Title Details


Examines the role of irrigation in Australia, the driest inhabited continent on earth.
Series : Australian Geography | Episode : 6 | Year : 1973 | Total Duration : 17 Minutes | Producer : Malcolm Otton
Director : Meg Stewart, Oliver Howes |
Aerials over Ord River, dam and surrounding landscape. The Hon. J T Tonkin, Premier of Western Australia gives speech at opening of the Ord River Project in 1972. Aerial of line of cars crossing top of dam wall. Unveiling the plaque at the opening of Ord River project by Tonkin and Prime Minister William McMahon. Map of location of the Ord River dam and comparing to the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area.
Access No. 87839 | 2 mins 29 secs | 1970s | Ord River, Kimberleys, WA | © NFSA | Colour |
Various aerials over Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area showing patchwork farm land, winding river, dry area with small farm dam, coloured squares of cultivated land. Aerial of Leeton with its circular streets. CU of Dethridge wheel which measures the flow of water to irrigate farmland. 1912 plan of Murrumbidgee Settlement showing land titles. Local farmer discusses soldier settler experiment after WWI.
Access No. 87859 | 1 min 3 secs | 1970s | Leeton, NSW, Australia. | © NFSA | Colour |
Archival footage of troops parade in Australia - including the 5th AIF, (1914 to 1918).WWI. Land clearing with large roller and tractor. Tractors ploughing field and men riding on the ploughs with dust rising. Shadow of cameraman with hand cranked camera in FG. Crops blowing in wind.
Access No. 87865 | 29 secs | 1920s | Australia | © NFSA | B&W |
Interview with farmer about soldier settler farming. Survey map of farms in Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area. Salt crystals and tilt up to salt plain with dead trees. Dethridge wheel releasing water. Laying earthenware pipes below root level to overcome salinity problems by carrying away excess water. Pumping away saline water into drains which feed into a swamp outside Griffith. Rice crop growing in MIA.
Access No. 87869 | 1 min 24 secs | 1970s | Griffith, Murrumbidgee Shire , NSW, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Men carrying ladders to hand pick oranges. Emptying canvas bags of fruit into bin and oranges rolling along conveyor belt. Peach trees being bulldozed because the farmers can't sell the produce to the canneries. Farmers talk to camera about their problems. Hon A J Grassby, Federal Member for Riverina says the market problems are temporary and stresses the importance of irrigation to the supply of food for the nation. Aerial over Ord River system including dam and spillway.
Access No. 87879 | 3 mins 27 secs | 1970s | Kimberleys, WA, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Dethridge wheel releasing water into irrigation canal. Farmer accessing water from canal using pieces of black piping. Water flows over dry cracked earth. Aerial of patchwork farmland of cotton crop in Ord River Scheme. Harvester towards camera through sorghum crop. Cattle feeding at troughs in a cattle station in Kimberleys. Harvesting cotton in Kimberleys. Road train of harvested cotton. Cotton processing plant. Bales of cotton for export to Asian markets on truck arriving at wharf in Western Australia. Crop duster planes flies low over crop.
Access No. 87896 | 2 mins 38 secs | 1970s | Kimberleys, WA, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Crop duster planes flies low over crop. Pilot of crop duster talks about DDT. Cotton weevil falling off cotton bud. Flock of black and white birds in flight. Two grey herons in flight. Ibis balancing on top of dead tree branch. Ecologist, Robert Beeton, from University of New England to camera about bird and insect pests for crops. Two black cockatoos in tree, one flies off. Winged insect waking across dry grass. CU of grasshopper face and goanna head Four furry caterpillars crawl head to tail across dry earth.
Access No. 87912 | 1 min 20 secs | 1970s | Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Aerial over Ord River area. Activity in county town of Kununurra. Group of Aborigines seated under tree, woman pushing pram with two toddlers. Slim Dusty brochure in shop window. Local resident to camera about the difficulties for the school because of the lack of community with a transient population. Young schoolchildren playing basketball, some Aboriginal.
Access No. 87936 | 1 min | 1970s | Kununurra, WA, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |
Teacher playing guitar and singing in primary school class room. Aerial Ord River spillway. Field of sunflowers. Irrigation sprayers and water running down irrigation canals. Children in class singing. CU of cotton buds on bush ready for harvest. Dethridge wheel and salt crusted earth of salt lakes. Aerials of Ord River System and patchwork farms.
Access No. 87948 | 1 min 55 secs | 1970s | Kimberleys, WA, Australia | © NFSA | Colour |