Free Selector’s Log Hut. Queensland, Australia ca. 1870sBy Remembering the Past Australia / August 16, 2020 / Australia / 0 Comments
This image is part of the Colonial Office photographic collection held at The National Archives UK.
Selection referred to “free selection before survey” of crown land in some Australian colonies under land legislation introduced in the 1860s. These acts were intended to encourage closer settlement, based on intensive agriculture, such as wheat-growing, rather than extensive agriculture, such as wool production. Selectors often came into conflict with squatters, who already occupied the land and often managed to circumvent the law.
The process of land selection in Queensland began in 1860 and continued under a series of land acts in subsequent years. Land was considered the colony’s greatest asset. The prosperity of the colony was measured according to the extent of land settlement. Rent from land leases was the colony’s largest revenue earner. The initial political contest was between pastoralists and selectors led by the “town liberals” who desired that immigrants have an equitable right to small landholdings. Closer settlement for agricultural purposes was promoted by the Queensland Government who desired settlement by immigrants to Queensland and exports of agricultural produce and raw materials such as cotton and wool to Britain. No group (pastoralists or town liberals) held a dominant control over land policy. Legislation was framed with the aim of a comprehensive land policy but was changed following the efforts by both groups to interfere in areas of occupancy conditions and priority for selection, and there was tension between free selection and long leases, particularly for pastoral class land. Consequently, there were over 50 principal and amending acts covering all land legislation up to 1910. [Wikipedia]
Showing a Free Selector’s Log Hut. Queensland, Australia. Original photo taken ca 1870s.
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