04 February 2008

Goyder's Line

The Weekend Australian Magazine published a story "Where Goyder made his mark" by Jamie Walker about the travails of farmers in the mid and upper north of South Australia.

Drought persists and there is concern that
Goyder's Line is shifting southwards from the position it has held since it was first defined in the 1860s, by G W Goyder , the SA Surveyor -General of the time.

Last July, on the way home from my trip north, I travelled across some of those areas. Most of them ooked green from afar, thanks to early season rain, yet on closer inspection the ground was hard and the crops, which hadn't had the follow up rains they required, didn't look to have the makings of a bountiful harvest. Things don't seem to have changed much since then.

The print version of The Weekend Australian article is accompanied by some good illustrations: the online version (click Jamie Walker link above) has a slide show which is worth looking at. Last year ABC RN's
Hindsight also broadcast a program about the line: neither transcript nor podcast is available but the program website includes an image gallery.

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