Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/641

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COMMERCE

293

which becomes part of the purchase money. Grazing farms can be secured on a 14, 21, or 28 years' lease ; maximnm area, 20,000 acres ; annual rental varying acconling to quality ; minimum ^d. per acre, subject to reassessment at end of first 7 years and each subsequent 5 years. Grazing homesteads may be leased on similar conditions. Scrub selections are lands extensively overgrown by scrub. Margin area, 10,000 acres ; term, 30 years ; annual rent, id. to Id. per a.'^ve, no rent is chargeable for periods ranging from 5 to 20 years, but the selector must clear the scrub and fence. In the letting of agri- cultural and grazing farms and homesteads conditions as to residence are imposed.

About one half the area of the colony is natural forest, though little has been done hitherto to develop the forestry of the colony. A large proportion of the area is leased in squatting runs for pastoral purposes, amounting to 245,917,387 acres in 1897 ; the number of runs was 2,918, besides 13,758,903 acres in grazing farms and homesteads. The live stock in 1897 numbered 479,280 horses, 6,089,013 cattle, 17,797,883 sheep, and 110,855 pigs. The total area under cultivation in 1897 was 386,259 acres, and of this 371,857 acres were under crop, besides which 15,643 acres are laid down with permanent artificial pasture. The leading grain crop is maize, of which 109,721 acres yielded 2,803,172 bushels in 1897 ; 59,875 acres were under wheat, yielding 1,009,293 bushels. The growth of sugar-cane has in recent years been successful, though the want of labour hinders its development : in 1897 there were 98,641 acres under this crop ; of this the produce of 65,432 acres yielded 97,916 tons of sugar.

There are several coal mines in the colony, the produce of which amounted to 358,407 tons in 1897, valued at 139,889Z. Gold-fields were discovered in 1858 ; the production for the year 1897 amounted to 807,928 ounces; and from the commencement of gold mining to the end of 1897, to 12,006,918 ounces, of the value of 41,749,606Z. The quantity and value of other minerals raised in the year 1896 were —

385 tons 4,117Z. — 10,250Z

Tin . . 1,203 tons 37,509Z. Lead . .

Copper . 288 ,, 12,645/. Opal .

Silver . . 234,065 oz. 25,118Z.

Bismuth, wolfram and manganese are also worked.

Water is comparatively easily found by sinking artesian bores. Of these there are 344, aggregating 4 17, 04 6 feet deep, and yielding 182,255,937 gallons of water a day. The greatest depth is 4,010 feet at Winton, and the greatest yields are Boatman No. 1, 4,000,000 gallons, and Charleville 3,000,000 gallons, iDut many others yield large quantities. There are 44 bores in progress, which have been sunk to an aggregate depth of 87,594 feet.

Commerce.

A very large number of articles are subject to tariffs ; the total customs duties collected in 1897 amounted to 1,267,288Z., being over 23 per cent, of the total value of imports.

The total value of the imports and exports of Queensland, in the last five years, is given in the following table : —

Years

Imports

Exports

1

Tears

Imports

Exports

1893 1894 1895

£ 1 £ 1 4,352,783 9,632,662 1896 4,337,400 8,795,559 1897 5,349,007 , 8,982,600

£ 5,433,271 5,429,191

£ 9,163,726 9,091,557