A 'clique of insignificant cockies'?: an agricultural association in the tropics

Vidonja Balanzategui, Bianka (2019) A 'clique of insignificant cockies'?: an agricultural association in the tropics. Journal of Australian Colonial History, 21. pp. 103-120.

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Abstract

In tropical north Queensland in 1872, sugar planters took up large land selections on the banks of the Herbert River. Yet by 1914 a group of small selectors, ridiculed by sugar planters as little more than a 'clique of insignificant cockies', had transformed the industrial and social landscapes of tropical Australia in a way that had not been possible in other colonial sugar growing areas of the world. In Australia, historians have overlooked small sugar cane farmers' associations. This is despite a broader scholarship identifying the contribution of small farmer associations to the demise of plantation production and the development of farm-based central milling. This shift occurred in tropical north Queensland as a result of the formation and intervention of the Herbert River Farmers' Association (HRFA) in 1882 which was unique in the sugar growing world in representing small independent sugar farmers' interests. The HRFA enabled small farmers to be provocateurs and agents of change. It demonstrated the potential impact of farmer associations and propelled the Australian sugar industry - its industrial mode and organizational characteristics - into global and enduring prominence.

Item ID: 62288
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1441-0370
Keywords: sugar cane; small sugar cane farmers; agricultural associations; sugar cane planters; history
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Copyright Information: © University of New England School of Humanities.
Date Deposited: 08 May 2020 02:00
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2103 Historical Studies > 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australias Past @ 100%
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