National Geographic : 1963 Sep
he went on. "There are 14 companies making and assembling cars in Australia. Their po tential is about 400,000 vehicles a year. We've got more than 2,000,000 cars and 860,000 trucks now. Two out of every three Australian families own a car." The center of that industry is in Victoria. Ford is spending 30 million dollars on plant expansion (page 377). General Motors-Hol den's is spending 40 million. The millionth Holden-a 99-percent-Australian job-rolled off the assembly line last year. Holdens go to 48 overseas markets. Not bad for a state of 3,000,000 people. "Nearly 400,000 work in Victoria's facto ries now," Mr. Bolte continued. "This is the new Australia, and we're right along with her. Look at wool. It used to be said that our cities rode on the sheep's back. Well, wool has in creased 70 percent since the war, but today it's only a third of Australia's economy." Australia Attracts U. S. Investors Premier Bolte warmed to his subject in the lounge of Melbourne's comfortable Ho tel Windsor. Outside, electric trams clanged toward spacious Collins Street. Across Spring Street the Treasury Gardens glowed in the bright sunshine. "But Australia needs people," he said, "still more people, still more capital. We're getting both-100,000 newcomers a year, 300 million pounds of British capital these past few years. And U. S. investment here this year exceeds 100 million dollars." The truth of Premier Bolte's remarks struck me everywhere. Nance had found the same. "Places that were one-horse country towns even ten years ago are cities now," she told Superbly groomed horses wheel past a motionless line of mounted policemen at Sydney's Royal Easter Show. Bearing pennant-tipped lances, stock raisers parade while their cattle file by the grandstand. In some years the 10-day fair-Austral ia's biggest-draws 30,000 ag ricultural entries from New South Wales. In 1962 more than a million persons attended. Calf-back ballet: Riders bob in unison to stay atop bucking calves during the Easter rodeo. me. "Like Dandenong. When I was small, we used to go to Sunday-school picnics there on a horse-drawn farm wagon. I only vaguely remember that there was a town. Now it has everything but parking meters. It looks as if it's all just jumped there." We were glad to find a fine national parks system that keeps many lovely parts of Vic toria for nature. Nance and Katherine-our daughter, aged 17, taking a term off from school in Oxford-were enthusiastic about Mount Buffalo National Park, where they had spent the past two weeks. "The bush always meant a lot to me," said Nance. "When I was growing up in a Mel bourne suburb, the whole family used to go off camping together-anywhere, but prefer ably in the hills. That's what I really remem ber-the rolling land and the gum trees, the fern gullies and the mountain streams. Some times we'd see a dancing lyrebird, or koalas sleeping in high trees. They were marvelous. So was the bush, and the wonderful smell of it after rain. This was my favorite Australia. "It's pushed out farther now, but you can still get to it. I saw a lyrebird last week near Mount Buffalo. I saw the snows of the Great Divide, around Kosciusko way. We went ski ing at Falls Creek, and skated on a lake. I hadn't realized that the southeast was such a good place for winter sports." Neither had I. It was a surprise to learn that Australia has a larger area of snow than Switzerland; winter sports flourish (page 353). This was very noticeable in the Snowy Mountains area-another of Premier Bolte's recommendations, though it lies mainly in New South Wales. Both the Snowy Mountains and the Ord River schemes have to do with KODACHROMESBY ROBERTB. GOODMAN (OPPOSITE) AND J. BAYLOR ROBERTS, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC STAFF © N.G.S.