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The Great Depression in Australia

[How it began, financial status of Australia] [Social climate in Australia, Australia's political influences] [How it ended, its legacy and impact on later Australia]

Public Account

on 9 September 2013

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Transcript of The Great Depression in Australia

The Great Depression in Australia
Australia prior to the Great Depression
Very fluctuant economically due to WW1
Three main factors that caused the Great Depression in Australia
A fall in export prices and sales

A fall in overseas loans leading to a reduction in government capital spending

A fall in residential construction

The Links from Thursday's Child
Thursdays Child was based after the first world war, during the Great Depression. The book is to show the difficulties and the struggles families went through in that time. Soldiers that returned from war were given land, like the father in the story, the quality of the land will determine if your family has money or not (In this case not). Australia, being hit by the depression hard, put the majority of the country in poverty and made it extremely hard to get out of poverty. In the story, Tin's gold nugget saves the family from poverty, something almost none of the people at the time managed to do.r
What is the Great Depression?
Almost 21 percent of Australians were jobless during the peak of the Depression
How the Great Depression was resolved in Australia
The federal government has very limited power at the time and Australia had no leader to pull them out of the depression, instead the depression in Australia was solved by Manufacturers. After the outbreak of the second world war, the demand for products became much higher, the country's manufacturers needed to supply goods such as guns and ammunition for the war effort, this pulled Australia out of the depression and got its economy started again. The effects of the depression wasn't all negative, even today we know the importance of managing money and taking care of valuables.
Britain's sluggish economy has started taking its toll on Australia due to lack of import demand.

Projects started before the depression had to be delayed due to the lack of money from the government.

It was a time of hardship and difficulty
High unemployment, poverty, low profits, deflation, plunging incomes, and lost opportunities for economic growth and personal advancement
Most western countries were put in a 'halt' in terms of development
How it affected the Australian economy
The great depression caused several upsets to the economical power and the social balance of Australia. Australia's government could no longer gain capital to ease the impacts of the great depression on the people nor could it borrow any more money from Britain. Unemployment rates soon flew high and people could not pay rents or get food for their families. They could not borrow from banks either because the banks also relied heavily upon overseas investment.
Very quickly the economy fell and wages fell. The people who were still employed could not sustain the walk of life they originally had and were quickly put into poverty. Although the rich people before the great depression had no problems what-so-ever the middle and lower paid groups took the whole force of the great depression. During the hardest times of the great depression the state governments all introduced the 'susso' as it was called. The susso was a card which was a sort of currency which allowed the people to buy food. However the amount was also limited and some states such as Victoria had the people work for the susso cards.
Apart from living standards dropping, school leavers had no more opportunities and many hardships were faced by the whole community. It was a very bad time for the economy of Australia and for the people of Australia during those times.
The social atmosphere during the Great Depression
Large percentages unemployment rates

Abundance of financially unstable individuals caused social unrest and shut down numerous large businesses

No money and poverty everywhere

Deaths from starvation

Volatile relationship between citizens and the government
Political impact on Australia
Jack Scullin voted into Parliament in 1929

Citizens wanted change of their Labour Party Prime Minister after Australia went into a state of Depression

Scullin introduced new policies to try solve the depression, like the Premiers' Plan that reduced government spending, increased taxes and decreased bank interests

Lyons government voted into the position of Prime Minister in 1932

Immediately paid back all overseas and national debts

Opposition leader, Jack Lang, tried to intercept these payments because he believed in the debt default

Breached one of the laws regarding government financial accounts, sacked in 1932

Australia's big businesses changed from agriculture to manufacture
Cultural reformations within Australia in the 1930s
Emergence of Donald Bradman

21 years old and broke world record in FC cricket, getting a score of 452 not out in 1930

Phar Lap dominated Australian racing industry, winning 14 races in a row at its peak

Died mysteriously, suspected that Phar Lap was poisoned in 1932

The Third British Empire Games was held at Sydney in 1938
Full transcript