With one in three adult males out of work at the height of the Depression, there was a huge call on the government purse for social welfare payments. However, the Scullin government adopted a policy of belt-tightening in an attempt to redress the budget deficit. The records from this time demonstrate the fervent interaction between the government and its people.
Australia may no longer 'ride on the sheep's back' for economic prosperity, but primary industries remain a site for government intervention – mining, agriculture, fisheries and forestry.
While most manufacturing industries operate in the private sector, the government also plays a role. Skills training, legislation about conditions and safety, and the development of trade opportunities all nurture this sector.