Land Systems of Australasia

Land Systems of Australasia

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Land Systems of Australasia

Land Systems of Australasia

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Excerpt

The aim of these pages is to place before political thinkers an outline of the methods which govern the use and alienation of the public lands of the Australasian colonies. In these days of land tenure reform, land nationalisation, single tax, progressive land tax, and other theories for the amelioration of existing social conditions, any information tending to throw light on these and cognate subjects should be of value especially where it is in the direction of experience gained. The intention from the outset, has been rather to state facts than to express opinions, in the belief that a concise statement of the various systems, with a short disinterested analysis as far as it is possible of the results attained, would be of far greater value than a whole sheaf of individual ideas.

It is specially hoped by the writer that his work may be of some value to his fellow colonists. A journalistic experience in three of the provinces has shown that the people generally know very little of their own laws and less about those of their neighbours; which statement applies even to many of the most prominent politicians. This want of knowledge may be due in part perhaps to the absence of literature bearing on the question. Yet the subject of the disposal of the public lands is of the most vital importance to the people of a new country. It is in their power thoughtlessly to raise up barriers to the happiness and progress of millions who may follow them, and a study of the land legislation here outlined of one at least of the colonies will show that, even at this early period, the baneful affects of past unwise action are manifesting themselves in a marked degree. How much more then will this be apparent in another half century, when our children and our children's children will be reaping the harvest of the heedlessness of our fathers and ourselves?

It is a difficult task to compress into the small space comprised within these pages a comprehensive statement of the intricate land systems of seven distinct provinces. Much . . .

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