Selection referred to "free selection before survey" of crown land in some Australian colonies under land legislation introduced in the 1860s. These acts were intended to encourage closer settlement, based on intensive agriculture, such as wheat-growing, rather than extensive agriculture, such as wool production. Selectors often came into conflict with squatters, who already occupied the land and often managed to circumvent the law.
Crown land, also known as royal domain or demesne, is a territorial area belonging to the monarch, who personifies the Crown. It is the equivalent of an entailed estate and passes with the monarchy, being inseparable from it. Today, in Commonwealth realms such as Canada and Australia, crown land is considered public land and is apart from the monarch's private estate.
Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.
The Robertson Land Acts allowed those with limited means to acquire land. With the stated intention of encouraging closer settlement and fairer allocation of land by allowing 'free selection before survey', the Land Acts legislation was passed in 1861. The relevant acts were named the Crown Lands Alienation Act and Crown Lands Occupation Act. The application of the legislation was delayed until 1866 in inland areas such as the Riverina where existing squatting leases were still to run their course. In any case severe drought in the Riverina in the late 1860s initially discouraged selection in areas except those close to established townships. Selection activity increased with more favourable seasons in the early 1870s.
The Crown Lands Acts 1861 (NSW) were introduced by the New South Wales Premier, John Robertson, in 1861 to reform land holdings in New South Wales and in particular to break the squatters' domination of land tenure. The Acts allowed free selection of crown land and made redundant the limits of location, which limited sale of land to the Nineteen Counties which had applied since 1826.
The Riverina is an agricultural region of South-Western New South Wales (NSW), Australia. The Riverina is distinguished from other Australian regions by the combination of flat plains, warm to hot climate and an ample supply of water for irrigation. This combination has allowed the Riverina to develop into one of the most productive and agriculturally diverse areas of Australia. Bordered on the south by the state of Victoria and on the east by the Great Dividing Range, the Riverina covers those areas of New South Wales in the Murray and Murrumbidgee drainage zones to their confluence in the west.
Both selectors and squatters used the broad framework of the Land Acts to maximise their advantages in the ensuing scramble for land. There was a general manipulation of the system by squatters, selectors and profiteers alike. The legislation secured access to the squatter's land for the selector, but thereafter effectively left him to fend for himself. Amendments passed in 1875 sought to remedy some of the abuses perpetrated under the original selection legislation.
However discontent was rife and a political shift in the early 1880s saw the setting up of a commission to inquire into the effects of the land legislation. The Morris and Ranken committee of inquiry, which reported in 1883, found that the number of homesteads established was a small percentage of the applications for selections under the Act, especially in areas of low rainfall such as the Riverina and the lower Darling River. The greater number of selections were made by squatters or their agents, or by selectors unable to establish themselves or who sought to gain by re-sale. The gaining of lands through agents—often old people who willed the land to the squatter—was known as dummying.The Crown Lands Act of 1884, introduced in the wake of the Morris-Ranken inquiry, sought to compromise between the integrity of the large pastoral leaseholds and the political requirements of equality of land availability and closer settlement patterns. The Act divided pastoral runs into Leasehold Areas (held under short-term leases) and Resumed Areas (available for settlement as smaller homestead leases) and allowed for the establishment of local Land Boards.
The Darling River is the third longest river in Australia, measuring 1,472 kilometres (915 mi) from its source in northern New South Wales to its confluence with the Murray River at Wentworth, New South Wales. Including its longest contiguous tributaries it is 2,844 km (1,767 mi) long, making it the longest river system in Australia.
By 1890, 37,000,000 acres (150,000 km2) had been transferred by selection, but over half of it was owned by 677 people. Although a major purpose of the legislation was to encourage cropping, only 330,000 acres (1,300 km2) were being used for wheat-growing in 1890.
By 1859 only 343,916 acres of the land of the colony of Victoria had been alienated.
The Victorian Parliament passed Land Acts in 1860, 1862and 1869, which offered settlers land within defined agricultural areas. Settlers paid for half of an allotment on selection at a uniform price of £1 per acre and paid rent on the other half for usually 7 years. By the end of the period, to obtain title to the land, settlers would have had to pay the balance of the purchase price and make certain improvements.
In South Australia Premier Henry Strangways passed the Strangways Land Act in January 1869 despite conflict with pastoralists, which provided for the creation of agricultural areas and credit purchases of up to 640 acres (259 ha), with a down payment of 25 per cent and four years to pay.
Steele Rudd (Arthur Davis) wrote a series of comic novels on rural life, starting with On Our Selection (1899), about Dad, Mother and Dave Rudd of Snake Gully. The Rudds had four (or six) acres in Darling Downs, Queensland. The novels were made into films and a radio series.
The Homestead Acts were several laws in the United States by which an applicant could acquire ownership of government land or the public domain, typically called a "homestead.” In all, more than 160 million acres (0.65 million km2) of public land, or nearly 10% of the total area of the U.S., was given away free to 1.6 million homesteaders; most of the homesteads were west of the Mississippi River.
Junee is a medium-sized town in the Riverina region of New South Wales, Australia. The town's prosperity and mixed services economy is based on a combination of agriculture, rail transport, light industry and government services, and in particular correctional services. In 2015 Junee's urban population was 6,230.
A pastoral lease is an arrangement used in both Australia and New Zealand where Crown land is leased by government generally for the purpose of grazing on rangelands.
Dundullimal Homestead is an heritage-listed former pastoral station and now cultural facility, house museum and events centre. The Australian colonial slab hut-type homestead is located approximately 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) south of Dubbo in the Dubbo Regional Council local government area of New South Wales, on Obley Road, set on the bank of the Macquarie River. The homestead was built in c. 1842 by John Maughan and is also known as Dundullimal. The property is owned by National Trust of Australia, NSW branch. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 1 March 2002, and is listed on the Register of the National Estate.
Sir John Robertson, was an Australian politician and Premier of New South Wales on five occasions. Robertson is best remembered for land reform and in particular the Robertson Land Acts of 1861, which sought to open up the selection of Crown land and break the monopoly of the squatters.
The Native Title Act 1993 is a law passed by the Australian Parliament the purpose of which is "to provide a national system for the recognition and protection of native title and for its co-existence with the national land management system". The Act was passed by the Keating Government following the High Court's decision in Mabo v Queensland (1992). The Act commenced operation on 1 January 1994.
Graman is a small village nestled on the banks of Graman Creek, 40 km northwest of Inverell and 25 km from Ashford in Inverell Shire, New South Wales, Australia. The village is situated on the Inverell to Yetman road at elevation of about 606 metres. Graman is in Arrawatta County.
A leasehold valuation tribunal (LVT) was a statutory tribunal in England which determined various types of landlord and tenant dispute involving residential property in the private sector. An LVT consisted of a panel of three; one with a background in property law ; one with a background in property valuation generally a qualified surveyor; and a layman, although some decisions of an LVT were decided by a single member. LVTs were non-departmental public bodies.
Barham is a town in the western Riverina district of New South Wales, Australia. The town is located 823 kilometres south west of the state capital, Sydney and 303 kilometres north west of Melbourne. Situated on the banks of the Murray River across from Koondrook in the neighbouring state of Victoria, Barham had a population of 1,159 at the 2016 census. The town is in the Murray River Council local government area.
In Australian history, a squatter was typically a man, either a free settler or ex-convict, who occupied a large tract of Crown land in order to graze livestock. Initially often having no legal rights to the land, they gained its usage by being the first settlers in the area. Eventually, the term squattocracy, a play on "aristocracy", developed to refer to some of these squatters.
Soldier settlement refers to the settlement of land throughout parts of Australia by returning discharged soldiers under schemes administered by the state governments after World Wars I and II.
Cuppacumbalong is an historic homestead located near the southern outskirts of Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory. It is also the name of a former 4,000-acre (16 km2) sheep and cattle grazing property that surrounded the homestead near the junction of the Murrumbidgee and Gudgenby Rivers. The word Cuppacumbalong is Aboriginal in origin and means 'meeting of the waters'. One of the property's early owners Leopold Fabius Dietegen Fane De Salis made a noteworthy contribution to political life during colonial times and furthermore, Cuppacumbalong has strong connections to the life of William Farrer, the father of the Australian wheat industry.
Henry Dangar was a surveyor and explorer of Australia in the early period of British colonisation. He became a successful pastoralist and businessman, and also served as a magistrate and politician. He was born on 18 November 1796 at St Neot, Cornwall, United Kingdom, and was the first of six brothers to emigrate as free settlers to New South Wales.
Bowes Station is a pastoral lease and sheep station located in the Mid West region of Western Australia.
Lemontree is a locality in the Toowoomba Region local government area of the Darling Downs in Queensland, Australia. The northeastern boundary is aligned with the Condamine River. The main occupation is raising sheep, beef cattle and fodder. At the 2016 Australian Census, Lemontree and surrounds recorded a population of 45.
Peter Fitzallan MacDonald was a Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly.
The Selector's Hut is a heritage-listed hut at 20 Upper Camp Mountain Road, Camp Mountain, Moreton Bay Region, Queensland, Australia. It is also known as Marks' Hut. It was built c. 1870 by George Atthow. It was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 3 December 2007.
Soldier Settler House is a heritage-listed homestead at Gladstone-Monto Road, Ubobo, Gladstone Region, Queensland, Australia. It was built in 1920. It is also known as Hecstanvale. It was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 28 September 2001.
The Strangways Land Act was legislation enacted in January 1869 in South Australia to enable closer settlement in areas of the province suited to more intensive agriculture rather than vast pastoral runs on uncleared land leased from the government. It is named for Henry Strangways who was premier and attorney-general when the legislation was passed, and had previously been the Minister for Crown Lands.