El Arish North Queensland

Places, Faces and Events of an Historical Soldier Settlement town

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Original Returned Soldier Settlers

The opportunity to become a farmer was made available under "The Returned Soldiers' Settlement Act of 1917" and ballots were granted from April 1922.  Each soldier received an entitlement of:

  • one of the blocks of land, of around 50 acres, which had been surveyed to have equal amounts of standing scrub:
  • advice and assistance to clear and plant the first ten acres of his block with sugar cane;
  • the amount of £625 for use in building a house and purchasing supplies and tools in order to prepare his farm for planting.

The cost of planting was about £30 per acre and there were about 3,000 cane plants per acre, all of which were planted by hand.  Some cane was even grown in the large stubborn tree stumps.