The map above shows how habitable various parts Australia are with respect to agriculture and livestock. The scale goes from god agricultural and pastoral lands to the rather direct ‘useless.’
This is a black-and-white map of Australia showing areas of ‘habitability’ (where people can live) based on the quality of agricultural or pastoral land. The map shows the correlation between quality of agricultural and pastoral land and density of population, which is indicated by black lines. Coalfields are also noted on the map. The map is labelled as being ‘After T. Griffith Taylor in “Limits of Land Settlement”‘. It comes from a series called ‘Maps and mapping’ produced by the Department of Information.
They also point out that:
- The map is based on the works of Professor Griffith Taylor of the University of Sydney who did not think settlement should extend into the interior of Australia and also wanted to show that Australia was in a sense “full,” by the 1920s.
- It also show population density follows the quality of agricultural land.
- Almost 90% of Australian’s still live within 50km from a coast.
- The term useless applies to agricultural use, but this would be disputed by the Indigenous people who live there along. Moreover, abundant natural resources that can be found in these areas.
- Only 6.55% of Australian land is arable.
- The coal fields do not show how important Australia’s coal fields remain. Australia is the 4th largest producer of black coal and 3rd largest producer of brown coal in the world.
To learn more about the current state of Australian agriculture have a look at the following books:
- Australia’s Role in Feeding the World: The Future of Australian Agriculture
- Australian Agriculture: Its History and Challenges
- Taming the Great South Land: A History of the Conquest of Nature in Australia
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