Australia’s barely tapped resources

New South Wales, August 1929

A coal mine illustrates Colin Ross’s point about the antiquated technology used to mine Australia’s rich natural resources.

This visit to the Old Lamberton Colliery near Newcastle, New South Wales, is in character with an interest in industrial sites and engineering that goes back to the beginning of Ross’s career as a writer. It also underlines a larger point Ross is making about Australia. In the complete version of Achtung Australien! Achtung Asien! (1930), the voice-over to the sequence describes the equipment and technology used as “primitive” and “antiquated”. But, as Ross states, “the mine has so much potential, the coal seam so rich, the coal so good that nobody needs to overexert himself.”

This and other similar episodes (see: The “tiresome labor question”) are in keeping with Ross’s larger theme of Australia’s current population not making the most of the land they have taken. This puts a stress on the restrictive immigration policy, which bars white continental Europeans from staking out a living in Australia (see: A case against a White Australia).

Joachim Schätz  

Colin Ross. Australien Reise [archive title]
Excerpt from: Colin Ross. Achtung Australien! Achtung Asien! Das Doppelgesicht des Ostens. Germany: Ufa/Ullstein; 1930.

35mm | b&w | silent | 268m | 16 fps | 15’

Master:; 0:02:33,21-0:03:10,09

Clip: 0003-02-0139_Australien_Reise_X_OeFM_2016_H264-12Mbits-KFauto-CABAC_1440x1080_16fps_IsFormatOf_ProRes422HQ_3072x2160_24fps_00023321-00031009.mp4

Topic: Engineering
Case: Oceania-Asia trip 1928-30

See also

Scroll to page top