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Land of Opportunity: Australia's post-war reconstruction


Northern Australia

Throughout World War II and the immediate post-war years, newspaper reports and commentaries on Northern Australia were usually headed 'Empty North', 'Forgotten North' or 'Neglected North'. RG Casey, who visited the Northern Territory in 1947, used a variant, 'Our Cinderella North', for a series of articles on northern development. Since the earliest settlements in the 19th century, Northern Australia had always been under-populated and under-developed. However, the Japanese bombing of Darwin, Katherine and Broome in 1942–43 and the subsequent despatch of tens of thousands of Australian and Allied servicemen to Northern Australia meant that for the first time many Australians had at least some awareness of the region.

In December 1944 Sir Thomas Blamey, the Commander-in-Chief of the Australian Army, told the Prime Minister that the war had shown how vital the Northern Territory and north-west Australia were to the defence of Australia. Long-term development of the region was bound up with its defence and he pointed out the need to coordinate plans for soldier settlement, the absorption of migrants and re-establishment of Darwin. The reversion of the Northern Territory to civil control might be the opportune time to develop a long-term policy for Northern Australia. In September 1945 HC Coombs cited Blamey when arguing that development of the north was essential for Australian security. It would involve heavy capital investment in the construction of towns and cities, transport facilities, water conservation projects and other public works, as well as a major immigration program. He suggested to Dedman that the whole of Northern Australia could be declared a defence zone for 25 years. A Commonwealth developmental authority could then be set up to undertake surveys, resume land for defence and development purposes, plan and construct works and housing, operate transport services, and sponsor primary and secondary industry. Dedman and his colleagues backed away from such a grand scheme but, supported by the premiers of Queensland and Western Australia, they did take steps to promote the development of Northern Australia.

Darwin

In Darwin the term 'reconstruction' had a more tangible meaning than anywhere else in Australia. During the war, virtually its entire civilian population had either been evacuated or killed. After the first bombings in February 1942, most of the Northern Territory was placed under military control, the Administration was transferred to Alice Springs and the civilian population of Darwin, which in December 1941 totalled 5800, fell to a mere 15 in May 1944. By that time, the non-Aboriginal population of the entire Northern Territory was only 1528. By the end of the war, very few buildings were left standing in Darwin: the Japanese bombings, fires, looting by soldiers and others, and the demolition of buildings by the army had all taken their toll. The Administrator, CLA Abbott, returned to Darwin in August 1945, but emergency control regulations continued until late in 1946. Federal Cabinet had decided in 1943 that the Commonwealth should acquire all freehold land in and around Darwin and grant leasehold to residents, as was the case in Canberra. The Darwin Lands Acquisition Act was passed in August 1945.

In August 1944 Coombs chaired a meeting on the re-planning of Darwin and expressed concern that no works proposals had been received for Darwin. Cabinet responded by setting up an inter-departmental committee, chaired by Joseph Carrodus, with representatives of the departments of the Interior and Post War Reconstruction, the Commonwealth Railways and the service departments. It was to report on the post-war requirements of Darwin and the surrounding region, including population and employment estimates, use of wartime facilities, public works, building and housing, commercial development, and planning and administrative resources. A working party comprising Grenfell Rudduck, CV Howard and AR Miller made two visits to Darwin and Katherine and produced reports on town planning, resources surveys, population estimates, the cattle industry, and the economic and commercial development of Darwin. Rudduck and Howard, who were both professional architects, were highly critical of the Darwin town plan that Ronald McInnis had produced in 1940. They considered that it was too conservative and did not take into account the likely rapid population growth after the war. On the other hand, Abbott and his colleagues in the Administration supported the McInnis plan and were unhappy about the radical changes to the town proposed by Canberra 'theorists'.

The Darwin Committee met several times in 1944–45 and eventually decided to scrap the McInnis plan. A new plan was prepared by the Department of Works and Housing. Population estimates were contentious, with the Department of the Interior suggesting a modest post-war figure and the Department of Post War Reconstruction proposing a much higher figure. The committee finally recommended that planning be based on the assumption that the post-war population of Darwin would ultimately be 23,500. In July 1946, after further consideration, Cabinet accepted a revised figure of 17,000. With only short-term leases permitted, the rebuilding of Darwin proceeded slowly and it was not until the early 1960s that its population reached this figure.

Northern development

In December 1944 the Western Australian Premier, John Willcock, informed Curtin that an expert committee chaired by Russell Dumas was preparing a development plan for the north-west of the state. He was anxious to cooperate with the Commonwealth and Queensland in the development of Northern Australia. Ned Hanlon, the Queensland premier, agreed to the proposal and in September 1945 Cabinet endorsed the formation of the Northern Australia Development Committee. It was chaired by Coombs and the other members were Carrodus (Interior), AEV Richardson (CSIR), W Rogers (Queensland) and Dumas (Western Australia). Rudduck was the Executive Officer, succeeded by Frederick Rose in 1947. The committee met six times in 1946–48 and reports of each meeting were submitted to a policy committee comprising the Prime Minister, the Minister for the Interior and the premiers of Queensland and Western Australia.

Rudduck prepared numerous reports on aspects of northern development and in late 1946 began working on a general report. Drafts were sent to Commonwealth departments and agencies for their comments and the final report, a substantial volume, was presented to a policy committee in May 1947. It was extremely wide-ranging, covering taxation, medical services, education, transport, housing, farm and station improvements, the pastoral industry, mining industry, marine industries, agriculture and forestry, secondary industries, power and fuel, mapping and air photography. The committee believed that the most lasting development would be achieved by concentrating on specific areas and applying the techniques of regional survey and development. It suggested priority be given to the Victoria–Ord River, Darwin–Katherine and Burdekin River regions. It recommended the creation of a permanent body responsible for further development.

Many of the recommendations of the Northern Australia Development Committee were endorsed by a Cabinet sub-committee in August 1947, but some were rejected. Chifley seemed to lose interest in the subject and Hanlon accused him of merely glancing at the report and throwing it away. Chifley was probably influenced by the Treasury, which was critical of many aspects of the report. It considered that roads and education were state matters, dismissed the Burdekin River proposals, and demanded that the settled districts of northern Queensland be excluded from the definition of 'Northern Australia'. He may also have been influenced by the view expressed by the defence committee that the development of Northern Australia was not an immediate necessity, thus contradicting the former Commander-in-Chief. The Department of External Affairs took a different view, arguing that northern development should be considered in the context of immigration policy and the growing interest of South-east Asia in Australia. The Northern Australia Development Committee was not formally dissolved, but no further meetings were held after February 1948 and a permanent developmental agency was not created.

Beef industry

In its final two years, the interest of the Chifley government in Northern Australia was largely confined to the development of the beef industry. A British food mission, led by Sir Henry Turner, toured Australia in April 1948. In a report to the government, Turner proposed that, in exchange for a long-term assurance of an unlimited British market, the Commonwealth and state governments should embark on a long-term plan of increasing meat production. CR Lambert became Director of Regional Development in August 1948 and in the next year devoted much of his time to preparing reports on road making, stock route improvement, port facilities and schemes for water conservation. At the same time, Jack Kelly of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics began the first of his tours of the cattle stations of Northern Australia that were to result ultimately in his comprehensive 1952 report on the beef cattle industry. In 1949 a Cabinet sub-committee was set up, chaired by Dedman, which approved the construction of feeder roads and improved stock routes in areas extending from the Ord River to the Queensland Channel Country, the construction of a meatworks at Darwin and various measures for station development. As a result of these improvements, beef production would increase by 60,000 tons a year. Cabinet decided in August 1949 that a long-term agreement should be negotiated with the British government. The negotiations were continued by the Menzies government and a 15-year meat agreement between Britain and Australia came into force in June 1952.

Grenfell Rudduck wrote in 1950 that the Northern Australia Development Committee had at least convinced the people of Northern Australia that, for the first time, the Commonwealth Government was doing something about the development of the region. In his memoirs, published in 1981, Coombs concluded that the Northern Australia Development Committee was 'an instructive failure'. It showed that knowledge and research were prerequisites for development and that greater resources needed to be given to research agencies. Prompted by the committee, some research agencies began surveying Northern Australia in the immediate post-war years. In 1948 LC Noakes of the Bureau of Mineral Resources surveyed the geology and mineral resources of the Katherine–Darwin region. He worked in close association with CS Christian of the Land Survey section of CSIR, who in 1946 began a series of surveys of the land systems of northern Australia. He concluded that the Daly River basin was the only land system that appeared to be highly suitable for agriculture. Following his report, CSIR took over from the army the Katherine Experimental Research Station, where trials were carried out on peanuts, cotton, sorghums and other summer crops. Another CSIR research station, jointly funded with the Western Australian government, was set up at the Ord River.

Welfare of Aboriginal people

Coombs also regretted that the concept of development in 1945–49 had not taken account of 'the environmental context and the presence of an Aboriginal population closely identified with the land'. In 1945 he had argued that the Commonwealth had a moral responsibility for the welfare of both traditional and detribalised Aboriginal people and supported the idea of a Commonwealth Bureau of Aboriginal Affairs. He was blocked by Carrodus, who pointed to the Commonwealth's failure in the 1944 referendum to secure the necessary constitutional power. Carrodus also stressed that 'the Aboriginal problem' varied from state to state. On the initiative of the Queensland government, the 'welfare and development of the native inhabitants' was added to the terms of reference of the Northern Australian Development Committee. The subject was discussed briefly at one meeting of the committee. In the absence of Coombs, Carrodus stressed that it was a matter of coordinated policy rather than centralised control. Russell Dumas objected even to proposals for coordinated policy and the committee backed away.

When Rudduck was drafting the report of the committee in April 1947, he included references to the devastating effects of European settlement on Aboriginal people and the need to avoid future disasters by interpreting 'development of the native inhabitants' in the broadest sense. Carrodus and other members were alarmed and the offending paragraph was omitted from the report. Instead, the committee left it to state and Northern Territory officials to meet and discuss common problems such as Aboriginal employment, health and education. Throughout these years there were calls from church and welfare organisations for a greater Commonwealth role in Aboriginal Affairs, but in general Commonwealth ministers and officials were unresponsive.

Cabinet
CURTIN, FORDE AND CHIFLEY MINISTRIES: CABINET MINUTES AND AGENDAS, 1941–49
Series: A2700
Planning for rebuilding and economic development of Darwin, 25 September 1944 735
Darwin: plans for rebuilding and economic development, 27 August 1945 735A
Northern Territory medical and veterinary services, 19 February 1945 792
Town planning, Darwin, 30 July 1945 898
Darwin town plan, 18 January 1946 898A
Northern Australia, 25 September 1945 940
Medical services in the Northern Territory, 30 October 1945 965
IDC on Darwin, 18 January 1946 1022
IDC on Darwin, 18 January 1946 1022A
Darwin: post-war population and employment estimates, 18 January 1946 1023
Darwin: post-war population and employment estimates, 17 July 1946 1023A
Northern Australia Development Committee: report and recommendations, 2 July 1947 1362
Decisions of Cabinet Sub-Committee on Northern Australia Development Committee report and recommendations, 7 April 1949 1362A
Progress of works: Northern Territory, 28 June 1948 1488
Provision of road and stock route facilities for movement of cattle to Wyndham meatworks, 7 April 1949 1583
Development of beef industry: Northern Australia, 7 April 1949 1585
Development of meat production, 19 August 1949 1585B
Bureau of Agricultural Economics
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, 1946–75
Series: A1422
IDC on replanning of Darwin, 1944–45
Minutes and agenda papers (November 1944 – February 1945) of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Darwin, chaired by JA Carrodus, the interim report (16 November 1945) of the committee, and a report (13 November 1945) on Katherine Gorge.
12/1/2 Pt 1
Northern Australia: rural credit policy, 1947–49
Correspondence of JG Crawford concerning a review by the Bureau of Agricultural Economics and the Commonwealth Bank of credit facilities available to pastoralists in Northern Australia.
12/1/10
Department of Commerce and Agriculture
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, 1948–56
Series: A609
Northern Australia Development Committee, 1946–50
Correspondence concerning the work of the Northern Australia Development Committee, its recommendations on the development of fisheries and the pearl culture industry, and the proposed survey by JH Kelly of stock losses in Northern Australia. The correspondents include E McCarthy, F Anderson and JG Crawford.
255/1/10
Department of Post War Reconstruction
UNREGISTERED PAPERS, REPORTS, MINUTES AND SURVEYS ON POST-WAR DEVELOPMENT, 1944–51
Series: A688
IDC on Darwin: Katherine town plan, 1945
Report and plans by AR Miller and G Rudduck on the replanning of Katherine.
2
IDC on Darwin: reports, surveys, town planning, 1945
Notes of a meeting (7 August 1945) of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Darwin (chair: JA Carrodus), estimates of post-war population and employment, a building materials survey, notes of a meeting on soldier settlement in the Northern Territory, and correspondence of G Rudduck with AR Miller and others.
3
Northern Australia surveys and reports, 1945
Reports on a resources survey, population estimates, and the replanning of Katherine and the interim report (16 November 1945) of the Inter-Departmental Committee on the economic and commercial development of Darwin and the Northern Territory.
4
Post-war planning for town of Darwin, 1944
Report (December 1944) by RA McInnis, AR Miller and HJ Symons on a post-war town planning scheme for Darwin.
5
Darwin Committee: meeting of 2 February 1945
Agenda papers of a meeting (2 February 1945) of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Darwin.
6
Reports on Northern Territory, 1945
Summaries of reports on the Northern Territory, produced between 1911 and 1945, including reports by the North Australia Commission (1927–30) and the Bank of New South Wales (1939).
7
Private work of Sub-Committee on Darwin, 1944–45
Correspondence of G Rudduck concerning the Inter-Departmental Committee on Darwin, the visit of the sub-committee to the Northern Territory, the cattle industry, post-war works, resources surveys and the planning of Darwin.
8
Darwin Committee: 3rd meeting, 25 June 1945
Agenda papers and notes of the third meeting of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Darwin. The papers include a survey of the Northern Territory Administrator's reports (1910–45).
9
Darwin Committee: 4th meeting, 7 August 1945
Agenda papers of the fourth meeting of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Darwin.
10
Initial report on design of tropical buildings, 1945
Report (February 1945) by the sub-committee of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Darwin.
12
Northern Australia development: Ord and Victoria rivers region, 1948–49
Submission (28 November 1948) by R McLarty on the Ord and Victoria River regions and a report (3 March 1949) by CR Lambert on improvement of stations by the provision of additional watering holes.
13
Notes, minutes and agenda papers of the Meat Production Development Committee, 1949
Agenda papers and decisions (May–October 1949) of the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Meat Supplies to the United Kingdom (chair: HV Johnson) and the Meat Production Development Committee (chair: WA McLaren) and reports by CR Lambert, the Executive Member.
15-17
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, 1941–50
Series: A9816
Development of Northern Australia, 1944–46
Agenda and minutes of an inter-departmental conference (14 February 1945) on the reversion of the Northern Territory to civilian administration and correspondence on the replanning and rebuilding of Darwin, the formation of the Northern Territory Development League, public works and the administration of the Northern Territory. The correspondents include JS Collings, JJ Dedman, HC Coombs, JG Crawford, G Rudduck, A Griffiths and EJ Connellan.
1943/345
Northern Australia Development Committee: establishment and policy, 1944–49 (8 parts)
Correspondence concerning the development of Northern Australia, consultative machinery, discussions with the Defence Committee and the premiers of Queensland and Western Australia, the formation of the Northern Australia Development Committee, meetings of the committee, the appointment of G Rudduck as Executive Officer, the strategic importance of northern Australia, geographical boundaries and the future of the committee. The correspondents include JJ Dedman, JB Chifley, HC Coombs, JG Crawford, G Rudduck, FGG Rose, AS Brown and JA Carrodus.
1945/20
Development of North West of Western Australia, 1945
Includes a minute (12 March 1945) from KJ McKenzie to JG Crawford on proposals by Elder Smith for the development of the north-west of Western Australia.
1945/85
Inland Australia, 1944–45
Correspondence and newspaper cuttings on the development of inland Australia and possible sources of water.
1945/299
Darwin: work of Sub-Committee, 1944–45
Correspondence on the work of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Darwin, the visit of the sub-committee to Darwin and Katherine, geological and resources surveys, and the replanning of Darwin and Katherine. The correspondents include HC Coombs, G Rudduck and JA Carrodus.
1945/323
Payne Report: summaries and comments, 1944–45
Summary of the report (1937) by WL Payne and JW Fletcher on the land tenure and development of the Northern Territory and related correspondence.
1945/324
Northern Territory: cattle industry, 1945–49 (4 parts)
Papers of the Northern Australia Development Committee on the cattle industry, lists of pastoral leases, notes by the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, and correspondence about meetings with the British Food Mission and the Australian Meat Board, the interest of the Department of Post War Reconstruction in the development of the beef industry, and surveys by JH Kelly. The correspondents include JJ Dedman, HV Johnson, HC Coombs, JG Crawford, G Rudduck, FGG Rose and CR Lambert.
1945/385
Australian Aborigines: general, 1945–48 (2 parts)
Notes of a conference (3 February 1948) of Commonwealth and state Aboriginal welfare authorities (chair: JA Carrodus) and correspondence, minutes and newspaper cuttings concerning welfare, including effects on Aboriginal peoples of a rocket testing range in central Australia. The correspondents include HC Coombs, G Rudduck, FGG Rose, JA Carrodus, WA Rogers and RJ Dumas.
1945/446
Northern Australia: immigration, 1946–48
Correspondence of FGG Rose concerning immigration and settlement in Northern Australia.
1946/164
Publicity issued by Northern Australia Development Committee, 1946–49
Statements, articles and broadcasts relating to the work of the Northern Australia Development Committee.
1946/205
Northern Australia Development Committee reports, 1946–49 (3 parts)
The report (May 1947) of the Northern Australia Development Committee and correspondence concerning the draft report and final report, criticisms by the Treasury, the views of the Cabinet sub-committee, the definition of 'Northern Australia', the future of the committee, and interim reports (1949) on development and the cattle industry in Northern Australia. The correspondents include HC Coombs, AS Brown, G Rudduck, FGG Rose, CR Lambert, Sir Frederick Shedden, W Rogers and JG Crawford.
1946/302
Mineral resources of Northern Australia, 1946–48
Statements by the Bureau of Mineral Resources and the Queensland Department of Mines on mining exploration in Northern Australia and related correspondence. The correspondents include G Rudduck, FGG Rose, HG Raggatt, F O'Connor, AEV Richardson and RJ Dumas.
1946/349
Northern Australia Development Committee: Ministerial correspondence, 1947–48
Correspondence between FGG Rose and LC Warton, private secretary of JJ Dedman, referring to reports of the Northern Australia Development Committee and comments by other departments and agencies.
1948/79
Meat Production Development Committee, 1949 (2 parts)
Agenda papers and decisions (June–July 1949) of the Meat Production Development Committee, chaired by WA McLaren and reports by CR Lambert, JG Crawford and AR Driver.
1949/237
Cabinet Sub-Committee on increasing meat supplies to UK, 1949
Agenda papers and decisions (August–October 1949) of the Cabinet sub-committee on increasing meat supplies to the United Kingdom, chaired by JJ Dedman. The papers deal with stock routes and road construction in Northern Australia, the output of Northern Territory cattle stations, facilities at Wyndham, and the Darwin meatworks.
1949/238
Department of the Interior
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, 1946–
Series: A431
Katherine: post-war planning, 1944–47
Correspondence about the town plan of Katherine prepared by AR Miller and G Rudduck, the need for consultation on the proposed relocation of the town, and the question of a meatworks. The correspondents include CLA Abbott, JA Carrodus, AG Cameron and HM Rolland.
1946/488
Building materials required for rebuilding of Darwin, 1946
Correspondence of CLA Abbott, the Administrator of the Northern Territory, JA Carrodus and S Lucas concerning timber required for the rebuilding of Darwin.
1946/624
Mining: post war plans, Northern Territory, 1944
Report by WA Hughes, the Director of Mines, on the post-war development of mining in the Northern Territory.
1946/1176
North West of Western Australia: report by committee of WA Government, 1945–46
Report (13 September 1945) of a committee, chaired by RJ Dumas, appointed by the Western Australian government to investigate measures to promote development of the north-west of the state.
1946/1379
Northern Australia Development Committee: pastoral industry, 1946–47
Report (December 1946) of the Northern Australia Development Committee on development of the pastoral industry, notes (26 November 1946) by JW Fletcher, and related correspondence. The correspondents include G Rudduck and JA Carrodus.
1946/1606
Northern Australia Development Committee: welfare of natives, 1946–47
Agenda and minutes of a conference (3–4 February 1947) of Directors of Native Affairs, chaired by AP Elkin, and correspondence concerning the references to welfare in the report of the Northern Australia Development Committee. The correspondents include HV Johnson, AR Driver and JA Carrodus.
1946/1607
Ord River Valley: proposed irrigation, 1945–46
Report (19 November 1945) of CS Christian of CSIR on a possible research station on the lower Ord River, extracts from the minutes of the Northern Australian Development Committee, and correspondence on cooperation between the Commonwealth and Western Australian governments on the Ord River project.
1947/217
IDC on Darwin: meetings, 1944–46
Minutes of meetings (November 1944 – June 1946) of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Darwin, chaired by JA Carrodus.
1947/669
Regional planning for development of Northern Australia: formation of NADC, 1944–48
Correspondence concerning the establishment of the Northern Australia Development Committee in 1945, representation on the committee, and the appointment of an executive officer. The correspondents include JC Willcock, FJS Wise, JJ Dedman, HC Coombs and HV Johnson.
1947/1255
Northern Australia Development Committee: development of Northern Australia – defence aspect, 1947–48
Correspondence on the significance of the development of Northern Australia in terms of defence and foreign relations. The correspondents include HC Coombs, AS Brown, FGG Rose and JW Burton.
1947/2366
Northern Australia Development Committee: report on development of Northern Australia, 1946–48 (2 parts)
Report (May 1947) of the Northern Australia Development Committee and correspondence concerning the drafting of the report, its reception by the prime minister, the Cabinet sub-committee and departments, and the question whether it should be published. The correspondents include JB Chifley, JA Carrodus, RJ Dumas, EM Hanlon, G Rudduck and FGG Rose.
1948/213
Anti-Slavery and Aborigines Protection Society: Aboriginal matters, 1928–48 (3 parts)
Includes a memorandum by Mary Bennett of the Mount Margaret Mission on Australian Aboriginal workers and correspondence with the Anti-Slavery and Aborigines Protection Society on the control of Aboriginal welfare and allegations of the removal of children from the care of their parents.
1948/273
Northern Australia Development Committee: cattle industry, 1946–49
Agenda papers and correspondence concerning the visit of the British Food Mission, the investigations by JH Kelly of stock losses in the Northern Territory, proposals to develop the cattle industry in northern Australia, and the inter-departmental committee on the development of northern Australia. The correspondents include HV Johnson, JA Carrodus, AR Driver and CR Lambert.
1948/544
Northern Australia Development Committee: British Food Mission and joint meeting with the Australian Meat Board, 1948–49
Minutes of a joint meeting (17 February 1948) of the Northern Australia Development Committee and the Australian Meat Board, notes of an inter-departmental meeting (13 September 1948), chaired by HC Coombs, on the development of the cattle industry, and related correspondence. The correspondents include JB Chifley, JJ Dedman, R McLarty, HV Johnson, AR Driver and JG Crawford.
1948/721
IDC on Darwin, 1944–49
Notes of meetings of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Darwin and correspondence on the formation of the committee, the replanning and rebuilding of Darwin, transport and communications, and population estimates. The correspondents include JA Carrodus, CLA Abbott, JG Crawford, HM Rolland and G Rudduck.
1949/984
Post-war land settlement policy: Northern Territory, 1944–55
Notes of a conference (11 July 1945), chaired by JG Crawford, on soldier settlement in the Northern Territory and correspondence concerning closer settlement and soldier settlement. The correspondents include JS Collings, CLA Abbott, AR Driver, JA Carrodus and JG Crawford.
1950/197
Northern Australia Development Committee: survey and mapping program, Northern Territory, 1946–56
Correspondence concerning the CSIR resources survey of the Darwin–Katherine region and aerial photography of the Northern Territory. The correspondents include BT Dickson, CS Christian, JA Carrodus, G Rudduck and FGG Rose.
1950/471
Northern Australia Development Committee: survey of cotton industry, 1946–49
Correspondence and a report relating to cotton growing in the Katherine River region. The correspondents include JJ Dedman and CR Lambert.
1950/1084
Darwin town planning, 1936–46
Correspondence and newspaper cuttings on the McInnis town plan and the proposed rebuilding of Darwin. The correspondents include CLA Abbott, JA Carrodus and AR Miller.
1950/1541
Government policy concerning Aborigines in Northern Territory, 1939–52
Includes an outline (1945) by EWP Chinnery on a policy for the welfare of Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory, notes and resolutions of a conference (3–4 February 1948) of Commonwealth and state Aboriginal welfare authorities, correspondence and newspaper cuttings.
1951/866
Prime Minister's Department
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, 1934–50
Series: A461
Development of Northern Australia, 1935–49
Correspondence of J Curtin and JB Chifley with EM Hanlon and FJS Wise relating to the formation of the Northern Australia Development Committee, together with reports and papers of the committee.
B412/1/3 Pts 2-4
Treasury
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, 1901–76
Series: A571
Northern Australia Development Committee: boundaries of Northern Australia, 1948
Minutes by PW Nette to JB Chifley and FGG Rose urging that the settled areas of northern Queensland be excluded from the definition of 'Northern Australia'.
1948/388
Northern Australia Development Committee: defence, 1947–48
Report by J Lawrence of an inter-departmental meeting (16 December 1947), chaired by AS Brown, on the defence aspects of the development of northern Australia and related correspondence.
1948/389
Sir Frederick Shedden
SHEDDEN COLLECTION
Series: A5954
The future of the Northern Territory and North West Australia, 1944–48
Minutes of the Defence Committee and correspondence on the importance of the development of northern Australia for the defence of Australia, the lifting of emergency control in the Northern Territory, the return of the civilian population to Darwin, town planning, and the Northern Australia Development Committee and its report. The correspondents include Sir Thomas Blamey, J Curtin, JS Collings, JA Beasley, JJ Dedman and Sir Frederick Shedden.
607/15

Further reading

Gibson, Eve, Bag-huts, Bombs and Bureaucrats: a history of the impact of town planning and compulsory land acquisition on the town and people of Darwin, 19371950, Historical Society of the Northern Territory, Darwin, 1997.

Kelly, JH, Beef in Northern Australia, ANU Press, Canberra, 1971.

Kelly, JH, Struggle for the North, Australasian Book Society, Sydney, 1966.

Lambert, CR, 'Cattle industry development in north-west Australia', Regional Development Journal, vol. 1, no. 2, 1949, pp. 2–7.

McGregor, Russell, 'Developing the North, defending the nation? The Northern Australia Development Committee 1945–1949', Australian Journal of Politics and History, vol. 59, no. 1, 2013, pp. 33–46.

Megaritty, Lyndon, 'Necessary and urgent': the politics of Northern Australia, 1945–75', Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. 97, no. 2, 2011, pp. 136–60.

Powell, Alan, Far Country: a short history of the Northern Territory, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1982.

Powell, Alan, The Shadow's Edge: Australia's northern war, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1988.


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