Charles W. Russell, Country Crisis (Brisbane, Australia; W. R. Smith & Paterson, 1976), pp. 332-47, ch. 26.
Apart from political and parliamentary experience, I have had a great deal to do with land development in all its forms both in New South Wales and Queensland. As managing director of pastoral companies in both States, I have personally supervised large pastoral land development schemes, and I am familiar with most types of land title and tenure.
This experience, coupled with my political experience, has given me an insight into the reasons why the “leasehold” States in Australia are backward as compared with what may be called the “freehold” States.
Land settlement has been much more successful in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania than in Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory.
While having no practical experience in W.A., S.A., and N.T., the principles applying to leasehold in Queensland would apply equally anywhere. I am of the firm opinion that the system of land tenure is responsible for the backwardness of northern Australia, where more than 90 per cent of the land area is leasehold. It has been claimed that this is the highest percentage of Crown or State-owned land outside the Soviet Union!
The electorate has been persuaded that the land is the “heritage of the people” and this illusion is difficult to remove.
It should be obvious in view of the failure of so many socialist experiments in land settlement that governments cannot develop land. To promote healthy settlement, however, transport and other public facilities have to be provided, not only for the convenience of settlers, but to provide access to markets. In Australia this is the responsibility of government and, unfortunately, the state of imbalance in our population is getting progressively worse.
The reason why this happens is that governments, having no money other than that collected by way of revenue from the people, must necessarily spend it where the majority of people will benefit. The situation has therefore developed where more and more money is spent in southern Australia, and relatively less in the undeveloped north.
So much for the government approach. However much our public men argue to the contrary and attempt to justify the situation, it must be obvious that much more of the natural resources is and will always be spent where the people are. Of course, it should not be forgotten that the people go where the wealth is and, while we insist on taking the wealth to the coastal cities, the trend of population shift gets more difficult to reverse.
Pioneering the world over has always been done by the rugged individualists who are usually activated by the prospect of gain and profit. Few private individuals are sufficiently altruistic to develop and improve land that does not belong to them. It has been said:
Give a man an acre of wilderness and he will make a garden out of it.
Lease a man an acre of garden and it will become a wilderness.
This is only too true and, even if just compensation is paid to leaseholders for the improvements they create, that in itself is not sufficient incentive to encourage men to go into the outback. The tendency on the part of settlers on terminable leases is to take as much wealth out of the land as they can, and put back no more than is absolutely necessary. This is patently obvious to anyone who observes the results of land settlement under a freehold system, as distinct from those areas which have not been alienated from the Crown.
The freehold States are Victoria, Tasmania, and, to a lesser extent, New South Wales. Queensland is 90 per cent government owned, Western Australia and South Australia about the same. The Northern Territory is almost wholly government owned! One should not have to labour the point because it is clear that development bears a direct relationship to the amount of freehold or secure tenure granted.
We also have the example of the United States where the lands west of the Mississippi have not been settled very much longer than has Australia. The U.S.A. is chiefly settled on a freehold basis and is a magnificent example of good development.
As I have said, we have been led to believe that land is the “heritage of the people”. What is the use of a heritage of the people that produces nothing? What does it matter who owns the land, provided it is productive and that production is shared, as it must be, by the whole of the people? The neglect of northern Australia is a sad story because, even if we had the desire and inclination to spend the vast sums of money necessary to bring it into line with southern Australia, it would take years to achieve a worthwhile result. There are two reasons for this:
- The necessary growth in population can only be achieved very slowly; and
- The benefits from development cannot be obtained quickly.
For example, if we disregard the economics of the exercise and develop an area of potentially rich country, there must firstly be a market for the products and then the stock numbers have to be increased and quality has to be improved. This unfortunately will take many years and the lost years can never be regained. This not to say that the matter is not urgent. For the reasons given it becomes increasingly urgent, but we must stop talking about it and do something quickly.
Freeholding of secure tenure is not going to put sudden wealth into the pockets of existing landholders. If it is any consolation to the opponents of freehold, I feel sure it will not add any value to existing land presently held under lease title. What it will do is promote development and then that development will add value to the land itself, whoever owns it.
If the costs are all added together, development usually costs more than the basic value of the land itself. However, the land gains value by what we call “unearned increment” due to the development which produces better stock and attracts more people, and this generally results in the provision of public facilities.
Let us examine in close detail the difference between leasehold and freehold. In Queensland, wherever we have freehold we get development. Always the leasehold areas lag behind. In New South Wales, the leasehold Western Division lags behind the rest of the State. In Queensland, we have leases for 28 years and in the Northern Territory for 50 years. To most people, such a period is a lifetime. So to the individual it does not make much difference except that, on freehold, a settler will spend his money and, on leasehold, he spends as little as he can. When the government gives a lease for 50 years or any other period, the land is “tied up” or “alienated” much more securely than it is under a freehold title.
Our governments seldom break their contracts, particularly so far as leases are concerned. The New South Wales Government overcame this problem in its Western Division by offering leaseholders a certain area of secured tenure in exchange for their leases. They had the choice of surrendering their leases or letting them run out. The development of land went ahead, but, unfortunately for New South Wales, most of the areas were too small and rates too high when wool prices fell.
With freehold, the government can buy the land at any time so that closer settlement is not held up. All that is required is that they pay just terms. Thus, on the one hand we get stagnation and on the other progress. The results are too obvious to need critical examination. When a government grants a lease for, say 30 years, and lays down certain conditions for improvement, these conditions are performed in the early period and then nothing more is done. With freehold the process of development is continuous. Thirty years is a lifetime to most of us, so the land passes to others. The only important thing to worry about is productivity.
The pedlars of this “heritage” nonsense should consider other methods of making land available to young people. This can always be achieved. The best example of settlement has been provided by purchasing areas of developed freehold and making them available to suitable settlers under existing methods of selection or ballot, but requiring the settler to buy the land on a conditional basis. Most people are familiar with the conditional purchase tenure. In such cases, the State acts as “banker”.
Apart from what might be described as the psychological effect of leasehold — the disinclination on the part of settlers to improve anything that does not belong to them — there are the real financial problems. Banks do not like leasehold as security and the value of security, instead of continuously increasing in value, is continuously decreasing. Quite apart from the problems of capitalisation, it can be shown very simply that the cash flow from lease country needing heavy improvement is insufficient to finance the development within a reasonable period.
When the government require individual ownership of leases, other problems arise such as death with its resultant duties or other disasters such as flood and fire, which collectively form too big a cost burden to permit continuous uninterrupted development.
The evidence available in the freehold States as compared to the leasehold States is quite conclusive. It shows beyond doubt that freehold promotes development, terminable leasehold retards it.
As to the “heritage” we hear so much about, it is interesting to note that the majority of people appear to live in those areas where the heritage has been sold! I refer particularly to New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
I do not suggest that freehold title should be granted without conditions. Any conditions can be laid down and the land paid for at the value agreed on at the time of acquisition. The government will of course, know that the more onerous the conditions the lower will be the value until a point is reached where the land itself has no value!
The subdivision of large freehold areas, apart from government purchase, comes about naturally because the owners find the management of large highly productive areas too difficult.
Thus freehold tends to subdivide itself and generates its own wealth. With freehold, the asset is continually improving in value and consequently its security value, which means bank money, is readily available for development.
Lands Department spokesmen have said that there is an insatiable demand for land. Of course there is. There will always be an insatiable demand for something for nothing! If selectors had to pay for their land as well as improvements on some extended terms basis, there would obviously be less demand and only genuine settlers would be attracted.
Under the freehold system there can be no suggestion of corruption on the part of the administration as has so often been the case with the present system of terminable leasehold tenure. I instance particularly the inquiry into this question in Queensland during the Hanlon administration, when Tom Foley was Lands Minister. It is not very important whether a title is called “freehold” but the important thing is that the title can be secure.
It can be said that Queensland has a greater potential for agriculture than any State in the Commonwealth but that its rate of development is much slower because of its land administration.
If one could make a single recommendation to the government in connection with land development, one would say only that it is vital to give security of terms. The important thing is to ensure the improvements on resumes areas are paid for at present day values. If the government wants to make a gift to new settlers, then that gift should be paid for by the whole of the people (i.e. the government) and not by the outgoing lessee.
Of what purpose is it to maintain a lease tenure system on virgin country with no immediate prospect of it being brought into productivity when, by granting a freehold or perpetual lease title, the same land could be converted into a highly productive area within a few years?
If there is any other method of bringing this land into productivity, governments should announce it rather than permit the very large wastage of development which occurs in the dying stages of every lease in this type of country.
Development of outback country is beyond the financial capacity of the average selector and in any case is too slow.
For those who believe we are in a changing world, and that private enterprise is on the way out, I would say that this is still no excuse for the inactivity one sees in our outback country which has such great potential productivity. This country needs a large amount of money spent on it. If the government will not give private enterprise free rein, it should do something itself, but that would involve socialistic experiments which have proved so disastrous in the past with State owned stations, food corporations, etc.
Too many instances exist of improvements being taken for less than they are worth, which fact in itself is the greatest deterrent to development.
Under the present system of balloting for leases, the value granted to an out-going lessee is the worth of the improvements to an incoming tenant. Obviously the incoming tenant argues that they are quite unsuitable, and the courts seem to be more sympathetic to the incoming than the outgoing lessee.
I have had the experience of water supply improvements being taken with no compensation despite the fact that there was no other water on the place. This happened in the Clermont district of Queensland in connection with the subdivision of a grazing homestead under Country Party administration.
As a result of my experiences in two States (Queensland and New South Wales), I would say that a lessee is ill-advised to improve leasehold land beyond the requirements laid down at the commencement of the lease. My experience has always been that the more the settler does and the more successful he is, the less consideration he receives.
There is an old Chinese saying: “If it doesn’t happen to you, it doesn’t happen at all.” This is so true so far as land settlement is concerned. My own experiences are vividly impressed on my mind, but there must be many other similar instances which help to contribute to the present state of country development. The Chinese have another saying which is equally true: “We can hear the misfortunes of others with the greatest of fortitude!”
Because I am more familiar with my own experiences, I wish to deal with two instances in different states — one in Queensland in 1958 under a Liberal-Country Party administration, and the other in New South Wales in 1970 under a Liberal-Country Party administration. I will deal with them in chronological order.
At Clermont, central Queensland, two adjoining selections went up for lease renewal. One settler had done little to develop his area and the other (who happened to be my wife), had fully developed her area. The Lands Department too away half of my wife’s land but extended the lease of the other less developed full block! The matter was taken to the Country Party Cabinet but the Department decision was upheld.
In a publication I issued in 1960 entitled “Why Queensland Crown Development is Lagging” I wrote:
Russell Park. The freehold land of this area is not much affected by Lands Department policy so no reference will be made to this area except to say that £75,000 had been spent in the last six years on development and the area has been the only profitable part of the whole aggregation. (The company’s books verify this.)
GH 1877 subdivided in 1958, and now GF 2341 and GF 1342, has been the subject of some public interest because it and its owner were singled out for special treatment by the Department of Lands. In other words, an adjoining lease of the same area consisting of similar country and closer to rail had its lease extended and, while there are no other holdings so small, none of the remaining grazing farms in the area have been subdivided and are at present being held under Occupational License.
In my opinion, none of the grazing farms should be subdivided because of the additional overhead incurred which cannot reasonably be carried on areas so small. However, appeals to the Country Party Government failed to alter the departmental decision to cut up GH 1877 into two areas capable when fully developed, of carrying only 2,500 sheep each or the equivalent number of cattle, say 350 head.
Because of the difficulty of obtaining water and other costs associated with settlement, it is believed that the new tenant of GH 2342 will not make a financial success of his venture although, if he holds it for seven years, he will doubtless make a capital profit on resale. A question to the department as to whether this is a realistic policy might be justified.
Apart from the question of the inability of an incoming selector to make a reasonable living on this area, the existing provisions of the Land Act do not ensure adequate compensation for improvements to leasehold country. Compensations for improvements provisions were enacted when money values were assumed to be stable. The provisions preventing the recovery of more money than the original cost of resumed improvements may have had some basis of reason then but, in light of modern costs, the provision has become divorced from reality and is being used by the Lands Department to dispossess Crown tenants of their full dues.
While it has been said by spokesmen for the Land Court that when assessing values, it takes into consideration cost of replacement, this is not supported by the recent Land Court decision in connection with GF 2342.
To value improvements at what an incoming tenant considers they are worth to him is a practice which must hinder development. Intelligent administration of this outdated Act could, no doubt, overcome its shortcomings but, there is, unfortunately, no sign of this being done.
In the particular case in point, the Court decided that, because the tenant said he was not going to run sheep, the new yards in course of construction and which were practically completed at time of resumption were of no value. The Court decided, moreover, that, because the water supply in the bore had given out temporarily some years ago, the bore tank and troughing were of no value. Considering that the tenant made no effort to equip the bore and re-establish the supply, this decision was rather surprising. The bore beside the tank went dry in 1948 and the tank was filled by a pipe line which was removed upon resumption, hence the bore beside the tank was not equipped. Following the Court hearing, the water in the bore was measured and found to be 150 feet deep and water stood at 36 feet from the surface, i.e. there was 114 feet of water. Inspection of the tank troughing and bore would be welcomed by any competent authority. Replacement value would be at least £800.
A further problem will arise from the Court’s decision. The dog fence has been taken at a portion of its replacement value and, as the tenant has declared that he does not intend to run any sheep, the company will lose its protection against dogs because it is extremely unlikely that the new tenant will maintain the fence properly.
The lithograph showing the recent resumption of GH 1877 places the value of the improvements on the two areas at about £14,000 whereas replacement value today would be well over £50,000. On the block selected even on this basis the Crown valuer put them at £1,900 but the Court reduced them to £1,487/10/0.
Holders of other grazing farms may well find themselves tricked in this respect as, having regarded the tenure as freehold, they may now be dispossessed of improvements on the two areas which are worth many times more than the compensation they are likely to receive.
It is worth noting that, in the two years which have elapsed since the country was withdrawn, no improvements of any consequence have been placed on the area.
It is interesting to note in retrospect that the settler who drew that block of country sold it when the seven years were up and left the district. He made a capital profit! He had done nothing illegal and who could blame him for making a profit.
The same policy is still going on in Queensland despite another 17 years of Country Party rule in that State.
It was 12 years later that the Liberal-Country Party Government in New South Wales was doing much the same thing. This particular case was a shocking instance of short-sighted stupidity and, at a time when the wool industry was in the doldrums, this kind of administration did nothing to give confidence to western settlers. The leasehold area involved is on the Darling River near Bourke and was owned by my son. He had it for give years before the lease expired in 1968. The area, which was called “Stonehenge”, comprised 25,000 acres of light carrying country rated at one sheep to give acres, or barely a living area today.
The property was undoubtedly the best developed on the river between Brewarrina and Bourke and included 800 acres of irrigated land using water pumped from the river. As a result of Sudax and other fodder crops grown on the irrigation area and other development carried out, “Stonehenge” was one of the few properties in the district which had been able to maintain its breeding flock and continue a reasonable level of wool production during the serious drought conditions experienced since 1965.
Before the leases expired in 1968, my son had applied for their conversion to leases in perpetuity but the Local Land Board at Brewarrina had recommend against the application on June 20, 1968. A subsequent appeal to the Land and Valuation Court in Sydney was dismissed by Mr. Justice Else-Mitchell on the ground that, as the leases by then had expired, there was no case to consider.
The New South Wales Graziers’ Assocation asked the then Lands Minister, Mr. T. L. Lewis, to amend the Western Lands Act so that appeals against Land Board recommendations could be dealt with by the Court after leases had expired. The Association had felt it was common justice that the law should provide or cases such as this to be judged on their merits when appeal action was taken, and not simply to be dismissed on a legal technicality.
Despite extensive representations, however, Mr. Lewis adamantly refused to amend the Act to allow my son’s case to be heard. Instead, Mr. Lewis said only that the government might amend the act in accordance with the Graziers’ Association’s suggestions at some future time.
A disturbing feature of this aspect of the “Stonehenge” case was the Mr. Lewis had firmly stated in writing that, even if the Act were amended and our appeal was heard and upheld, it would not alter the position because the final power rested with himself as Minister, and he would not agree to my son being granted a perpetual lease.
Following the expiry of the leases, “Stonehenge” was occupied by my son under permissive occupancy, but a plan to subdivide the property into five blocks was prepared by the Western Lands Commission, and lease applications for the blocks were called by the Local Land Board at Brewarrina.
Mr. Lewis informed the Graziers’ Association in writing that application for the five blocks from wool-growers in the Cobar-Byrock region, whose properties had suffered scrub regeneration, would be given priority. He said it was his department’s policy to use the “Stonehenge” blocks as “build-up” areas for Byrock region properties — 80 miles away!
Mr. Lewis alleged that my son had not been a bona fide resident holder of the leases in the accepted meaning of the term, and therefore did not qualify as an applicant for conversion to lease in perpetuity. This allegation was made despite the fact that my son had been in residence on the property since completing his education. Mr. Lewis was aware of a similar case in 1968, in which a perpetual lease of a nearby property had been granted to the son of another Queensland grazier.
The fact was that the subdivision actions destroyed one of the most efficient wool-producing units in western New South Wales, and achieved nothing for those unfortunate enough to take up the blocks.
Byrock is more than 80 miles from “Stonehenge” and each of the four dry blocks in the proposed subdivision will carry at best only 1,000 sheep.
It is worth nothing that before developing “Stonehenge” assurances were given to me by the former New South Wales Labor Minister for Lands, Mr. K. C. Crompton, that the value of improvements would be protected by tenant rights, that the property was to be considered to be eminently suitable for an original holding, and most importantly, that a lessee should not be deterred from economically developing land because of a relatively short remaining lease term.
In order to preserve “Stonehenge” I had even offered to buy an uneconomic property in the Byrock area for allocation to other graziers there free of cost, other than that which might normally be imposed on a new lessee by the government.
The President of the United Western Lands Lessees’ Association of New South Wales, Mr. E. N. Blacker, of Bourke, commenting on the situation in the Country Life newspaper said:
The present leasehold land tenure system in the Western Division of New South Wales has not only failed to achieve the object of establishing a sound basis for settlement, but is turning lessees against one another in manner which could only be described as deplorable.
The subdivision policy has been adhered to despite the fact that Mr. Russell has turned “Stonehenge” into one of the best developed properties on the Darling and one which has been able, because of expensive irrigation, to maintain its breeding flock through recent serious drought periods.
Any sensible landholding policy should obviously be designed to encourage such development, and it is clearly against the economic and social interests of the Western Division for a successful wool producing unit such as “Stonehenge”, which was only a living area, to be broken up not matter who continues to hold the land.
Moreover, it is incomprehensible that a subdivision for “build-ups” should include an irrigation block with improvements of great value which could be expected to be beyond the resources of the applicants whom the Minister apparently desired to help, and to be uneconomic unless used as an integral part of a larger property.
Improvements on “Stonehenge” are valued at about $112,000. Apart from irrigation works, they include a homestead and another house and a woolshed suitable for the complete property. It is extremely difficult to see how a successful applicant even for one of the “dry” blocks can justify paying Mr. Russell for improvements on the particular block, let alone use the block economically in view of low carrying capacity.
The lack of interest in the irrigation block was demonstrated by the fact that only three out of a total of 50 applicants for “Stonehenge” applied to the Brewarrina Land Board for it.
As well as damaging efficient wool production in the area, the policy adopted by the Minister and the Western Lands Commission has allowed the “Stonehenge” case to produce the sad spectacle of neighbours exposing each other’s private interests in an attempt to gain additional land.
In one instance, the solicitor for an applicant apparently asked another applicant why he needed extra land when he could afford to send his sons to an expensive private school in Sydney. Even worse was the revelation that another applicant was none other than the first cousin of the dispossessed lessee.
In other words, not only does the system turn neighbours against neighbours but relatives against relatives.
The very basis of my association is the need for western lands lessees to unite in the mutual interest and to fight for a better deal in the area.
The ludicrous nature of the lease allocation system can be seen fully when it is realised that the cost of the Brewarrina Land Board hearing regarding “Stonehenge”, including the legal fees involved and the time of board members, Commission officials and applicants, has been estimated to exceed considerably the unimproved value of the whole of “Stongehenge” property!
Mr. Blacker added that the circumstances of the “Stonehenge” resumption called for a public investigation and highlighted the need for a review of the land settlement system in the Western Division of the State.
There was an almost Gilbertian sequel to this resumption. The successful applicant was Mr. Douglas Hill. He had been for two years on a block some 20 miles away, had paid it off, and was a promising settler. He was dispossessed of this block and therefore applied for the “Stonehenge” one. After lengthy proceedings he was able to persuade the Land Board that the irrigation improvements on “Stonehenge” were worth only half their replacement value to him.
After months of futile negotiations and appeal proceedings, Mr. Hill found himself unable to pay for the improvements, even at their written down value. This was mainly due to the fact that he, in turn, had not been paid for his own improvements on the black he previously occupied!
In the meantime, the irrigation pastures on “Stonehenge” had been largely destroyed, and are now in fact worth only half their original value. Rather than invite further loss my son accepted the block back instead of payment but he cannot live there because the available area is not an economically viable production unit. He can only rent it to someone else for what he can get for it. I personally gave Douglas Hill £3,000 to cover legal and other charges. I did this as an act of grace because he was left with nothing at all and had been dispossessed by the Crown of a property on which he was doing well.
It is relevant to note, as Mr. Blacker pointed out, that the total cost of Court expense far exceeded the unimproved value of the leasehold land and also that two worthwhile settlers have been hunted from the area. Doug Hill took a job with the Shire Council. My son returned to Queensland.
This absurd situation has to be seen to be believed, and it all happened under a Liberal-Country Party administration in 1971.
It is no use saying that the Minister was not properly informed because I personally gave him the fact and, among other things, showed him my son’s audited accounts, and also entertained him at the property. The Court thought I had too much money and could afford to start my son again!
The development has been destroyed and valuable improvements made redundant. A more grave feature is the depression of spirit caused to the settlers of the area which is administered in air-conditioned offices in Sydney.
While my experiences have been at the hands of the Liberal-Country Party administration in two States, I have no reason to believe that the Labor Party would have acted differently, and one can only assume that it is the departmental authorities who really control and administer the policy. During periods of Labor Government, I have seen improvements paid for at half their value.
The bad part is that policy relating to leasehold land does not seem to change with the changes of governments, and the nett result is that land settlement and development is retarded.
It should be fairly easy for anyone with commonsense to see that, whenever there is secure tenure, there is good settlement, and this fact really gives the answer to sound rural development.
Apart from these two instances, I have had a great deal of experience in developing terminable lease country in Queensland and would say that, if I could have my life again, I would not develop it over and above the bare necessity.
Another important point is that there can be no “unearned increment” with leasehold land because that is vested in the Crown. A study of the position of most graziers reveals the fact that most money is made in the ever-rising value of freehold land. Without this factor, they are “working a head horse.”
In the wool growing areas of Australia, particularly in the low rainfall areas which have no other immediate use, the capital investment in improvement should be at least serviced, and the tenant or manager should get a reasonable salary before any rent is paid.
In other words, the servicing of capital and the payment of wages must come before the payments of rates, rents and taxes. If it does not, capital will not be created and the drain away from the sheep country will continue. Governments are exploiting landholders if they extract rentals which the land will not yield. Attempts to settle western lands will fail if too much is siphoned off by governments.
Capitalisation of improvements is relatively high on light carrying country because of the greater mileage of fencing and the need for more watering points. Governments should not persevere with closer settlement in low rainfall country, but rather let it happen naturally by the process which occurs with freehold land.
It may be asked, how are the local authorities going to obtain revenue? The answer then must be that the wool industry cannot afford roads, etc. The first duty of the authorities is to maintain an adequate wage standard in the industry before rates and taxes are levied. Governments should find ways and means of financing those local authorities which are unable to collect their rates.
The Land Advisory Committee of the Queensland Country Party, under the chairmanship of Mr. Bob Sparkes, who is now State President of the National Party, prepared a very valuable report on land settlement schemes some years ago but very little, if anything has been accomplished.
Let me sum up the foregoing:
- Governments have deliberately encouraged the concentration of population in coastal cities by taking wealth to those areas and by means of freight concessions, etc. A very simple and modern example is the Moonie oilfield where there are only storage tanks and equipment pumping oil into a pipeline to Brisbane! Electricity is reticulated back from Brisbane and charges are some 50 per cent higher than in Brisbane.
- Governments inevitably spend money where the people are. Some wealth should be spent where it is earned.
- Pioneering settlement must be done by individual enterprise in the hope of rich reward. If these pioneers become rich it is all to the good. It is better to have rich people than poor people, even if it is only because they can pay more taxes.
- Results show beyond doubt that freehold tenure produces increased wealth.
- The political nonsense about land being the great heritage of the people should be exposed by a sound publicity campaign. Most people live where the land has been alienated from the Crown, i.e. Victoria and New South Wales.
- Last but not least, the opportunity for new settlers looking for land will be enhanced rather than retarded by freehold or secure tenure.
My efforts to develop land forced me to the conclusion that a private citizen is not able to effect changes in policy merely by example. It is because of this that I once again became interested in semi-political groups.
The first of these was the Federal Inland Development Organisation.
- Property & Prosperity
- Introduction to Charles Russell's Country Crisis
- The last words of Charles Russell
- Leasehold Wilderness
- Country Rejuvenation - Towards a Better Future