How was Australia affected by depression in 1920’s?
Australia was one of the countries deeply affected by the Depression.
This was due to the fact that Australia heavily depended on the imports, trade and investment intake from overseas. The economy was already unstable and was in trouble during the 1920's. The wealth of the economy was only based on the high prices of Australia's exports and primary products, a growing volume of exports and a continued stream of investments into Australia. Any serious reduction to the price and volume of exports and reduction of overseas loans would cause problems.
An indication of danger was Australia's large and rapidly increasing overseas interest bill. By the late 1920's, the prices of Australian's exports were also falling. With the continuation of the declining price, Australia would have a difficult struggle to pay for its imports and repayment of loans. Australia was affected so severely as its primary source of income was taken away. Employees in public works, building and construction lost their jobs, as loans were no longer being funded for these projects. This also reduced the demand for goods produced in other industries. Australia's workmen had a severe lost of jobs and wages.
How was the government responding and assisting the population?
Those who were unemployed were entitled to the application of the 'susso', a sustenance or dole payment.
A person seeking this assistance had to register and demonstrate that they had been unemployed for at least the previous two weeks. Payment was on a family basis, firstly in the form of rations, and then a cash order system was introduced. Those who had to queue for the dole were humiliated; most states didn't provide cash but merely food coupons.
For married men, pick and shovel construction work could be available. The cash payment they received was often below the basic wage. Water towers, railways, roads, sewerage and water systems were built. Sustenance workers were paid lower than the award wage. Refusal of work on a relief project made a man immediately ineligible for the...