Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/514

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496
SOUTH AUSTRALIA


Wallaroo are still worked, but the production has greatly fallen off. In 1900 the value of copper raised in the province was £386,015, and the gross production to the end of that year amounted to £22,321,969. The production of copper in 1905 was £470,324. Gold to the value °f £85,555 was won m I 9°5> being chiefly obtained in Northern Territory; the total production of gold prior to that year was £2,764,336. The value of minerals other than gold and copper won during 1905 was £96,672. In 1871 the mineral production of the state was valued at £725,000, in 1881 at £421,000, in 1891 at £365,000 and in 1905 at £652,551.

Land System. — The aggregate area of South Australia, exclusive of the Northern Territory, is computed to be 380,070 sq. m., or 243,244,800 acres. About 136,828 sq. m., or a little more than one- third, represent the limits within which the country is at present occupied. The 46 counties proclaimed to date embrace an area of 80,453 sq. m. or 51,489,920 acres, of which 7,955,305 acres are purchased, 365,526 acres are partly purchased and 121,735 acres have been granted for public purposes, making the total area alienated, wholly or conditionally, 8,442,566 acres; 176,537 acres are set apart, but not granted, for forest purposes, and 42,870,817 acres are still in possession of the Crown but occupied under various kinds of tenure, chiefly for pastoral purposes. In addition to the land alienated, there are 17,104,062 acres held direct from the Crown by 19,511 lessees for farming or grazing purposes. Outside the counties are 299,617 sq. m. or 191,754,880 acres, of which 1105 acres are purchased, 23 granted for public purposes, 76,570,750 held by 497 lessees as sheep or cattle runs, leaving 115,184,130 acres open for pastoral settlement, if suitable.

Agriculture. — South Australia is essentially an agricultural state. In its first establishment the land was cut up for sale into eighty-acre lots with the view of settling the people on arrival, and concentrating them, instead of having them scattered as in the neighbouring colonies, in which pastoral pursuits completely dwarfed the farming industry. This wise provision made the colony for years the supplier of breadstuffs to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Auckland. As neighbours became wheat-producers, Adelaide merchants had to seek markets in Natal, Mauritius, the Cape, or even Europe. At all times the state has lent every assistance to agriculture. As the colony suffers more from drought than anything else, public reser- voirs are constructed and artesian wells are sunk. Forest culture has especially attracted government attention. Reforesting and the establishment of nurseries for the trees, fruits and vegetables of other lands go hand in hand. Hundreds of thousands of trees are planted annually.

The chief industry is wheat-growing; out of 3,342,626 acres under cultivation in 1905, 1,757,036 acres were under wheat for grain and 317,924 under wheat for hay. In some parts of South Australia fine yields are obtained ; but taking it as a whole, the yield of the province is light. During the ten years 1891-1900 the return per acre varied from a minimum of 1-7 bushels in 1897 to a maximum of 6-1 bushels in 1893. South Australian wheat is of excellent quality and strength, and well known in European markets, to which the province has sent wheat since 1850. There has been little expansion of wheat cultivation since 1880; nor, indeed, has there been any material expansion in the total area under crop. Up to the year mentioned, every season showed an additional area devoted to culti- vation; but repeated failure of crops, due to want of seasonable rain, have disheartened farmers, and much land that was formerly culti- vated now lies fallow; 1,087,057 acres were fallow in 1905. The following is a statement of the area of wheat harvested for grain at specified intervals from 1861 : —


Year.


Acreage under Wheat.


Production.


Average Yield per Acre.



Acres.


Bushels.


Bushels.


1861


310,636


3,410,756


II-O


1871


692,508


3.967.079


57


1881


1,768,781


8,087,032


4.6


1891


1,552,423


6,436,488


5-6


1899


i,778,77o


8,778,900


4-9


1900


1,821,137


8,453.135


4-6


1901


I.9I3. 2 47


11,253,148


5-9


1905


1,757.036


20,143,798


11-46


The total area under crop during the same period was: 1861, 400,717 acres; 1871, 837,730 acres; 1881, 2,156,407 acres; 1891,1,927,689 acres; 1901, 2,369,680 acres. In 1905 other leading crops grown with this acreage were: oats, 56,950 acres; barley, 26,250 acres; potatoes, 9540 acres ; vines, 23,603 acres; other crops, 30,532 acres.

In viticulture the province has made considerable progress, and many Germans are employed in the industry. The production of wine for the year 1905 amounted to 2,845,853 gallons, while 16,714 cwt. of currants and 8697 cwt. of raisins were also made. The wine made is of excellent quality, and 718,660 gallons, of a total produc- tion of 2,845,853 gallons, were exported in 1905, principally to London.

The production of wool has been one of the chief industries since the foundation of the state, but of late years it has been much affected


by droughts and low prices, so that the export of locally-grown wool in 1901 was considerably less in quantity than in 1880, and little more than half as valuable. In 1861 the colony carried 3,038,000 sheep; in 1871, 4,412,000; in 1881, 6,811,000; in 1891, 7,745,000; in 1900, 5,283,247; and in 1905, 6,202,330. The quantity of wool exported in the year last named was equal to 45,214,766 ft, valued at £1,668,214. A s a cattle-breeding country South Australia does not take a prominent place beside the three eastern states of Aus- tralia. The province depastured, in 1905, 647,631 cattle as against 520,379 in 1904, 347,666 being in Northern Territory. In 1891 the number was 677,000, and 1881, 315,000. It was between 1881 and 1 89 1 that Northern Territory was stocked. The horses in South Australia number about 216,350; the number in 1881 was 159,678.

Although there are some 30,000 persons engaged in one form or other of manufacturing, only 18,664 are accounted for in the annual statistics of the state; these hands are employed in 1339 establish- ments. The horse-power employed in the manufactories is 11,756, the value of the plant being estimated at £1,730,000.

Commerce. — The tonnage of shipping entering the ports in 1905 was 2,625,997, which is equal to upwards of 6 tons per inhabitant, a very considerable ratio compared with most countries; but this tonnage is quite beyond the requirements of the province, whose trade represents only about 750,000 tons per annum, and is due to the fact that Adelaide is a place of call for all the great lines of steamships trading between Europe and Australia ; but when every allowance is made, it will be found that Adelaide is a great shipping centre and the third port of Australasia. The tonnage entering at Adelaide during 1905 was 2,106,854; at Port Pirie, 226,903; at Wallaroo, 105,228; and at Port Darwin, 116,981. The value of the total imports was £8,439,609, and the total exports £9,490,667. The ports command the gfeater part of the trade of the Broken Hill and trans-Darling districts of New South Wales, and this trade is very valuable both to the merchants and the railways of the province. The trade at the periods specified was : —

Exports


Year.


Imports.


Exports.


Total Trade.


of Domestic Produce.



£


£


£


£


1861


1,976,018


2,032,311


4,008,329


1,838,639


1871


2,158,022


3,582,397


5,740,419


3,289,861


1881


5,320,549


4,508,754


9,829,303


3.755,78i


1891


10,051,123


10,642,416


20,693,539


4,810,512


1899


6,884,358


8,388,396


15,272,754


3,945,045


1900


8,131,782


8,122,100


16,253,882


3,770,983


1905


8,439,609


9,490,667


17,930,276


6,031,619


The great expansion following 188 1 was due to the opening up of trade with the western districts' of New South Wales. The exports of domestic produce, the valuejof which is given in the last column, when compared with the other figures in the table, show how greatly the province depends upon its re-export trade. The chief items of trade are breadstuffs, wool ar^n minerals; the export of breadstuffs is very variable, depending Jo largely upon the rainfall, which in South Australia is extremely uncertain. In 1884 the value of wheat and flour exported pas £2,491,896, falling to £633,426 in 1886, and rising again to $2,197,735 in 1888. Since the year last named there have been great-fluctuations ; in 1898 the export fell to £261,898; in 1899 it was £785,341; in 1900, £837,642; in 1901, £1,329,059; in 1904, £1,649,414; and in 1905, £1,877,318.

Railways. — The first railway was opened in 1856, and connected Adelaide with its port, and the following year saw a line constructed to Gawler, 25 m. from Adelaide. The inability of the government to borrow money at reasonable rates greatly retarded the construction of railways in the province, and in 1875 there were less than 200 m. of line : in the next ten years 800 m. were opened for traffic, and in 1905 there were 1746 m. in the state proper and 146 m. in Northern Territory. There were, in addition, 34 m. of privately owned lines. The cost of constructing and equipping the state lines stood at £14,766,465 and the net earnings at £538,890 ; this represents 3-64% on the capital invested. The actual interest paid by the state upon its outstanding loans was in the same year 3-79%: there was therefore a loss of 0-15% upon the working of the lines; but the state claims that the indirect benefits of railway construction far more than compensate for the direct loss. The gross earnings for the year 1905 were £1,318,521, and the working expenses £756,403 ; the net profit per average mile open being £297, and per train mile 34-68 pence. In 1905 the number of passengers carried was 9,870,821, and the goods tonnage 1,684,793. South Australia has two gauges, namely 508 m. of 5 ft. 3 in., and 1384 m. of 3 ft. 6 in. line. The line joining Adelaide with the Victorian border, as well as several of the trunk lines, is on the wider gauge.

Posts and Telegraphs. — In 1905 there were 711 post-offices in the state of which 299 were also telegraph stations. The business transacted was: letters and postcards transmitted, 26,230,337; newspapers, 6,717,787; packets, 1,659,775; and teiegrams, 1,244,126. The total revenue from these services for the year 1905 was £274,892, and the expenditure £259,656; in these sums are included the