The Walsh Memorial Bequest Address delivered at Macquarie University School of Economics 27 May 1988 by MD Herps, FAIV, DipLaw (BAB), FSLE
[Doug Herps was Deputy Valuer-General, New South Wales, and consultant to the Commonwealth Grants Commission in connection
with Australia’s land values]
From the beginning of white settlement in Australia our forbears were confronted by the many problems of settling themselves into what was imagined to be an empty and hostile land. After the discovery of gold in the 1850s, however, the population rose dramatically and municipal problems multiplied. But the all important access to land was largely denied to many settlers because so much that was favourably situated or well watered and fertile had become locked up by the squatters, many of whom had gained possession, often illegally, of tracts as large as European principalities. What to do about this urgent social problem became the most pressing need of the second half of the nineteenth century.