A short history of the catchment settlement

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Book Chapter

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Hundloe, T., & Wenner, M. (2012). A short history of the catchment settlement. In T. Hundloe & C. Crawford (Eds.), The Value of Water in a Drying Climate (pp. 119- 133). Collingwood, Australia: CSIRO Publishing.

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2012 HERDC submission. FoR code: 050205

© Copyright Tor Hundloe & Christine Crawford, 2012





As already noted, our catchment has a human history of some significance – feeding approximately one-tenth of the Indigenous Tasmanian population for millennia. Of this we know little, and so it will remain indefinitely. There are no history books to read. However, it is for our research, at the very least, to sketch the available history of the catchment, because history does matter, and there is invariably what economists call ’path dependence’ - what occurs today can be traced to what happened yesterday, the day before and the day before that, going back to some earlier ’tipping point’ in history. The catchment could have remained a natural area, with no land clearing, no farming, nothing but nature. If that had been the case we would not have spent three years studying the catchment- at least for the reasons we did. It would have been very interesting to have ventured into it in its pristine state. Of course, no sooner do we write that but we recognise that we cannot exclude the role of the Indigenous people in shaping the landscape and utilising its resources. Humans in some small way have placed their footprint on the catchment for tens of thousands of years.

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