Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/513

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495
SOUTH AUSTRALIA


The people are mainly of British race; out of 362,604 persons whose birthplace was ascertained at the census of 1001, 348,352 were of British or Australian parentage, the number born in the Commonwealth being 289,440, and in South Australia itself 271,671; 9396 were born on the continent of Europe, of whom 6664 were Germans, and 931 Scandinavians and 3253 were Chinese. The total foreign-born element of the population numbered only 3-73%.

The census showed the number of breadwinners in the state to be 153,296 — 120,328 males and 32,968 females. Agriculture, the main industry, provided employment for 34,186 persons, of whom 33,039 were males and 1147 females. Pastoral pursuits employed 4193, dairying 2868 and mining 6301. The industrial class may be divided into (a) persons engaged in manufacturing industries, 18,163 males, 6761 females; (b) persons engaged in the construction of buildings, railways, roads, &c. ; numbering 8652 ; and (c) persons engaged in other industrial pursuits, 7657 — these are chiefly persons whose census description is merely labourer. The commercial class, including trades of all kinds as well as persons engaged in finance, numbered 20,165, namely 17,080 males and 3085 females. The professional class comprised 5372 males and 3485 females, or a total of 8857 ; while the domestic class — comprising persons engaged in providing board and lodging, hotel and restaurant keepers, as well as servants — numbered 17,981, namely 3452 males and 14,529 females. The foregoing classes show the distribution of employment amongst the 153,296 breadwinners; the remainder of the population, comprising 209,308 persons (64,094 males and 145,214 females) were dependent on the breadwinners.

Administration. — South Australia, as one of the states of the Commonwealth, returns six senators and seven representatives to the Federal parliament. The local parliament consists of a Legislative Council and a House of Assembly. The former has eighteen members, elected by the districts into which the state is divided for that purpose, the franchise being limited to persons with freehold or leasehold estate, and to occupiers of dwellings of £25 annual value; while the Assembly contains 42 members, elected by 13 districts; the electoral qualifications for the Assembly are the attainment of the age of 21 years, and having been upon the electoral roll not less than six months. Women have the right to vote.

Local Government. — Adelaide was the first Australian city to acquire the right of self-government; on the 31st of October 1840 the first municipal elections in Australia were held in that city. There are 33 municipal councils and 142 district councils in the settled parts of the state, the area under local government being about 43,000 sq. in. Local rates are assessed upon the assumed annual value of the properties liable to be rated ; and the amount of such assessed annual value was, in 1905, £2,739,808, and the capital value 55 millions. The revenue of the various local bodies in 1905 was £294,723, of which £170,235 was obtained from rates, £30,618 from government endowment and £93,870 from other sources; £130,489 was spent on public works. The total debt of the local bodies in that year was £102,261.

Education. — The South Australian system of popular education in its present form dates from 1878. It is compulsory, secular and free. The compulsory ages are over seven and under thirteen years, but children who have attained a certain standard of education are exempt from compulsory attendance. Religious instruction is not allowed to be given in state schools except out of ordinary school hours. Secondary instruction is in the hands of private and denominational establishments, and the university of Adelaide is well endowed and efficient. The state maintained in 1905 722 schools, with a gross enrolment of 59,026 pupils, and the average attendance was about 41,807. The sum expended in that year on public instruction was £181,583, and of that amount £150,000 was on account of primary instruction. Although education is free, the instruction department has a small revenue; this in 1905 amounted to £12,783, of which £6131 was derived from rents, £3630 from the sale of books and school material, and £682 from fees; the greater portion of the fees comes from the advanced school for girls, the remainder being paid by pupils attending classes in agriculture held in the public schools. The average cost of primary instruction to the state, including cost of school premises and maintenance, is about £3,1 Is. 4jd. per scholar in average attendance. The revenue of the Adelaide University in 1905 was £21,462, 15s. 7d., of which £6639 was obtained from the government, £9845 from fees and £4979 from other sources. The number of students attending lectures during the same year was 595, of whom 366 had matricu- lated. Technical education is well advanced; the School of Mines and Industries, founded in 1899, had in 1905 an enrolment of 1600 students. Private schools numbered 213, with 725 teachers and 10,206 scholars. Of the teachers 559 were engaged in general instruction, while 166 were specially engaged in particular subjects.


The peculiarity of religion is the strength of the non-Episcopal churches. The Church of England, which includes over 40% of the population of the other Australian states, claims only 27 % in South Australia; and the Roman Catholic Church, whose adherents number 22% in the other colonies, numbers about 14% in South Australia. The Presbyterian churches have also fewer supporters, for only 5-5 % of the population belong to such churches, compared with 13% in the other colonies. To the Wesleyan churches 19 % of the population belong, to the Congregational churches 3-7%, Baptists 5-5%, Lutherans 7-5%, and other Protestants about 8 %.

Finance. — For the year ending June 1905 the state had a public revenue of £2,798,849, which is equal to £7, 10s. 2d. per inhabitant. This amount includes revenue received by the Commonwealth government on behalf of the state. The principal sources of public revenue were: customs duties (balance of amount collected by the Commonwealth government), £555,692; land, income and other taxes, £442,030; railways, £1,279,481; public lands, £192,337; other revenue, £527,843. In 1871 the revenue of the province was £778,000, or £4, 4s. 3d. per inhabitant; from that year it rose rapidly until in 1881 it stood at £2,172,000, or £7, 16s. iod, per head; in 1891 it was £2,732,000, or £8, lis. id. per head. The expenditure for the year ended the 30th of June 1905 was as follows: railway working expenses, £746,636 ; public instruction, £1 8 1 ,583 ; interest and charges of public debt, £1,049,643; other services, £915,261. The debt charges amount to £2, us. 8d. per head, and absorb 36-28 % of the total revenue of the state. Against this must be placed the net return from services upon which the loan moneys were expended; this amounts to about £746,459, so that the real burden of the state's debt is reduced to £303,184 per annum. On the 30th of June 1905 the public debt of the state stood at £28,727,895, which is equal to £78, is. id. per head; and the purposes for which the debt was incurred were: railway construction and equipment, £13,732,567; water supply and sewerage, £4,993,638; telegraphs and telephones, £1,010,738; and other works and services not producing direct revenue, £8,990,952. These figures include the debt of the Northern Territory. The amount of the debt at certain periods beginning with 1861 was: —

Year.


Total Debt.


Debt per Head.



£


£ s. d.


1861


866,500


6 16 8


1871


2,167,700


11 13 7


1881


11,196,800


39 2 1


1891


20,347,125


62 9 2


1901


26,423,805


73 2 6


1905


28,727,895


78 1 1

Defence. — As part of the Commonwealth the defence of South Australia is undertaken by the Federal government. On the 31st of December 1905 the defence force of the state totalled 5066 men, comprising 1262 partially paid troops, a paid staff of 37 and 3178 riflemen. In addition to the land force there is a corps of 127 men capable of being employed on local war vessels, or as a light artillery land force.

Minerals. — South Australia, though without coal, was the first Australian colony to have a metallic mine, and the first to possess a gold-mine. In 1841 the wheel of a dray, going over a hill near Adelaide, disclosed to view silver-lead ore. In the midst of the bad times in 1843 the Kapunda copper-mine was found. In 1845 the wonderful Burra Burra copper was first wrought. The land, 10,000 acres, cost £10,000; and for several years the dividends to shareholders were 800 % per annum. The first colonial mineral export was 30 tons of lead ore, value £128, in 1843. The copper declined as prices fell. It was £322,983 in 1885, when rates were £50 a ton, but £762,386 ten years before with over £90. In 1886 most of the mines were closed. Between 250 and 400 m. north of Adelaide a very rich copper district exists. Lead is very abundant. Manganese, nickel, bismuth, antimony and silver have been mined. Tin is seen in granitic places. Iron occurs in almost all formations and in all conditions. There is abundance of haematite, micaceous, bog and other ores rich in the metal. Talisker and other mines paid in silver. The wonderful Silverton, of Barrier Ranges, in a desert, is just outside the boundary, though 300 m. only from Adelaide while 600 from Sydney. Gold was got from a quartz vein at the Victoria mine, near Adelaide, as early as 1846, but did not pay the company. Partial gold working has been conducted at Echunga, &c, in southern hills. There are rich alluvial and quartz gold mines in Northern Territory, at from 100 to 150 m. south of Port Darwin. For the year 1884 the yield was £77,935. Of 1349 miners 1205 were Chinese. Gold is now worked at Waukaringa, 225 m. north of Adelaide. Copper, tin and silver are found in Northern Territory. Among other minerals asbestos, roofing slates and fine marbles may be named. Some forty years ago precious stones, especially garnets and sapphires, were gathered in the Barossa Hills. Carbonaceous material is found at the Coorong, &c, yielding 50% of oil. Lake Eyre has a rude coal. Kapunda marble quarry is a success. The great copper mines at Moonta and