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National Museum of Australia

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Collection Explorer

4

Reg Dunn's pushbike

Object information

Physical description

Man's bicycle with traces of red and black paint on the frame. It is fitted with; drop handlebars, inverted to an upright position, with a bell and lamp bracket attached to them; a steel pedal (the one on the left side is missing); white metal mudguards; and a black leather saddle (perished). The bicycle is generally rusty, dusty and the paint is very worn.

Statement of significance

The Irrigation (Deniliquin and Tatura) Collection consists of a range of objects relating to the practice of irrigation in the areas of Deniliquin (NSW) and Tatura (Vic).

Australia is the driest inhabited continent. In the face of this environment, Australia has developed agricultural production through utilising limited water resources via irrigation and other schemes. Irrigation accounts for 25-30 per cent of Australia's gross value of agricultural output. The collection objects are all from the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB), and the MDB accounts for 71.1 per cent of Australia's irrigated crops and pastures. About 74 per cent of all water used in Australia is for irrigation. The collection illustrates a number of significant aspects of the irrigation industry and the distribution and use of water in irrigation areas. It also reflects changes that have occurred and are continuing to occur in an industry which represents a major slice of Australian agriculture and food production. Some of the processes and activities represented by the objects are now redundant or obsolete, and the objects help to capture a significant time period in Australia's irrigation history which has now passed. Water is one of the biggest issues facing Australia, and problems like salinity (which irrigation has in part contributed to) are major concerns. How to sustain agricultural production based on irrigation is a challenge for Australians.

Object information

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