Sydney was sitting on top of a argue amount of coal, which came near the surface around Wellington Newcastle and Litigator. Sydney began to supply coal to visiting ships, but the coal industry did not firmly establish until the 1 sass. In the first colonies demand was insufficient until the arrival of steam ships bringing the first free settlers, which stimulated population growth. The introduction of coal-fired mining machinery also sparked rapid growth. Britain saw Australia’s colonies mainly as a source of raw materials.
Before World War I coal and iron production in Australia was on a small scale, and most manufactured goods were imported from Britain. For example, by 1 890, of the 449 locomotives used in New South Wales, only 54 were made locally, and the rest were imported from Britain. In the nineteenth century, wool was by far the most important export. John and Elizabeth Macarthur played a major role in the wool industry’. They arrived in Australia in 1 790, and when Macarthur was sent back to England he received some Spanish Merino sheep, which were originally bred in Morocco.
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He then began breeding them selectively when he returned in 1805. It was the perfect time to set up a wool industry, as England was at war with Napoleon and needed a source of wool outside of Spain. By 1822, Macarthur was awarded a gold medal by the Society of Arts in London for importing 6804 kilograms of wool, and by 1847, Britain imported more wool from Australia than all of Europe combined. James Ruse arrived on the First Fleet and was believed to be the first wheat farmer in Australia.
The first major development of the wheat industry was in South Australia, where the soil suitable for growing was close to the sea, meaning it was also close to transport. From here it spread to Western Australia and Victoria. After the building of a road over the Blue Mountains in 1815 and the settlement of New South Wales, this also became a wheat-growing area. Mining of metals began in South Australia in 1842. The majority of miners were from Cornwall in England, because the tin mines in Cornwall had become unsuccessful.
Gold was discovered near New South Wales in 1851, and once the gold that had been found in rivers ran out, the skills of the Cornish copper miners from South Australia proved important in building underground mines. Rich goldfields were later discovered in Tasmania, Queensland and Western Australia. In the 1 8705, Australia became an important importer of tin with the discovery of the metal in Tasmania. Other metals mined by the end of the sass included copper in Queensland; lead, silver and zinc in New South Wales; and iron in South Australia.