Environment, Race, and Nationhood in Australia: Revisiting by Russell McGregor

By Russell McGregor

This new learn deals a well timed and compelling account of why earlier generations of Australians have noticeable the north of the rustic as an empty land, and the way these perceptions of Australia’s tropical areas influence present coverage and form the self-image of the state. It considers the origins of those matters - from fears of invasion and ethical qualms approximately leaving assets mendacity idle, from apprehensions approximately white nationhood coming less than overseas censure and misgivings concerning the ordinary attributes of the north - and elucidates Australians’ altering appreciations of the usual environments of the north, their moving attitudes towards race and their unsettled conceptions of Asia.

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White Australia devotees looked forward eagerly to the deportations. Branding the Islanders a “stain on the escutcheon” of the nation, Law and Gill urged no consideration be allowed to impede their speedy removal. 18 R. MCGREGOR Certainly, no consideration as base as mere commerce or as trivial as the Islanders’ own wishes should intrude: It matters not that the sugar industry is of the greatest importance, not only to Queensland but to the whole continent; that Government legislation, supervision, and regulation have reduced the evils incident to such a traffic almost to vanishing point; that the islanders are so well fed, housed, and paid that they frequently return to renew the term of their original contracts (three years), the moral and social effect of the institution is bad, and Australia has decided that it must and shall be ended.

No less than the old planters, small farmers depended on Pacific Islanders to do the hard work in the canefields. ” As the image shows, he emphasized proximity by vastly foreshortening the distance between Australia and its neighbors. Henry Musgrave Robinson. A White Australia: Keep It So [postcard]. 1912. National Archives of Australia: A1861, 2546 of around 115,000 in tropical Australia. The proportion of Asian people was much higher in particular areas. ” Even in east-coastal Queensland, where the vast majority of northern Europeans lived, the Asian presence was substantial, comprising, for example, around a third of Cairns’s population of 3557 and a tenth of Townsville’s 12,717 inhabitants.

18 R. MCGREGOR Certainly, no consideration as base as mere commerce or as trivial as the Islanders’ own wishes should intrude: It matters not that the sugar industry is of the greatest importance, not only to Queensland but to the whole continent; that Government legislation, supervision, and regulation have reduced the evils incident to such a traffic almost to vanishing point; that the islanders are so well fed, housed, and paid that they frequently return to renew the term of their original contracts (three years), the moral and social effect of the institution is bad, and Australia has decided that it must and shall be ended.

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