“And of course there were ignitions by the fistful. Lightning kindled some fires, but most emanated from a register of casual incendiarists that reads like a roster of rural Australia: settlers, graziers, prospectors, splitters, mineworkers, arsonists, loggers and mill bushmen, hunters looking to drive game, fishermen hoping to open up the scrub around the streams, foresters unable to contain controlled burns, bush residents seeking to ward off wildfire by protective fire, travellers and transients of all kinds.
During the early growth of the industrial revolution, the great steel snake spread rapidly to open up the country for access and trade. Railways were pivotal in connecting the nation. Where the railways went, towns prospered. They became the lifeblood between the country and the cities. Wool, coal, grain and milk were transported to markets in ways never before possible.… Read more