Sugarcane farming in the Bundaberg district 1945 to 1985 : major issues, problems and highlights from the growers' perspective

Hungerford, Linda (1991). Sugarcane farming in the Bundaberg district 1945 to 1985 : major issues, problems and highlights from the growers' perspective M.A. Thesis, School of History, Philosophy, Religion, and Classics, The University of Queensland.

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Author Hungerford, Linda
Thesis Title Sugarcane farming in the Bundaberg district 1945 to 1985 : major issues, problems and highlights from the growers' perspective
School, Centre or Institute School of History, Philosophy, Religion, and Classics
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 1991
Thesis type M.A. Thesis
Supervisor -
Total pages 148
Language eng
Subjects 300901 Farm Management, Rural Management and Agribusiness
210303 Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
Formatted abstract The history of the Australian sugar industry since 1945 has been characterised by a series of expansionary episodes which were followed by periods during which cane growers attempted to consolidate their positions in an economic environment that was frequently hostile. Within the general context of the Australian sugar industry, Bundaberg and its surrounding district is the focus of a study in which the influence of national and international events on the local industry are examined.

Expansionary episodes occurred in the years 1950-1953, 1963-1964, 1974-75 and 1980. The factors and events which precipitated these episodes, the ways which in they were implemented, and the consequences of expansion on the national industry, the local industry and the community of Bundaberg are discussed in Chapters Two, Four and Six. Because expansion of the industry could not have occurred in the way it did if not for the development of mechanical harvesting techniques. Chapter Three examines the transition from manual to mechanical harvesting and explores the role of Bundaberg in this process. The other essential ingredient for expansion was irrigation and for the Bundaberg district this primarily concerns the Bundaberg-lsis Irrigation Scheme, the subject of Chapter Five.

The Australian sugar industry as a whole is one of the most highly regulated in the country and expansion has only been allowed at the discretion of the Government, however, despite intensive and extensive investigations before each expansionary episode. Committees of Inquiry have not been able to predict the consequences of such growth. After each episode Australia's export markets have tended to contract, at least in the short term, and downward movements in the price of sugar on world sugar market seem to have occurred whenever Australia was in the process of expanding production.

In the Bundaberg district these problems have been compounded by a shorter than normal growing season and regular periods of drought. It is concluded, therefore, that as costs of production continue to rise Bundaberg cane growers will find It increasingly difficult to remain competitive.
Keyword Sugarcane industry -- Queensland -- Bundaberg Region -- History.
Additional Notes The author has given permission for this thesis to be made open access.

 
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