Summary

Booklet 'Irrigation in Victoria, Australia: Victoria: The Irrigated Areas. Information for Prospective Settlers', published circa 1913. The booklet includes a separate map, 'Victoria, Showing Irrigation & Water Supply Districts & Works'. The map is stamped 'Colonial Government and General Shipping Agent, Preston (UK)', and was printed by Truscotts, London. The booklet includes information on migration, irrigation, housing and provides case studies of successful settlers.

The booklet notes that 'until a few years ago no organised effort was made to secure people from Great Britain for Victorian lands; but the Government now offers to prospective settlers from the Untied Kingdom unparalleled opportunities to acquire farms and homes in the fertile irrigated districts.' (p.4). The publication includes enthusiastic 'case studies' of successful settlers, emphasising profits within one to two years, and a paragraph headed 'Quick Returns'. It is particularly interesting in the context of the later Royal Commission into misleading claims about the prospects of rural settlers to Victoria, described in the Victorian Parliament as 'spectacular and flamboyant…of an exaggerated nature'. The map of Victoria's irrigation districts in 1913, and comments about the continuation of the irrigation program, are of particular significance to notions of land and water use during this period.

Physical Description

28-page booklet, printed in black on white, with blue cover, stapled at spine. The enclosed map, printed in black on white with blue, red and brown highlights, shows Victoria's irrigation districts circa 1913, a rainfall map for Australia, and a world map showing the destination of Victorian butter. The reverse of the map shows a range of modest houses and house plans, with prices and information about purchase.

Significance

The booklet 'Irrigation in Victoria' provides an interesting insight into early 20th century schemes to encourage British settlement in rural Victoria. It is particularly interesting in the context of the later Royal Commission into misleading claims about the prospects of rural settlers to Victoria. The map of Victoria's irrigation districts in 1913, and comments about the continuation of the irrigation program, are of particular significance to notions of land and water use during this period.

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