By Michael McKernan
The tale of drought, informed throughout the eyes of people that have lived via droughts over the greater than two hundred years of ecu payment - a narrative of creativity, persistence and ache.
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Additional info for Drought: The Red Marauder
What were the people to do, the Shepparton News asked. Abandon their holdings and cross the border? What if an epidemic broke out? Already there was fever at Tregowel from people drinking polluted water. The government must act to prevent an exodus of selectors. The dream was under threat once more. At Khull’s Range the meeting wanted a water scheme, a form of irrigation. 26 Irrigation presupposes water and is merely a means of delivering water from where it is to where it is needed—a superior form, if you like, of the water trains the government had been running round Victoria; more permanent.
Short of detailed research which this story does not justify, I can think of no other way of telling you more about the family of Albert Field. Let Albert Field stand for the story of free selection in Australia and the hazards of taking up land in such a dry country. But he alone cannot give you a feel for the first drought that we will consider. About 200 kilometres to the east of Avoca, at Shepparton, selectors had also taken over from the squatting interests. Indeed, as the local newspaper cleverly observed: 43 Drought : THE RED MARAUDER The complete change which has come over the Goulburn Valley could not be better illustrated than by the curiosity excited at the sight of a couple of wagons loaded with wool passing through Shepparton to the railway station .
11 After five years on the land Albert was still optimistic: In comparison with trade, farming is slow, but we must not overlook its advantages, and as far as I am concerned some are important ones. It is a healthy employment and other things make it doubly so to me. The climate is mild, and without the worrying cares and anxieties of business life. Written in May 1878, that must have been in a moment of relatively good rainfall and temperature, otherwise it is hard to understand how he could write of the ‘mild climate’.
Drought: The Red Marauder by Michael McKernan