Victoria has been the manufacturing centre of Australia for most of its history, although the economic importance of the sector has varied over the decades. In this section we describe the rise and fall of manufacturing in Victoria. We consider where particular industries developed and how that changed over time. We note the dominance of Melbourne as a centre of manufacturing in the twentieth century and how the location of industry shaped the city. Our focus throughout is the rising importance of secondary industry as a source of jobs in the period to 1951, and then the devastating impact of de-industrialisation on both workers and the city itself from the 1970s. Along the way we consider other themes, including working conditions in the factories, the growth of unions and the different jobs available to men and women.
Author: Margaret Anderson
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