SOUVENIR-CHARTERS TOWERS, 1872 TO JULY.
The Citrus and Grape Industry
(By Robert H. Davies.)
THE surrounding district of Charters Towers is ideally suitable for the
production of citrus fruit and
grapes and there is available to those seeking the healthy out-door
occupation of orchardist or viticulturist, plenty of land of the
desirable sand-loam nature. The cultivation of these fruits has been a
profitable undertaking in the Charters Towers and Pentland districts,
and along both the Burdekin and Cape Rivers there is ample land for the
extension of this valuable industry.
Climatically, the conditions are ideal for the production of citrus
fruits and grapes, whilst the rainfall is ample and regular, the
average being 25 inches annually. Land may be taken up by any
person upwards of eighteen years of age under the Miners Homestead
Perpetual Lease at an annual rental of £4/16/- per square
mile. Water, which is vitally
necessary in our dry hot atmosphere, is in abundant supply to the south
of the city at depths of not more than 12 feet, while the Broughton
River, whose name has provided the open sesame to the constant and
profitable sales of our fruits, has water at or close to the
surface of its sandy bed, all the year round.
Concerning future markets for our fruit production, it may be quite
some while before the immediate market in the north of our State is
supplied, and if the future should see more citrus and grape
production, then we have an inexhaustible demand for these from
our near neighbours in the East Indies, Malaya, Burma and even China,
without forgetting a large consumer-country, India.
The facilities for transport of the fruits are quite good, being either
by road, rail, or air. The quality of them has earned for this district
an enviable reputation for their bright colouring and bloom, with a
delicious flavoured flesh, and wherever exhibited in open
competition have earned the favours and open praise of the
adjudicator. A short while ago, culminating from a
Government conducted experiment with various types of grapes at a
local orchard, it has been found that there are early season,
mid-season, and late-season grapes that can be profitably produced
here, and the production of these varieties of grapes, in addition
to the income derived from citrus-growing, would considerably
augment his prosperity.
In conclusion, if the foregoing words should prove of interest to
anyone imbuid with the idea of land-seeking, then they would be
well-advised to come here and make enquiries, and to do so would mean
another settler to add to our agricultural community.
Exports From Charters Towers For The Year Ended January, 1949
Citrus, 8415 cases; Cabbage 913 bags; Cauliflowers, 427 bags;
Cucumbers, 792 cases; Grapes, 985 cases; Mangoes, 579 cases.