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Global Industry, Local Innovation: The History of Cane Sugar Production in Australia, 1820-1995

Peter Griggs

Australia is currently the second largest exporter of raw sugar after Brazil, and one of the world’s top five sugar exporters. This book tells the story of how the Australian cane sugar industry grew into a major global supplier of sugar, how it became a significant innovator in the technology associated with the growing and harvesting of sugar cane as well as the production and transport of sugar. It describes the spread of sugar cane growing along the north-eastern coast of Australia during the late nineteenth century, and how subsequent twentieth-century expansions were tightly regulated in order to avoid overproduction. It examines changes in agricultural techniques, efforts to combat pests and diseases, breeding new cane varieties and the significance of improvements in the sugar milling and refining processes. Special attention is also devoted to documenting how sugar production changed the landscape of north-eastern coastal Australia. Topics considered include deforestation, soil erosion, loss of wetlands associated with drainage improvements, the introduction of fauna to control insect pests affecting the crops of sugar cane and mining the coral of the Great Barrier Reef to produce agricultural lime. It is the first comprehensive account of the history of the Australian cane sugar industry.


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Index 867


867 A Key to the Field Identifi cation of Sugar Cane Diseases, 571 Abbotsford Mill, 93 Abergowrie, 292, 297 Abergowrie Scheme, 299, 300, 659 Aborigines: as canecutters, 630, 631, 633, 635, 637; as fi eld labourers, 84, 88, 341; attacks on sugar plantations, 1, 49; employed by Fairymead Sugar Co. Ltd., 630; gather seed from legume crops on Palm Island, 354 Acclimatisation Society, Queensland, 147, 148, 474; see also Q. 813 cane variety A.C.F. and Shirleys Fertilisers Ltd., 357, 371, 372, 373 acid sulphate soils, 440–441, 836 Acts of Parliament: Australia: Australian Industries Preservation Act (1906), 257 Commercial Activities Act (1919), 773 Custom Tariff (Sugar Duties) Act (1922), 775 Excise Tariff Act (1902), 58 Excise Tariff Act (1905), 59 National Water Resources Assistance Act (1978), 436 Pacifi c Islanders Act (1901), 58, 91 Sugar Bounty Act (1903), 59 Sugar Bounty Act (1905), 59 Sugar Bounty Act (1910), 60–61 Sugar Bounty Act (1912), 62 Sugar Agreement Act (1935), 785 Sugar Rebate Abolition Act (1903), 59 War Precautions Act (1914), 773 New South Wales: Clean Air Act (1961), 740 Clean Waters Act (1970), 740 New South Wales Grant (Flood Mitigation) Act (1974), 436 Plant Diseases Act (1924), 574 Water and Drainage Act (1902), 400 Water Act (1912), 400 Queensland: Bonded Distilleries and Bonded Sugar Houses Act (1872), 232 Clean Air Act (1963), 738 Clean Waters Act (1971), 735 Crown Lands Alienation Act (1868), 44 Discharged Soldiers’ Settlement Act (1917), 274 Diseases in Plants Act (1929), 575, 586 Imported Sugar Refi ners...

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