The Report states that the population of Queensland continues to increase. In January 1947 it was estimated to be just over a million. There was an increase of 57,785. The population of Brisbane at the same time was 400,000 and the increase was 46,400. From these figures it seems that while the population of the State, excluding Brisbane, increased by less than 6 per cent the population of the capital city increased by more than 11 per cent. The Report remarks “ it is disturbing to find such a drift to the city as in the past Queensland had the lowest proportion of metropolitan population of any State except Tasmania.” “ Drift ” is the keyword to the statement just quoted. It suggests a sort of haphazard migration by twos and threes into the city with a corresponding decrease in the population of the countryside. This is surely not what the State of Queensland wishes to encourage. Queensland has an area of some six hundred and seventy thousand square miles and a population of a million and a half all told. Apart from mining and existing primary and secondary industries the State has unlimited pastoral and agricultural possibilities. With regard to agriculture, after allowing for districts difficult of access by present means of transport or naturally unsuitable, there remain great areas of excellent land only waiting for the plough to turn—things hoped for into things done. It is said in the Report that Queensland is “ the only place in the world where large numbers of white men continually perform hard manual labour without any coloured help whatsoever in a tropical climate.” Queensland is therefore a white man's country. It wants men who will go on the land and make good in some capacity or another. We judge that those who hanker after a town life are somewhat out of focus. Coloured labour is not wanted. Men from these islands would be welcome if suited by physique and by temperament for life on the land. Moreover they are followers of the political and social traditions common to the Australians and ourselves. In a word they would fit readily into the conditions of life they would find in Queensland. The alternative is to look for immigrants from Europe. From what the writer has seen in Europe and in the United States of such people, it seemed to him that they would require in many cases a good deal of licking into shape before they conformed to the social and other requirements of Anglo‐Saxon civilisation. It would in fact become a matter for the close attention of the Public Health Authorities. The administration of the Health Acts, 1937–46, and the local regulations based thereon, has always been limited in its scope due to the great area to be administered and with a staff, energetic and efficient as they undoubtedly are, are numerically unequal to the task. Thus in one case journeys of 4,000 miles had to be taken ; in another 7,700 miles and both by means of train, car, and boat. A mere recitation of the mileage covered is not the main point. Anyone living ten miles out of London and whose daily work takes him into London travels about the same distance every year, but the conditions of travel in the two are too obviously different to need more than passing mention. Hence visits by the health inspectors to the townships are short and “ in the country settled farming districts and small mining communities are entirely neglected and never receive assistance, advice, or any supervision.” It may be remarked that to the disadvantages arising from the shortage of technical help in the field must be added those due to shortage of labour and of materials of all kinds. The rat nuisance, perhaps danger is the better word, is always present. Control may be obtained here and there, but eradication is impossible. The Brisbane river frontages have had no rat proofing from 1941 to 1947. It is “ a big engineering job.” The war and shortages already referred to are the cause of the delay. Mosquito control is quite as urgent. The Government subsidy inaugurated in 1943 on a 50–50 basis by approved schemes of concreting, draining and so forth has up to date cost the Treasury £216,000—Brisbane has had about 70 per cent of this. The figure just given is a measure of the need for adequate control. The apparently high prevalence of malaria in the medical returns is largely due to the contraction of the disease by troops during their period of active service overseas.
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