The most important horizon
is apparently of Miocene age. The rocks occur at intervals in eastern Victoria, along the coast and up the river valleys, from the Snowv
Alberton. At the time of the deposition of these tjeds Wilsons Promontory probably extended south-eastward and joined Tasmania; for the mid- Kainozoic marine deposits do not occur between Alberton and Flinders, to the west of Western Port They extend up the old valley of Port Phillip as far as Keilor to the north of Melbourne, and are widely distributed under the volcanic rocks of the Western Plains. They are exposed on the floors of the volcanic cauldrons, and have been found by mining operations under the volcanic rocks of the Ballarat plateau near Pitfield The Miocene sea extended up the Glenelg valley, round the western border of the. Dundas Highlands, and spread over the Lower Murray Basin into New South Wales; its farthest south-eastern limit was i"
1^ valley at Stawell. Some later marine deposits occur at the Lakes Entrance in eastern Gippsland, and in the valley of the Glenelg.
The volcanic series begins with a line of great dacite domes including the gebunte-dacite of Macedon, which is associated with solvsbergites and trachy-dole rites. The eruption of these domes
was followed by that of sheets of basalt of several different ages and the intrusion of some trachyte dykes. The oldest basalts are associated with the Oligocene lake deposits; and fragments of the large lava sheets of this period form some of the table-topped mountains in the Highlands of eastern Victoria. The river gravels below the lavas have been worked for gold, and land plants discovered in the workings. At Flinders the basalts are associated with Miocene limestones. The largest development of the volcanic rocks are a series of confluent sheets of basalt, forming the Western Plains which occupy over 10,000 sq. m . of south-western Victoria. Ihey are crossed almost continuously by the South- Western railway for 166 m. from Melbourne to Warmambool. The volcanic craters built up by later eruptions are well preserved: such are Mount Elephant, a simple breached cone; Mount Noorat with a large Pfimary crater and four secondary craters on its flanks-Mount Warrenheip, near Ballast, a single cone with the crater breached to the north-west. Mount Franklin, standing on the Ordovician rocks north of Daylesford, is a weathered cone breached to the south-east. In addition to the volcanic craters, there are numerous volcanic cauldrons formed by subsidence, such as Bullenmerri and Gnotuk near Camperdown, Keilembete near Terang, and Tower Hill near Port Fairy. Tower HUl consists of a large volcanic cauldron, and nsing from an island in a lake on its floor is a later volcanic crater.
The Pleistocene, or perhaps Upper Pliocene, deposits of most n^l^^ff^^
those contain mg the bones of giant marsupials, such as the Diprolodon and Palorchestcs, which have been found near Geelong Castlemaine, Lake Kolungulak, &c.; at the last locality Diprotodon and various extinct kangaroos have been found in association with the dingo. There is no trace in these deposits of the existence of man, and J. W . Gregory has reasserted the striking absence of evidence of man s residence in Victoria, except for a very limited penod. There is no convincing evidence of Pleistocene glacial deposits in Victoria.
O the many records, the only one thit can stin be regarded as at all probable is that regarding Mount Bogong The chief literature on the geology of Victoria is to be found in the maps and publications of the Geological Survey—a branch of the Mines Department. A map of the State, on the scale of eight inches to the mile, was issued in 1902. The Survey has published numerous quarter-sheet maps, and maps of the gold fields and oarishes.
The geology is described in the Reports, Bulletins and Memoirs of the Surv^ey, and in the Quarteriy Reports of the Mining An?', fp-
I'^H^'u'?^ ^^^ ""?'"g industry are stated in thi Annual Report of the Secretary for Mines. See also the general summary of the geo ogy of Victoria, by R. Murray, issued by the
Numerous"^ papers on the
geology of the State are contained in the Trans. R. Soc. Victoria. pIZV^
m;mng geology in the Trans, of the Austral. Inst. Min. rr£^^,
V n P'^y^'P' geography has been described by J. W. Gregory in the Geography of Victoria (1903). (JWG)
"f T trees belong chiefly to the Myrtaceae, being Ly^HrL
Eucalypti or gum trees.
There are Several
trP^ with?1f'^'l:.^^^'"°'* "°^^V'^ ^^'" S Eucalyptus amygdalina, a
h^nrhl f l;^"^ ^^f^i
^""""^^ ^^ a TM^ble column, and without wW, .in •
the ground. It is singulari beautiful n!lltrpH^^K^^, °^^'+u°
^^^'^ ^""^ a" ^^^ appearance of lofty T^lllS
"^thedrals. These trees are among the tallest in the worid, m?, f, fri^
^, ^TMe districts about 300 ft.
The longest ever
measured was found prostrate on the Black Spur: it measured 470 ft. in length; it was 81 ft. in girth near the root. EucalyUus globulus or blue gum has broad green leaves, which vTeW the fpn^i^i?'"' °i'-°^ l^^
pharmacopoeia. Eucalyptus rostral^ is e^! pensively used in the colony as a timber, being^pulariy known^s red gum or hard wood
It is quite unafFecteTM by w^theT and Sma']lpr"'TM'V^
^' P^^ f°^ P'^^rs oT wharves
Smaller species of eucalyptus form the common " bush." ^IeIa
leucas, also of Myrtacea kind, are prominent objects along a the coasts, wlicre they grow densely on the sand-hills, forming " ti-tree
scrub. Eucalyptus dumosa is a species which grows only 6 to laft th!^v
"^'^'^^ ^TM: ^'^^ trees grow so close together ^nd .'h.', f ^u""
° P<="«7^te the scrub formed by them. Eleven and a half million acres of the Wimmera district are covered with te, ,"!f"^
2.^'t IS called. Recent legislation has made this land easy of acquisition, and the whole of it has been taken up on pastoral leases. Five hundred thousand acres have recentlv been taken up as an irrigation colony on Californian principles and laid out in 40-acre farms and orchards. The Le^minosae are
chiefly represented by acacias, of which the wattle is the commonest The black wattle is of considerable value, its gum being marketable and Its bark worth from £5 to £10 a ton for tlnninrpu%"ses The golden wattle IS a beautiful tree, whose rich yellow blossoms fill the nver-valleys in early spring with delicious scent. The Casuarinae or she-oaks are gloomy trees, of little use, but of frequent occurrence Heaths, grass-trees and magnificent ferns and fern-trees are also notable features in Victorian forests. But European and subtropical vegetation has been introduced into the colony to such an extent as to have largely altered the characters of the flora in many districts /•CMKo.— The indigenous animals belong almost wholly to the Marsupiaha
Kangaroos are tolerably abundant on the grassv A .'.J^t'll
^T? °^ ^.tj'enient is causing their extermination. A smaller species of almost identical appearance called the wallabv IS still numerous in the forest lands. Kangaroo rats, opossums
wombats, native bears, bandicoots and native cats all belong to the same class.
The wombat forms extensi%e burrows in some districts. The native bear is a frugivorous little animal, and verv harmless.
Bats are numerous, the largest species being the flvine fox. very abundant in some districts. Eagles, hawks, turkevs
pigeons, ducks quail, snipe and plover are common; but the characteristic denizens of the forest are vast flocks of parrots parakeets and cockatoos, with sulphur-coloured or crimson crests 1 he laughing jackass (giant kingfisher) is heard in all the countrv? ^T.
a"°, "i^gP'es are numerous ever^'where. Snakes are numerous, but less than one-fourth of the species are venomous, . and they are all very shy. The deaths from snake-bite do not average two per annum. A great change is rapidly taking place in the fiuna of the country owing to cultivation and acclimatization. Dingoes have
nearly disappeared, and rabbits, which were introduced only a lew years ago, now abound in such numbers as to be a positive nuisance.
Deer are also rapidly becoming numerous. Sparrows
and swallows are as common as in England. The trout; which has also been acclimatized, is taking full possession of some of the streams.
C/imate.— Victoria enjoys an exceptionally fine climate. Rouehlv speaking, about one-half of the days in the year present a bright cloudless sk|-, with a bracing and dry atmosphere, pleasantly warm but not relaxing
These days are mainly in the autumn and spring. During forty-eight years, ending with 1905, there have been on an average 132 days annually on which rain has fallen more or less (chiefly m winter, but rainy days do not exceed thirty in the year.
The average ^eariy rainfall was 2561 in The
dis ape able feature of the Victorian climate is the occurrence of north winds, which blow on an average about sixty days in the year In winter they are cold and dry, and have a slightly depressing effect: but in summer they are hot and dry, and generally brinl with them disagreeable clouds of dust. The winds themseh^s blow lor periods of two or three days at a time, and if the summer has SIX or eight such periods it becomes relaxing and produces languor these winds cease with extraordinary suddenness, being replaced in a minute or two by a cool and bracing breeze from the south I he temperature often falls 40° or 50° F. in an hour. The
maximum shade temperature at Melbourne in 1905 was io8-s° and the minimum 32 ^
giving a mean of 56-1°.
never falls below freezing-point, except for an hour or two before sunrise in the coldest month. Snow has been known to fall in Melbourne for a few minutes two or three thnes during a lone period of years.
It. is common enough, however, on the plateau! Ballarat. which is over looo ft. high, always has a few snowstorms and the roads to Omco among the Australian Alps lie under several feet of snow in tTie winter. The general healthiness of the climate IS shown by the fact that the average death-rate for the last five years has been only 1271 of the population. Populalion.— As. regards population, Victoria maintained the leading position among the Australasian colonies until the end of 1S91, when New South Wales overtook it. The population
in 190S was 1,218,571, the proportion of the sexes being nearly equal. In 1860 the population numbered 537,847; in 1870, 720,599; in 1880, 860,067; and in 1890, 1,133,266. The state had gained little, if anything, by immigration during these years, for the excess of immigration over emigration from 1861 to 1870 and from 1881 to 18go was counterbalanced by the excess of departures during the period 1871 to 1880 and from 1891 to 1905. The mean population of Melbourne in 1905 was 511,900.
Births per 1000
Births per 1000
|Deaths per 1000|
|Period.||Deaths per 1000|
The births in 1905 numbered 30,107 and the deaths 14,676, representing respectively 24.83 and 12.10 per moo of the population. The birth-rate has fallen markedly since 1875, as the following statement of the averages arranged in quinquennial periods shows: - The number of illegitimate births during 1905 was 1689, which gives a proportion of 5.61 to every 100 births registered. The death-rate has greatly improved. Arranged in quinquennial periods the death-rates were: - The marriages in 1905 numbered 8774, which represents a rate of 7.24 per 1000 persons. This was the highest number reached during a period of fourteen years, and was 564 more than in 1904 and 1169 more than in 1903. In the five years 1871-75 the marriage rate stood at 6.38 per woo; in 1876-80, 6.02; in 1881-85, 7.37; in 1886-90, 8.13; in 1901-5, 6.86.
Outside Melbourne and suburbs, the most important towns are Ballarat (49,648), Bendigo (43,666), Geelong (26,642), Castlemaine (8063), Warrnambool (6600), Maryborough (6000) and Stawell (5200).
Religion.—The Church of England, as disclosed at the census of 1901, had 432,704 adherents; the Roman Catholic Church came next with 263,710; the Presbyterians had 190,725; Wesleyans and Methodists, 180,272; Congregationalists, 17,141; Baptists, 32,648; Lutherans, 1 3,935; Jews, 5907; and the Salvation Army, whose Australian headquarters are in Melbourne, 8830.
Education.—There were in 1905 1930 state schools, in which there were 210,200 children enrolled, the teachers numbering 4689. There were also 771 private schools with 2289 teachers and a net enrolment of 43,014 children; the majority of them being connected with one or other of the principal religious denominations. The total cost of primary instruction in 1905 was £676,238, being IIs. 2d. per head of population and £4, 14s. 4d. per head of scholars in average attendance. Melbourne University maintains its high position as a teaching body. In 1905 the number of matriculants was 493 and the graduates 118.
Crime is decreasing. In 1905 the number of persons brought before the magistrates was 4 8 ,345. Drunkenness accounted for 1 4,45 8, which represents 11.92 per 1000 of the population: in 1901 the proportion was 14.43. Charges against the person numbered 1932, and against property 4032.
Administration.—As one of the six states of the Commonwealth, Victoria returns six senators and twenty-three representatives to the federal parliament. The local legislative authority is vested in a parliament of two chambers, both elective - the Legislative Council, composed of thirty-five members, and the Legislative Assembly, composed of sixty-eight members. One-half of the members of the Council retire every three years. The members of the Assembly are elected by universal suffrage for the term of three years, but the chamber can be dissolved at any time by the Governor in council. Members of the Assembly are paid £300 a year.
The whole of Victoria in 1905 was under the control of municipalities, with the exception of about 600 sq. m. in the mountainous part of Wonnangatta, and 64 sq. m. in French Island. The number of municipalities in that year was 206; they comprised 11 cities, 11 towns, 38 boroughs and 146 shires.
Finance.—The public revenue in 1905 showed an increase on that of the three previous years, being £7,515,142, equal to £6, 4s. 2d. per head of population; the expenditure amounted to £7,343,742, which also showed a slight increase and was equal to £6, is. 4d. per inhabitant. The public revenue in five-yearly periods since 1880 was: 1880, £4,621,282; 1885, £6,290,361; 1890, £8,519,159; 1895, £6,712,512; and 1901, £7,722,397. The chief sources of revenue in 1905 were: Customs duties (federal refunds), £2,017,378; other taxation, £979,029; railway receipts, £3,609,120; public lands, £408,836; other sources, £501,379. The main items of expenditure were: railways (working expenses), £2,004,601; public instruction, £661,794; interest and charges on public debt, £1,884,208; other services, £ 2,793,139. On the 30th of June 1905 the public debt of the state stood at £51,513,767, equal to £42, 9s. 7d. per inhabitant. The great bulk of the proceeds of loans was applied to the construction of revenue-yielding works, only about three millions sterling being otherwise used.
Up to 1905 the state had alienated 26,346,802 acres of the public domain, and had 17,994,233 acres under lease; the area neither alienated nor leased amounted to 11,904,725 acres.
The capital value of properties as returned by the municipalities in 1905 was £210,920,174, and the annual value £11,743,270. In 1884 the values were 104 millions and £8,099,000, and in 1891, 203 millions and £13,734,000; the year last mentioned marked the highest point of inflation in land values, and during the following years there was a vast reduction, both in capital and in annual values, the lowest point touched being in 1895; since 1895 a gradual improvement has taken place, and there is every evidence that this improvement will continue. The revenues of municipalities are derived chiefly from rates, but the rates are largely supplemented by fees and licences, and contributions for services rendered. Excluding government endowments and special grants, which in 1905 amounted to £90,572, the revenues of the municipalities in the years named were: 1880, £616,132; 1885, £7 8 9,4 2 9; 1890, £ 1, 2 73, 8 55; 18 95, £1,038,720; 1900, £ 1, 0 3 6 ,497; 1905, £1,345,221. In addition to the municipalities there are other local bodies empowered to levy rates; these and their revenues in 1905 were: Melbourne Harbour Trust, £189,983;£189,983; Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works, £390,441; Fire Boards, £53,279. The Board of Works is the authority administering the metropolitan water and sewerage works. Excluding revenue from services rendered, the amount of taxation levied in Victoria reached in 1905 £4,621,608; of this the federal government levied £2,488,843, the state government £979, 02 9, the municipalities £986,009, and the Melbourne Harbour Trust £167,727.
Productions and Industry: Minerals. - About 25,400 persons find employment in the goldfields, and the quantity of gold won in 1905 was 810,050 oz., valued at £3,173,744, a decrease of 10,967 oz. as compared with 1904. The dividends paid by gold-mining companies in 1905 amounted to £454,431, which, although about the average of recent years, showed a decline of £168,966 as compared with the sum distributed in 1904. Up to the close of 1905 the total value of gold won from the first discovery in 1851 was £273,236,500. No other metallic minerals are systematically worked, although many valuable deposits are known to exist. Brown coal, or lignite, occurs extensively, and attempts have frequently been made to use the mineral for ordinary fuel purposes, but without much success. Black coal is now being raised in increasingly large quantities. The principal collieries are the Outrim Howitt, the Coal Creek Proprietary, the Jumbunna and the Korumburra, all in the Gippsland district. The production of coal in 1905 was 155,185 tons, valued at £79,060; £4100 worth of silver and £11,159 worth of tin were raised; the value of other minerals produced was £93,39 2, making a total mineral production (exclusive of gold) of £187,711.
Agriculture.—Judged by the area under tillage, Victoria ranks first among the states of the Australian group. The area under crop in 1905 was 4,269,877 acres, compared with 2,116,000 acres in 1891 and 1,435,000 acres in 1881. Wheat-growing claims the chief attention, 2,070,517 acres being under that cereal in 1905. The areas devoted to other crops were as follows: maize, 11,785 acres; oats, 312,052 acres; barley, 40,938 acres; other cereals, 14,212 acres; hay, 591,771591,771 acres; potatoes, 44,670 acres; vines, 26,402 acres; green foliage, 34,041 acres; other tillage, 73,574 acres; land in fallow comprised 1,049,915 acres. Victorian wheat is of exceptionally fine quality, and usually commands a high price in the London market. The average yield per acre in 1905 was 11.31 bushels; except for the year 1903, the total crop and the average per acre in 1905 were the highest ever obtained. The yield of oats was 23.18 bushels per acre, of barley 2 5'95, and of potatoes 2.58 tons. Great progress has been made in the cultivation of the grape vine, and Victoria now produces more than one-third of the wine made in Australia.
Live Stock.—The number of sheep in 1905 was 11,455,115. The quality of the sheep is steadily improving. Systematic attention to stock has brought about an improvement in the weight of the fleece, and careful observations show that between 1861 and 1871 the average weight of wool per sheep increased about one-third; between 1871 and 1881 about one pound was added to the weight per fleece, and there has been a further improvement since the year named. The following were the number of sheep depastured at the dates named: t86i, 6,240,000; 1871, 10,002,000; 1881, 10,267,000; 1891, 12,928,000; 1901, 10,841,790. The horses number 385,513, the swine 273,682, and the horned cattle 1,737,690; of these last, 649,100 were dairy cows.
Butter-making has greatly increased
since 1890, and a fairly large export trade has arisen. In 1905,
57,606,821 lb of butter were made, 4,297,350 lb of cheese and 16,433,665 lb of bacon and hams.
Manufactures. — There has been a good deal of fluctuation in the amount of employment afforded by the factories, as the following figures show: hands employed, 1885, 49,297; 1890, 56,639; 1893, 39.473; 1895, 46,095; 1900, 64,207; 1905, 80,235. Of the hands last named, 52,925 were males and 27,310 females. The total
number of establishments was 4264, and the horse-power of machinery actually used, 43,492. The value of machinery was returned at £6,187,919, and of land and buildings £7,771,238. The majority of the establishments were small; those employing from 50 to 100 hands in 1905 were 161, and upwards of 100 hands, 124. Commerce. — Excluding the coastal trade, the tonnage of vessels entering Victorian ports in 1905 was 3,989,903, or about 3^ tons per inhabitant. The imports in the same year were valued at £22,337,886, and the exports at £22,758,828. These figures represent £18, 8s. 5d . and £18, 15s. 6d. per inhabitant respectively. The domestic produce exported was valued at £14,276,961; in 1891 the value was £13,026,426; and in 1881, £12,480,567. The comparatively small increase over the period named is due mainly to the large fall in prices of the staple articles of local production. There has, however, been some loss of trade due to the action of the New South Wales government in extending its railways into districts formerly supplied from Melbourne. The principal articles of local production exported during 1905 with their values were as follows: butter and cheese, £1,576,189; gold (coined and bullion), £1,078,560; wheat, £1,835,204; frozen mutton, £275,195; frozen and preserved rabbits and hares, £220,940; skins and hides, £535,086; wool, £2,501,990; horses,
sheep, £326,526; oats,
£165,585; fiour, £590,297; hay and chaff, £97,471; bacon and ham, £89,943; jams and jellies, £73,233; fruit (dried and fresh), £125,330.
The bulk of the trade passes through Melbourne, the imports In 1905 at that port being £18,112,528. Defence. — The Commonwealth defence forces In Victoria number about 5700 men, 4360 being partially paid militia and 1000 unpaid volunteers. There are also 18,400 riflemen belonging to rifle clubs. Besides these there are 200 naval artillerymen, capable of being employed either as a light artillery land force, or on board war vessels. The total expenditure lat 1905 for purposes of defence in the state was £291,577 .
Railways. — The railways have a total length of 3394 m., and the cost of their construction and equipment up to the 30th of June 1905 was £41,259,387; this sura was obtained by raising loans, mostly in London, on the security of the general revenues of the state. In 1905 the gross railway earnings were £3,582,266, and the working expenses £2,222,279; so that the net earnings were £•.359 .987 . which sum represents 3-30% on the capital cost. Posts and Telegraphs. — Victoria had a length of 6338 m. of telegraph line in operation in 1905; there were 969 stations, and the business done was represented by 2,256,482 telegrams. The post offices, properly so-called, numbered 1673; during that year 119,689,000 letters and postcards and 59,024,000 newspapers and packets passed through them. The postal service Is carried on at a profit; the revenue In 1905 was £708,369, and the expenditure £627,735. Telephones are widely used; in 1905 the length of telephone wire in use was 28,638 m., and the number of telephones 14,134; the revenue from this source for the year was £102,396. Banking. — At the end of 1905 the banks of Issue in Victoria, eleven in number, had liabilities to the extent of £36,422,844, and assets of £40,511,335. The principal items among the liabilities were: notes in circulation, £835,499; deposits bearing interest, £23,055,743; and deposits not bearing Interest, £12,068,153. The chief assets were: coin and bullion,
£8,056,666; debts due,
£29,918,226; property, £1,919,230; other assets, £617,213. The money In deposit in the savings banks amounted to £10,896,741, the number of depositors being 447,382. The total sum on deposit in the state in 1905 was, therefore, £46,020,637, which represents £37. 15s. 4d. per head of population.
Authorities. J. Bonwick, Discovery and Settlement of Port Phillip (Melbourne, 1856), Early Days of Melbourne (Melbourne, 1857), and Port Phillip Settlement (London, 1883); Rev. J. D . Lang, Historical Account of the Separation of Victoria from New South Wales (Sydney, 1870); Victorian Year-Book (annually, 1873-1905, Melbourne); F. P . Labilliere, Early History of the Colony of Victoria (London, 1878); G. W. Rusden, Discovery, Survey and Settlement of Port Phillip (Melbourne, 1878); R. B . Smyth, The Aborigines of Victoria (2 vols., Melbourne, 1878); J. J. ShlUinglaw, Historical Records of Port Phillip (Melbourne, 1879); David Blair, Cyclopaedia of Australasia (Melbourne, 1881); E. Jenks, The Government of Victoria (London, 1881); E. M. Curr, The Australian Race: its Origin, Language, Customs, &c. (Melbourne, 1886-87); Edmund Finn, Chronicles of Early Melbourne (Melbourne, 1889); Philip Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography (MeVooumei 1892); T. A . Coghlan, Australia and New Zealand (1903-4). (T. A. C.)
History. — The first discoverer of Victoria was Captain Cook, in command of H.M .S . " Endeavour, " who sighted Cape Everard, about half-way between Cape Howe and the mouth of the Snowy river, on the 19th of April 1770, a few days prior to his arrival at Botany Bay. The first persons to land in Victoria were the supercargo and a portion of the crew of the merchant ship " Sydney Cove, " which was wrecked at the Furneaux Islands in Bass Strait on the 9th of February 1797. In the same year, Mr Bass, a surgeon in the navy, discovered the strait which bears his name and separates Victoria from Tasmania. Lieut. Grant in the " Lady Nelson " surveyed the south coast in 1800, and in 1801 Port Phillip was for the first time entered by Lieut. Murray. In 1802 that harbour was surveyed by Captain Flinders, and in the same year Mr Grimes, the surveyor-general of New South Wales, explored the country in the neighbourhood of the present site of Melbourne. In 1804 Lieut. - Colonel Collins, who had been sent from England, formed a penal settlement on the shores of Port Phillip, but after remaining a little more than three months near Indented Head, he removed his party to Van Diemen Land. Victoria was visited in 1824 by two sheep fanners named Hume and Hovell, who rode overland from Lake George, New South Wales, to the shores of Corio Bay. In 1826 a convict establishment was attempted by the government of New South Wales at </a>-»^
Settlement Point, near French Island, Western Port Bay, but it was abandoned shortly afterwards. In 1834 Messrs Edward and Francis Henty, who had taken part in the original expedition to Swan river, West Australia, and afterwards migrated to Van Diemen Land, crossed Bass Strait, established a shore whaling station at Portland Bay, and formed sheep and cattle stations on the river Wannon and Wando rivulet, near the site of the present towns of Merino, Casterton and Coleraine. In 1835 a number of flock owners in Van Diemen Land purchased through Batman from the aborigines a tract of 700,000 acres on the shores of Port Phillip. The sale was repudiated by the British government, which regarded all unoccupied land in any part of Australia as the property of the crown, and did not recognize the title of the aborigines. Batman, however, remained at Port Phillip, and commenced farming within the boundaries «f the present city of- Melbourne. He was followed by John Pascoc Fawkner and other settlers from Van Diemen Land, who occupied the fertile plains of the new territory. In 1836 Captain Lonsdale was sent to Melbourne by the government of New South Wales to act as resident magistrate in Port Phillip. The first census taken in 183S showed that the population was 3511, of whom 3080 were males and 431 females. In 1839 Mr Latrobe was appointed superintendent of Port Phillip, and a resident judge was nominated for Melbourne, with jurisdiction over the territory which now forms the state of Victoria. The years 1840 and 1841 were periods of depression owing to the decline in the value of all descriptions of live stock, for which the first settlers had paid high prices; but there was a steady immigration from Great Britain of men with means, attracted by the profits of sheep-farming, and of labourers and artisans who obtained free passages under the provisions of the Wakefield system, under which half the proceeds from the sale and occupation of crown lands were expended upon the introduction of workers. The whole district was occupied by sheep and cattle graziers, and in 1841 the population had increased to 11,738. Melbourne v/as incorporated as a town in 1842, and was raised to the dignity of a city in 1847. In that same year the first Anglican was ordained, and 'in 1848 the first Roman Catholic bishop. The third census (taken in 1846) showed a population of 32,870.
The elective element was introduced into the Legislative Council of New South Wales in 1842, in the proportion of twenty-four members to twelve nominated by the crown, and the district of Port Phillip, including Melbourne, returned six members. But the colonists were not satisfied with government from and by Sydney; an agitation in favour of separation commenced, and in 1851 Victoria was formed into a separate colony with an Executive Council appointed by the crown, and a Legislative Council, partly elective and partly nominated, on the same lines as that of New South Wales. The population at that dale was 77,435. Gold was discovered a few weeks after the colony had entered upon its separate existence, and a large number of persons were attracted to the mines, first from the neighbouring colonies — some of which, such as South Australia, Van Diemen's Land and West Australia, were almost denuded of able-bodied men and women —and subsequently from Europe and America. Notwithstanding the difficulties with which the local government had to contend, the task of maintaining law and order was fairly grappled with; the foundations of a liberal system of primary, secondary and university education were laid; roads, bridges and telegraphs were constructed, and Melbourne was provided with an excellent supply of water. Local self-government was introduced in 1853, and the Legislature found time to discuss a new Constitution, which not Local self' only eliminated the nominee element from the Legisgovero lature, but made the executive government responsible "*"'"
to the people.
The administration of the- gold-fields
was not popular, and the miners were dissatisfied at the amount charged for permission to mine for gold, and at there being no representation for the gold-fields in the local Legislature. The discontent culminated, at Ballarat in December 1854, in riots in which there was a considerable loss of life both amongst the miners and the troops. Eventually, an export duty on gold was substituted for the hcence fee, but every miner had to take out a right which enabled him to occupy a limited area of land for mining, and also for residence.
The census taken in 1854
showed a population of 236,778. The new Constitution was proclaimed in 1855, and the old Executive Council was gazetted as the first responsible ministry.
It held office for about
sixteen months, and was succeeded by an administration formed from the popular party. Several changes were made in the direction of democratizing the government, and vote by ballot, manhood suffrage and the abohtion of the property qualification followed each other in rapid succession. To several of these changes there was strenuous opposition, not so much in the Assembly which represented the manhood, as in the Council in which the property of the colony was supreme. The crown lands were occupied by graziers, termed locally " squatters, " who held them under a hcence renewable annually at a low rental. These licences were very valuable, and the goodwill of a grazing farm or " run" commanded a high price. Persons who desired to acquire freeholds for the purpose of tiUage could only do so by purchasing the land at auction, and the local squatters, unwilling to be deprived of any portion of a valuable property, were generally willing to pay a price per acre with which no person of small means desirous of embarking upon agricultural pursuits could compete. The result was that although the population had increased in 1861 to 540,322, the area of land under crop had not grown proportionately, and Victoria was dependent upon the neighbouring colonies and even more distant countries for a considerable portion of its food. A series of Land Acts v/as passed, the first in 1860, with the ew of encouraging a class of small freeholders.
The principle underlying all these
laws was that residence by landowners on their farms, and their cultivation, were more important to the state than the sum realized by the sale of the land. The policy was only partially successful, and by a number of ingenious evasions a large proportion of the best land in the colony passed into the possession of the original squatters. But a sufficient proportion was purchased by small farmers to convert Victoria into a great agricultural country, and to enable it to export large quantities of farm and dairy produce.
The greater portion of the revenue was raised by the taxation through the customs of a small number of products, such as spirits, tobacco, wine, tea, coffee, &c. But an agitation arose in favour of such an adjustment of the import duties as would protect the manufactures which at that time were being com43 menced. A determined opposition to this policy was made by a large minority in the Assembly, and by a large majority in the Council, but by degrees the democratic party triumphed. The victory was not gained without a number of political crises which shook the whole fabric of society to its foundations. The Assembly tacked the tariff to the Appropriation Bill, and the Council threw out both. The result was that there was no legal means of paying either the civil servants or the contractors, and the government had recourse to an ingenious though questionable system by which advances were made by a bank which was recouped through the crown " confessing " that it owed the money, whereupon the governor issued his warrant for its payment without any recourse to parliament. Similar opposition was made by the Council to payment of members, and to a grant made to Lady Daxhng, the wife of Governor Sir Charles Darling, who had been recalled by the secretary of state on the charge of having shown partiality to the democratic party.
Indeed on one occasion the dispute between the government and the Council was so violent that the former dismissed all the police, magistrates, county court judges and other high ofGcials, on the ground that no provision had been made by the Council, which had thrown out the Appropriation Bill, for the payment of salaries.
Notwithstanding these political struggles, the population of the colony steadily increased, and the Legislature found time to pass some measures which affected the social life and the commercial position of the colonies.
State aid to reh'gion
was abolished, and divorce was made comparatively easy. A system of free, compulsory and secular primary education was introduced. The import duties were increased and the transfer of land was simplified. In 1880 a fortnightly mail service via Suez between England and Melbourne was introduced, and in 1880 the first International Exhibition ever held in Victoria was opened. In the following year the census showed a population of 862,346, of whom 452,083 were males and 410,263 females. During the same year the lengthy dispute between the two houses of parliament, which had caused so much inconvenience, so many heart burnings and so many political crises, was brought to an end by the passage of an act which reduced the quahfications for members and the election of the Legislative Council, shortened the tenure of their seats, increased the number of provinces to fourteen and the number of members to forty-two.
In 1883 a coalition government, in
which the Liberal or protectionist and the Conservative or free-trade party were represented, took office, and with some changes remained in power for seven years. During this political truce several important changes were made in the Constitution. An act for giving greater facilities for divorce was passed, and with some difficulty obtained the royal assent. The Victorian railways were handed over to the control of three commissioners, who to a considerable extent were made independent of the government, and the civil service was placed under the supervision of an independent board. In 1887 the representatives of Victoria met those of the other British colonies and of the United Kingdom in London, under the presidency of Lord Knutsford, in order to discuss the questions of defence, postal and telegraphic communication, and the contribution of Australia to the Imperial navy. In 1888 a v.'eekly mail service was established via Suez by the steamers of the P. & O. and the Orient Companies, and the second Victorian International Exhibition was opened. In 1890 all the Australian colonies, including New South Wales and New Zealand, sent representatives to a conference at Melbourne, at which resolutions were passed in favour of the establishment of a National Australian Convention empowered to consider and report upon an adequate scheme for the Federal Constitution; This Convention met in Sydney in 1891 and took the first step towards federation (see Australia). In 1891 the coalition government resigned and a Liberal administration was formed. An act passed in that year placed the railwaj's again under the control of the government. Measures of a democratic and collectivist tendency have since obtained the assent of the Legislature.
The franchise of property-holders not resident in an electorate was abolished and the principle of “one man one vote” was established. Acts have been passed sanctioning Old Age Pensions; prohibiting shops, except those selling perishable goods, from keeping open more than eight hours; compelling the proprietors to give their assistants one half-holiday every six days; preventing persons from working more than forty-eight hours a week; and appointing for each trade a tribunal composed of an equal number of employers and employed to fix a minimum wage. (See Australia.)
Victoria enjoyed a large measure of prosperity during the later ’eighties and earlier ’nineties, and its financial prosperity enabled tha government to expend large sums in extending railway communication to almost every locality and to commence a system of irrigation. The soil of Victoria is on the whole more fertile than in any other colony on the mainland of Australia, and in no portion of the continent is there any locality equal in fertility to the western district and some parts of Gippsland. The rainfall is more equable than in any portion of Australia, but the northern and north-western districts, which are the most remote from the sea and the Dividing Range, are subject to droughts, which, although not so severe or so frequent as in the interior of the continent, are sufficiently disastrous in their effects. The results of the expenditure upon irrigation have not been so successful as was hoped. Victoria has no mountains covered with snow, which in Italy and South America supply with water the rivers at the season of the year when the land needs irrigation, and it was necessary to construct large and expensive reservoirs. The cost of water is therefore greater than the ordinary agriculturist who grows grain or breeds and fattens stock can afford to pay, although the price may not be too high for orchardists and vine-growers. In 1892 the prosperity of the colony was checked by a Crisis of 1892. great strike which for some months affected production, but speculation in land continued for some time longer, especially in Melbourne, which at that time contained nearly half the population, 590,000 out of a total of 1,140,105. There does not seem to have been any other reasons for this increase in land values, for there was no immigration, and the value of every description of produce had fallen— except that the working classes were prosperous and well paid, and that the purchase of small allotments in the suburbs was a popular mode of investment. In 1893 there was a collapse. The
Value of land declined enormously, hundreds of persons believed to be wealthy were ruined, and there was a financial panic which caused the suspension of all the banks, with the exception of the Australasia, the Union of Australia, and the New South Wales. Most of them resumed payment, but three went into liquidation. It was some years before the normal condition of prosperity was restored, but the great resources of the colony and the energy of its people discovered new markets, and new products for them, and enabled them materially to increase the export trade. (G. C. L.)