The 'Federation drought'
During the late 1880s and early 1890s, the outback areas of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia were heavily overstocked. Large numbers of settlers had arrived in the previous 30 years. Their methods of farming led to a loss of vegetative cover and erosion, and many native edible plant species vanished with devastating consequences. Between 1895 and 1903 there was a major drought that affected most of the country, and became known as the 'Federation drought'.
Sketches of drought-affected areas in New South Wales are depicted
in 'On the road from Hay to Booligal', 1889
(State Library of Victoria, mp005590)