Rum Corps to white-shoe brigade

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  • Published 20031202
  • ISBN: 9780733313509
  • Extent: 236 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

AUSTRALIA HAS MORE land per capita than any other continent.[i] When the great European powers set out to conquer the Americas, Africa and the Great South Land they encountered both closely settled and sparsely spread communities. Even if Australia’s Aboriginal population was more than 1 million, it was very sparse. [ii] Europeans arriving from the cities and towns of the industrial revolution grasped the prospect of land acquisition and ownership on an unimaginable scale. Coming from societies where land ownership and landlords’ rights were at the heart of political power, they saw a continent without fences, without a trace of the feudal land laws that had moulded their home counties.

The cycle of land speculation began with the First Fleet and has continued unabated ever since. Land speculation has been central to the Australian experience and resulted for a while in the highest rate of owner-occupied housing in the world.

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About the author

Peter Spearritt

Peter Spearritt is a former executive director of The Brisbane Institute.His books include Sydney’s Century (University of NSW Press, 1999) and Holiday Business: Tourism in Australia since...

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