In Australia, the decade from 1957 was generally dry with parts of Australia being affected to varying degrees. Eastern Australia experienced the greatest severity of reduced rainfall from 1965 to 1968. The first six months in 1967 were the driest January - June period for the 20th century over large areas of Victoria, south-eastern South Australia, and north-eastern Tasmania. Parts of south-western Victoria were declared drought areas as limited rain and extremely dry conditions continued from mid-September. Crops were depleted and large numbers of stock were moved from western Victoria to Gippsland and parts of NSW. In Melbourne, 1967 remains the driest year in 140 years of records. The drought lingered in Victoria until March 1968 when relief came from rains in late April and May. December 1968 experienced generally greater rainfall across the states which ended the drought.

Seasonal conditions directly impacted upon changes in the national livestock market and resulted in fluctuating sales at Newmarket. Water conservation signage such as the one in the Newmarket Collection highlights an awareness of water conservation as drought conditions were experienced throughout the State of Victoria.


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