Economic Resources of New South Wales


    THE report of the curator, Mr. R. T, Baker, of the New South Wales Technological Museums for the year 1916 shows that these museums are accomplishing much useful work in adding to our knowledge of the economic resources of New South Wales and in securing the better utilisation of these resources. Increased attention is being given to the native timbers of the Colony, especially for the manufacture of furniture, and the museums staff has been able to assist in this direction by supplying technical information regarding the timbers and by adding to the exhibits numerous examples of Australian workmanship in home-grown timber. An elaborate illustrated monograph on the fishes of Australia and their technology was published during the year by Mr. T. C. Roughley. This is designed to meet the large demand that has arisen with the development of Australian fisheries for accurate information regarding the edible fishes of the country. The book also describes the methods in use in the New South Wales fishing industry. A good deal of research work has been accomplished in spite of the difficulties caused by the war, and the staff has taken part, either in an advisory or executive capacity, in several investigations arranged by the various committees that have been formed in Australia for the promotion of munition manufacture or the development of industrial and scientific research. These include an investigation of the use of grass-tree resins as a source of picric acid (New South Wales Munitions Committee) and an inquiry into the economic possibilities of posidonia fibre (Executive Committee of Science and Industry), two subjects which have long attracted attention both in this country and Australia. Perhaps the best known work of the museums is that on the eucalypts, and it is interesting to note that among the papers published during the year two more on this subject were included, the first on the eucalypts of South Australia and their essential oils, and the other on the essential oil of E. Macarthuri.

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    Economic Resources of New South Wales . Nature 101, 395 (1918).

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