It couldn’t last. Wheat and wool prices started to drop, British investors withdrew their capital making huge losses, unemployment rose, the price of land and houses crashed and in 1893 the banking system also crashed. NSW and Victoria were worst hit but the depression lasted in the cities till Federation in 1900.
Meanwhile in western NSW and central Queensland a drought caused havoc in the wool industry in marginal areas. We looked at the Shearers Strike of 1891 aided by some great folksongs of the era to gauge the effects on the working class shearers. Strike breakers were brought in, men on the wharves went on strike and police numbers were increased to control huge camps of shearers. Although the strike failed after many weeks, it resulted in the formation of the first Labour Party in the world whose aim was to represent working families and the campaign to get working class men to register to vote.