The promotion of closer settlement in the Australian state of Victoria between 1898 and 1914 was viewed as a panacea to many of the problems that beset the state. The region known as the Western District of Victoria was seen as particularly suitable for the application of land re-settlement policy. The study of this region highlights several important features of the closer settlement experiment in Victoria. First, it illustrates how the basic principles of closer settlement were used to further the interests of particular groups. Second, it highlights the flaws in foundations of the Closer Settlement Act which impacted on the settlers chances of success. And thirdly it points to the disastrous implications of policy implementation that paid little attention to the geographical and economic parameters governing the outcome of farming enterprises.
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