Our cadastral Surveyors working near Taroom found this historic monument on private land near the corner of three original portions created after World War 2 for soldier settlement. Land was balloted to returned soldiers in the 1950’s.
The government wanted to increase agricultural production so needed more farmers. Balloting land removed the greatest barrier for those wanting to be farmers – the cost of agricultural land.
Outside the large land development schemes (e.g. the Fitzroy Basin Brigalow development scheme and the Emerald Irrigation Area) scheme, most Crown agricultural land was available, only by ballot, and only landless men with limited financial resources were eligible to apply.
Winning a ballot meant winning the right to lease a block of land. However once the residential condition (living on the land) was met usually 5 to 7 years, and the ongoing development conditions had been complied with, the ballotter could sell the lease as if it was his own land, continue to lease it, or purchase it, depending on legislation. He had land! The joys and challenges are captured by a Wandoan Soldier Settler: ‘you won a piece of dirt which otherwise you never would have been able to acquire, but that’s where the lottery part of it finished, and it was all hard work from there on’.
This is one of the pleasures of being a Surveyor, often stumbling upon interesting little pieces of history that shaped our past.
Survey Plan – FT575 showing the survey of Portions 35, 36 and 37 in the Parish of Hinchley, County of Fortescue.
Photo 1 – brass plaque
Photo 2 – stone monument under a tree