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Australia Decoded
'S-5'


Snow Gum

Snow Gum on Mount Kosciuszko, NSW



small scurf-peaCullen parvum (formerly known as Psoralea parva), a squat perennial herb with stems that more or less trail along the ground and that may reach 50cm long. The stems bear leaves made of up to three leaflets, each up to 2.5cm long, at the end of a long leaf stalk. Small bluish-white, lilac or pink 'pea' flowers occur at the ends of erect flowering stalks present on the trailing stems. The fruit is small and covered in dense white hairs. The small scurf-pea is generally associated with alluvial plains, creeks, ephemeral pools and river channels. It has also been reported from artificial drains and other disturbed sites. It grows in grassy woodland or open forest vegetation dominated by species of Eucalyptus, or in grasslands. The small scurf-pea occurs naturally only in Australia. In South Australia, the species is distributed in the Eyre Yorke Block and Flinders Lofty Block Interim Biogeographic Regions from the vicinity of Peterborough to Adelaide. It is also known from the Victorian Volcanic Plain, South East Corner and Riverina IBRA regions in Victoria, and in the Riverina, NSW South Western Slopes and South Eastern Highlands IBRA regions in New South Wales. The small scurf-pea has been the subject of ex-situ cultivation in botanic gardens, and is reported to have been successfully grown in the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra and at the Melbourne Botanical Garden). The species was reintroduced to Yarra Bend Park in 1995 at a reconstructed wetland. The small scurf-pea is listed as endangered in New South Wales under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, threatened in Victoria under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (as Psoralea parva), and vulnerable in South Australia under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 (under the family Leguminosae).

small-eyed snakesmall-eyed snakeCryptophis nigrescens, found in eastern Australia from southern Cape York Peninsula, Queensland to Victoria. Its venom is strongly myotoxic, and it is considered potentially dangerous; apply first aid and seek urgent medical attention for all suspected bites. The small-eyed snake is found in rainforests, wet and dry eucalypt forests and heaths, agricultural and grazing lands, in coastal areas from Cooktown to the Queensland-New South Wales border. To 1m long, glossy dark grey to black; belly commonly pinkish with a line of dark grey spots, but occasionally cream with grey blotches.

smallgoods—delicatessen meats.

smarmy—ingratiating; full of false charm, affection and flattery.

smarten up—improve one's performance: e.g., He'd better smarten up or he'll be fired.

Smarties—M&Ms.

smash-and-grab—swift robbery, such as by smashing a store window and escaping with the goods.

smash-up—a severe collision, as between two vehicles.

smasher—attractive, excellent person or thing.

smashing—great; wonderful; excellent.

smell like a brewery horse's blurt—to have an extremely offensive odour.

smelly—a fart.

Smithton peppermintEucalyptus nitida, a eucalypt which is native to eastern Australia. In south-west Tasmania it is often seen growing in thickets along the backs of rivers and in the floors of valleys amidst environments otherwise dominated by heathland. It is by far the most common eucalypt on the poor soils of south-west Tasmania. Eucalyptus nitida is a fast growing, spreading, fine-leaved evergreen tree. Its glossy narrow leaves are grey-blue, aromatic (smelling of peppermint) with entire margins, and are up to 13cm long and 2cm wide. The mature bark of this tree is smooth and grey/pink, the young branch growth is green. The petalless flowers of the plant are white in colour, composed of many showy, usually white or creamy yellow. Eucalyptus nitida was first described by Joseph Dalton Hooker in 1856. Eucalyptus nitida is synonymous with Eucalyptus simmondsii. Also known as shining peppermint, Smithton peppermint gum.

smoke concert/night/social—an informal social occasion at which guests smoke and chat.

smoke-bush—1. smoke-plant. 2. any of several Western Australian trees of the genus Conospermum.

smoke-oh/smoko—rest or short break from work, such as a tea-break.

smoke-plant/tree—any ornamental shrub of the genus Cotinus, with feathery, smoke-like fruit stalks.

smoking ceremonysmoking ceremony—an Aboriginal ceremony held to heal and purify. The smoke is used to cover the participants’ bodies, ridding them of what is not needed. It also cleanses the area. The group feels that it is leaving behind troubles and beginning something new. Special leaves are used for smoking. In ceremonies for the dead, those who take responsibility for a service are the brothers or sisters of those who died. The old men are calling out to the spirits of the dead to let them know that the group have come as family and friends. Reasons for holding the rite are then discussed (birth, death, initiation, becoming an elder...). The ceremony ends with entertainment, such as dancing and singing. The Boon Wurrung and Woi Wurrung people, supported by Museum Victoria, held a smoking ceremony on the site of the new museum at Carlton Gardens. Its purpose was to cleanse the site before the building of the new museum began, so that the land would be healed. This ceremony was a historic step in recognising the desecration of spiritual, practical and cultural bonds with the land that occurred during European invasion, the State Government recognising the importance of reconciliation with the Aboriginal community together with a commitment manifest in the creation of Bunjilaka.

smoky—race-horse or professional runner kept hidden in the bush, so no one will know how good he is; a dark horse.

smooth (someone) out—1. set (someone) straight as to the correct facts. 2. placate, calm (someone).

smooth tree-fernCyathea brownii is the tallest tree-fern species in the world—in its natural habitat it is reported to reach 20m. It is distinguished from the rough tree-fern by a smoother trunk. The broad, lance-shaped, bipinnate-pinnatifid to tripinnate fronds can reach 5m in length. Stipe is long and has a line of white, stitch like dashes along its length. Rachis and stipe are covered in white-brown and darker orange-brown scales. The trunk can become smooth with age and may display oval scars left from fallen fronds. Cyathea brownii occurs naturally in subtropical rainforests on Norfolk Island. Average daytime temperatures reach around 23°C during the summer months, falling to around 17°C during the winter. Relative humidity is fairly consistent at levels between 70 and 80% throughout the year. Yearly rainfall is approximately 1,200mm. The centre of the tree fern stems provided early settlers with food for hogs, sheep and goats. However, the once extensive forests of Norfolk Island are now reduced to a single small, forested area which has been designated part of a national park. Cyathea brownii is cultivated as an ornamental tree. Also known as Norfolk tree fern.

smooth-barked gumssmooth-barked gums—in many species the smooth bark is uniform over the whole trunk in both texture and colour, e.g. brittle gum and karri. In others the bark is mottled, while in a few species, particularly the red and the grey gums, the newly exposed smooth bark can be brilliant orange or yellow, fading to greys, the surface texture of which becomes granular with age. The sugar gum of South Australia and karri of Western Australia show these characteristics to some extent, suggesting an ancient common origin of these various groups.

snack—an easy task.

snaffle—1. grab, take quickly. 2. steal or appropriate.

snag—a sausage: e.g., We're cooking some snags for lunch.

snagger—poor quality shearer of sheep.

Snake Gully—any remote, unsophisticated, rustic place or area.

snake juice—very strong alcoholic drink.

snake's hiss—(rhyming slang) piss.

snake-necked turtle—(see: Australian snake-necked turtle).

snakewoodsnakewoodAcacia xiphophylla, a tree in the family Fabaceae. Endemic to Western Australia, it is widespread across the Pilbara from Shark Bay, north-east to the vicinity of Roebourne and Roy Hill, with one collection from near Wiluna, north-western WA. Snakewood grows on sometimes subsaline clay flats, stony plains and hills, in Acacia shrubland and low woodland, dominating in localised areas. It grows as a spreading tree, usually with two or three main trunks. It can grow up to five metres high and eight metres wide. Like most Acacia species, it has phyllodes rather than true leaves. These are blueish grey in colour, and may be up to eight centimetres long and eight millimetres wide. The flowers are yellow, and held in cylindrical clusters about three centimetres long. The pods are up to twelve centimetres long and eight millimetres wide, and have constrictions between the seeds. It often has two or three twisted trunks with dark grey, rough bark. The snakewood tree is found in rainforests or marshland. The heartwood has the appearance of snakeskin or, sometimes, it's splotchy. The snakewood tree was considered useful by the Aboriginal people in the Pilbara and Yamatji regions, where it was favored for use in cooking and making weapons such as the boomerang. The wood is almost as hard and dense as South American snakewood, but rather is dark brown-black with very fine golden streaks, no figure and fine texture.

snaky—spiteful; annoyed; treacherous; bad-tempered.

snap and rattle—any of several trees, especially Eucalyptus gracilis of southern Australia.

snap (one's) fingers at—show scorn, contempt for.

snapper—any of several marine fish of the family Sparidae, especially the pinkish-silver Chrysophyrs unicolor of Western Australia, C. auratus of South Australia, and C. guttulatus of eastern Australia, valued as food.

snappie—snap dragon.

snappy gumsnappy gum—(see scribbly gum).

snark—1. an informer, especially for the police. 2. man who sniffs girls' bicycle seats.

snarler—a sausage.

snatch (one's) time—to demand (one's) due wages and leave a job.

snatch-and-grab—take-out food.

snavel—catch; take; steal.

snazzed up—1. elegantly or stylishly dressed. 2. renovated; improved; fixed up.

sneak in by the back door—to enter into politics or some organisation in an illicit or underhanded manner.

sneak-thief—one who steals without breaking in; a pickpocket.

sneezeweed—any of several aromatic herbs of the genus Centipeda, of Australia and elsewhere.

sniff and giggle—the game of Rugby League football.

snifter—1. small alcoholic drink. 2. balloon glass for brandy. 3. excellent.

snip of a thing—small insignificant person.

snitchy—bad-tempered.

snook—gesture of contempt made with thumb to nose and outstretched fingers: e.g., He cocked a snook at the cameraman.

snooker—1. a game played with cues on a rectangular baize-covered table in which the players use a cue-ball to pocket the other balls in a set order. 2. defeat; thwart.

snorker—a sausage.

snot (someone) one—to hit, bash, strike (someone).

snot-log—vanilla-slice—a custard-slice cake.

snow gumsnow gumEucalyptus pauciflora of the Myrtaceae family, it is Australia's alpine icon, usually found above 1500 metres. Distinguished by its smooth white bark streaked with varying shades of grey, olive green and red, and in its usually stunted and twisted form, the snow gum is a small to medium spreading tree, growing to about 30m tall, common in the snow-covered regions of Victoria and New South Wales. Thick leathery leaves with oil glands survive the freezing temperatures. From October to January, the beautiful white flowers appear profusely and frequently. Eucalyptus pauciflora is found primarily in the Snowy Mountains, right along the tablelands in southern New South Wales through Victoria to Tasmania. It is very long-lived and very slow growing. It can withstand snow and ice, and prospers in well-drained soil and colder areas, but is able to grow in diverse areas from shallow rocky soils in very exposed, dry areas to wet, snowy areas on high ridge tops. Also known as white sallee, cabbage gum, weeping gum or ghost gum.

snow grass—(see: silver tussock).

snow peas—mangetout; sugar peas.

snowberryGaultheria hispida, endemic to Tasmania on mountains to 1200m. Usually in wet eucalyptus forests in the montane and sub-alpine zone. It is an evergreen shrub growing to 0.9m. It is in leaf all year, in flower from May to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by Insects. The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Snowberry prefers acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soil, but requires that the soil be moist. Fruit—raw or cooked. Somewhat bitter. Not unpleasant, they taste somewhat like gooseberries when cooked but with a slight bitterness. The fruit is about 8mm—10mm wide. Said to be useful in the treatment of cancer.

snowdropper—person who steals laundry; especially women's underwear, off clotheslines.

snowing down south—warning that one's underwear, especially a woman's petticoat, is showing.

Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme—began in 1949 and was 25 years in construction. It harnesses snow melt from the Australian Alps, Victoria, diverting it westwards under the mountains to irrigate the arid interior for food production, while generating hydro-electricity as the water falls to the level of the plains. Of the workers who poured into that rugged frontier in a strange new land to build new lives, many had been recent enemies in a war that had devastated their European homelands. A country founded on stolid British stock almost overnight became one of the world's great pancultures. The mountains still guard the bones of more than one hundred and twenty men who lost their lives in this effort. A network of four dams (i.e. Guthega, Island Bend, Eucumebene and Jindabyne) and many smaller water diversion structures were built to collect and divert 99% (as measured at Jindabyne) of the Snowy River's flow through the mountains, to provide more water to the Murray and Murrumbidgee River agricultural basins for irrigation. Several hydro-electric power stations were also constructed to generate electricity. While there was initial public opposition to the diversion of the river's water during the 1950s and '60s, it was largely ignored as the scheme provided agriculture with more water and generated a large number of jobs at the time. By the 1990s, the reduced flows in the Snowy River became a major environmental concern in Victoria, New South Wales and across Australia. After the scheme was built downstream flows were insufficient to keep the channel clear of vegetation and to move sediment in the stream bed. Salt water intrusion extended 7-10km up the estuary and outdoor recreational activities were curtailed along the lower reaches of the river. This period of increased awareness of the impacts of water diversions lead to the Snowy Water Inquiry, which looked at options to improve the health of the Snowy River.[19] The key outcomes of the Snowy Water Inquiry was an initial agreement to increase environmental water releases to the Snowy River below Jindabyne by and the Snowy Montane Rivers 15%. Actual allocations are weather dependent, so in dry periods the allocation will be smaller than during wet periods. In November 2010 the first spring snow melt release occurred. This small but important release had a peak discharge of 3,080 megalitres per day, and was sufficient to start to scour the fine sediment from some sections of the bed of the Snowy. In October 2011, with substantially greater water available, a much larger spring snow melt release has occurred. This second and substantially larger release, with a peak discharge rate of 12,000 megalitres per day over three days. This release targeted much larger particles, up to the size of 256mm, as the bed of the river is heavily "armoured" and larger flows are required to move these particles to improve the instream habitat of the river. An independent candidate from the East Gippsland district, Craig Ingram, was elected to the Victorian Legislative Assembly in 1999 and re-elected in 2002 and 2006, on a platform to increase the flow of water in the Snowy River. After Ingram was elected to office, rather than attempt to increase water-flow, he became instrumental in the corporatisation of the Snowy Scheme, swinging the Victorian Government to sign the legislation.

Snowy RiverSnowy River—originates on the slopes of Mount Kosciuszko, Australia's highest mainland peak, draining the eastern slopes of the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales, before flowing through the Snowy River National Park in Victoria and emptying into Bass Strait. It was Australia's only truly wild river, and is part of Australia's folklore heritage. In 1967 the Jindabyne Dam was completed and the Snowy River is now dying because it does not receive enough of its own water. While the river's course and surroundings have remained almost entirely unchanged, the majority of it being protected by the Snowy River National Park, its flow was drastically reduced, to less than 1% (as measured at Jindabyne), after the construction of four large dams (Guthega, Island Bend, Eucumbene, and Jindabyne) and many smaller diversion structures in its headwaters in New South Wales, as part of the Snowy Mountains Scheme. The Snowy River was initially utilised as a food and water resource by Indigenous Australians for around 30,000-40,000 years prior to European settlement, despite the cold climate in the river's higher reaches. The Ngarigo nation held territory around the Australian Alps and the Snowy Mountains in modern-day New South Wales. As the river flowed southwards into modern-day Victoria, it flowed in the Gunai nation's territory, particularly, the Krauatungalung clan's territory. The natural environment surrounding the Snowy River formed part of the subject matter and setting for the 'Banjo' Paterson poem, The Man from Snowy River, first published in 1890. The Snowy River has also been immortalised in a 1920 The Man from Snowy River silent film, as well as in the better-known 1982 Fox film, The Man from Snowy River, and its 1988 Disney sequel film The Man from Snowy River II (U.S. title: Return to Snowy River — title: The Untamed), as well as in The Man from Snowy River (TV series) and The Man from Snowy River: Arena Spectacular, all of which were based on the 'Banjo' Paterson poem.

Snowy River National Park—some of Victoria's most spectacular river scenery, magnificent deep gorges and diverse forests make Snowy River, 390km north-east of Melbourne, an outstanding national park. The park covers an area of 98,700ha, protecting Victoria's largest forest wilderness. In the north, the Bowen Range and Gelantipy Plateau dominate. Flowing south into the Snowy are the rugged waterways of Mountain Creek and the Rodger River. Vegetation in the park varies from dry rainshadow woodland to ancient forests and sub-alpine woodland. The rich fauna of the area reflects this diversity.

Snr—British abbreviation of 'Senior'.

snuffler—disagreeably ingratiating person; crawler; obsequious person.

snuffy—1. annoyed. 2. irritable. 3. supercilious; contemptuous.

snuggery—a snug place, especially a person's private room or den.

Snugglepot & CuddlepieSnugglepot & Cuddlepie—the Australian classic, the 'Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie' by May Gibbs has been loved by generations of children since it was written in 1918. The adventures of two gumnuts as they meet the Banksia men, Ragged Blossom, Mrs Snake, Winky and Little Obelia.

so bare you could flog a flea across it—pertaining to land and vegetation devastated by drought.

so crooked (one) couldn't lie straight in bed—(of a person) deceitful; criminal; without ethics or scruples.

so low (one) could parachute out of a snake's bum/has to reach up to touch bottom—(of a person) despicable in character; having no scruples or ethics.

so sharp you must sleep in the knife-drawer—a sarcastic reproof to someone who is being over-clever or smart.

so smart he's/she's got more degrees than a protractor—(of a person) well educated; extremely intelligent.

soak—drunkard; alcoholic.

soap malleesoap malleeEucalyptus diversifolia, a small tree to 8m in height, characterised by multiple branches arising at or near the base. Has dense, blue-green foliage and cream/white flowers. Grows on calcareous sands and limestone soils near the coast. Widespread and common in South Australia, restricted to Cape Nelson in Victoria. Also known as coast gum, white coast mallee.

soapie—a soap opera.

sod—a disagreeable, unpleasant person.

soda—any easy task.

soddy—saturated; wet.

sodosols—have an abrupt clay increase down the profile and high sodium content, which may lead to clay dispersion and instability. Seasonally perched water tables are common because of the structure of the subsoil. These soils are usually associated with a dry climate and they are widely distributed in the eastern half of Australia and the western portion of Western Australia, where they are used extensively for grain crops. These soils are usually very hard when dry and are prone to crust formation. The dispersive subsoil makes them prone to tunnel and gully erosion. Also known as red-brown earths; desert soils; texture contrast soils.

soft answer—a good-tempered answer to abuse or an accusation.

soft fruit—small stoneless fruit (strawberry, currant, etc).

soft furnishings—curtains, rugs, etc.

soft goods—textiles

.soft in the crumpet—silly; foolish; irresolute; weak.

soft spinifexsoft spinifexTriodia pungens, a somewhat glutinous tussock grass. Leaves rigid, spreading, sharp-pointed, the sheaths sometimes woolly. Panicle narrow, 8-15 cm long. Spikelets on slender pedicels, 8-12 mm long; outer glumes 6-8 mm long, glabrous, five- to seven-nerved; flowering glume purplish, cut halfway down into three broad, three-nerved lobes, silky-villous toward the base. For grazing management rotational spelling of paddocks during the wet season every three to four years will allow the softer, edible, associated plants to build up a seed reserve to ensure their continuing presence. Burn every three to four years at the end of the dry season or after the first storms to remove old, dry, spiny material and promote soft growth for grazing. Burning after the wet season destroys the softer, edible plants. Uncontrolled grazing leads to complete removal of vegetation, increasing erosion and permanently reducing productivity. Soft spinifex is not very palatable to cattle, but eaten in the absence of other forage.

soft sugar—granulated or powdered sugar.

soft tack—bread or other good food.

soft toys—stuffed animals etc.

soft wicket—(cricket) a wicket with moist or sodden turf.

soft-centred—(of a person) soft-hearted, sentimental.

soft-fruited tea treeLeptospermum glaucescens, a shrub or small tree. Leaves glaucous, oblanceolate. Capsules dark and fleshy, which "bleeds" when you press a thumbnail into it.

soft-plumaged petrelsoft-plumaged petrelPterodroma mollis is commonly seen off the southern and south-west coast of Western Australia in winter and early spring. It is a dark brown and white petrel—juveniles and adults are alike. They feed mainly on squid, krill and fish. Breeding starts in September, on the Tristan-Gough Islands, the Prince Edwards, Iles Crozet, Kerguelen and the Antipodes. After that, a single egg is laid in November or December. Incubation takes about 50 days, and the chicks are raised for about 90 days. Very small numbers of soft-plumaged petrels breed in Australian territory. The only potential threat is the accidental introduction of predators. Introduced predators, including cats, rats and Wekas Gallirallus australis, have probably been responsible for the petrel’s scarcity on Macquarie Island. On Amsterdam Island soft-Plumaged petrels are frequently taken by feral cats, and are almost extinct

softly softly—(of an approach or strategy) cautious; discreet and cunning.

soils of the alpine and perhumid zones—these soils include the high moor peats and alpine humus soils of the Australian Alps and Tasmanian Highlands, and the peaty podsols of the cold perhumid western region of Tasmania. The characteristics common to them are highly organic surface horizons, extreme acidity and excessive moisture supply. No form of arable agriculture is undertaken, not only because of the above-mentioned properties, but also because of their unsuitable climate and rugged terrain. To a large extent the soils are mixed with much exposed rock and are themselves often excessively stony. Of these soils the alpine humus soils are forested in part, and some timber is extracted. However, the commonest form of land use on all of them has been the seasonal grazing of sheep and cattle, stock being moved on to them in late spring and removed to lower and more hospitable areas in autumn. Because of their abundant rainfall and seasonal snow cover, both the Australian Alps and the Tasmanian Highlands have progressively become the scene of major engineering enterprises connected with water storage. The objectives are the development of electric power and the regulated supply of water for irrigation of lands outside the mountain regions themselves. These projects have brought a re-appraisal of the long-term value of seasonal grazing and its effects on the alpine vegetation. These impacts arise from ancillary practices such as burning to stimulate new growth of greater palatability to stock. As a consequence there has been some erosion damage to the landscape. Engineering works themselves, such as roads and channels, have also brought problems of landscape stability in their train. Techniques to combat these are being developed. Meanwhile there is a trend towards the stricter control or elimination of the seasonal moving of stock in an effort to conserve the alpine areas for their most valuable long-term national use, the conservation and regulation of water.

soils of the arid zonessoils of the arid zones—these soils fall into three broad categories: (a) those that are coarse-textured enough to be moved by wind action—the desert sandhills and desert sand plains; (b) those that resist wind action—the arid red earths, the desert barns and the stony desert soils; and (c) the calcareous desert soils of the Nullarbor Plain.

soils of the seasonally humid zones—in these climatic zones the rainfall is sharply seasonal, with a winter incidence in the south and a summer incidence in the north. In the latter it is also erratic. The soils fall into five main groups, the red-brown earths, black earths (or chernozems), solodic soils, red and yellow earths, and lateritic podsolic soils.

soils of the semi-arid zones—the major soils of the semi-arid zones include the highly calcareous solonized brown soils restricted to southern Australia, the massive, structured, variably calcareous and gypseous, grey and brown soils of heavy texture, and the red-earth soils of the old land surfaces.

soils on calcareous materials—shallow, neutral to alkaline soils resting on limestones can be either red—terra rossas—or black—rendzinas. The terra rossas are variable in texture, but the rendzinas are generally well structured clay soils, some having seasonally rising and falling groundwater. The only extensive occurrence of rendzinas is in the south-east of South Australia, where they occupy the wet calcareous floors of long swales between ridges of ancient stranded coastal dunes. These soils have been extensively drained and developed, and are now mostly devoted to pastures. They respond to superphosphate and, variably, to the trace elements copper, zinc and manganese. Terra rossas, which are well drained shallow soils, are often so stony or intruded by so much outcropping limestone that their usefulness is very limited. The largest aggregate area is on the better drained positions in association with rendzinas in the south-east of South Australia. They are most frequently used for pastures, either natural or sown, and, where deeper, for vines and stone fruits.

SOL—ill-temper (shit on the liver): e.g., He's got a bad case of SOL.

solanum plantssolanum plants—contain an unidentified toxin that, when ingested by sheep, causes degeneration of the white matter of the spinal cord and degenerative changes in the brain. These changes are microscopic and are usually not obvious in a post mortem. Solanum plants are perennial forbs with star-shaped, five-petalled purple flowers with yellow centres; leaves are greyish green in colour, and velvety; the fruits are fleshy, globular berries 1–1.5cm across. Sheep find the fruit of this plant palatable, which results in a condition known as "humpy back", frequently resulting in death.

soldier settlement schemes—some 10,000 returned servicemen took up blocks of land in Victoria immediately after the First World War. Unfortunately the size of the blocks, their locations, the individuals’ lack of capital, the lack of public infrastructure at the time and depressed produce prices saw some extraordinary hardships and personal tragedies, and up to 60 per cent of those who had designated blocks eventually walked off them. The blocks given them by the government were a square mile of uncleared mallee country, in areas of quite arid zone agriculture today. In addition, they were given no financial support. Given the circumstances, and with just a few dry years, it was a disaster waiting to happen. So the grateful nation, while well-intentioned, had got it terribly wrong when it came to the soldier settlement scheme that was established in 1917. After the Second World War it was believed that there should be another soldier settlement scheme. In the First World War scheme, the more expensive the land the smaller the block, which meant that you could barely survive. In the Second World War scheme, blocks were purchased in areas that were viable and productive. Individuals were interviewed to see what their aptitude, skills and understanding of agriculture were before they were given a block. There were in fact some 6,000 ex-servicemen, with 21,000 dependants, who participated in the Second World War soldier settlement scheme. They were paid an allowance for the first 12 months. On each property shedding thatwas built, there was fencing, and a water supply was established. This more flexible and reasonable scheme succeeded.

soldiers bold—(rhyming slang) cold.

solid—unfair, unreasonable, severe treatment.

solid smile—vomit.

Solitary Islands Marine ParkSolitary Islands Marine Park—located on the mid-north coast of New South Wales between Coffs Harbour and the Sandon River. The diversity of marine life found around the islands and rocky outcrops is considered to be amongst the most outstanding in Australia. The waters around the Solitary Islands are bathed by the warm southward-flowing East Australian Current, which begins its journey from the equator. Adding complexity to this region, the coastline and nearshore islands are also influenced by cooler currents from the southern latitudes. The result is a fascinating mix of marine life, where species from the Great Barrier Reef can be found together with marine life which occur as far south as Tasmania.

solonetz soils—occur in all states, and are particularly extensive in the sub-coastal regions of Queensland, where they form the bulk of the spear-grass country. They have commonly formed on old alluvial deposits and on a wide range of rocks. The soils have a grey sandy to loamy surface, moderately to strongly acid in reaction, sharply differentiated from a mottled yellow, brown, orange, and grey dense clay subsoil. The subsoil may exhibit a strong prismatic structure with well-marked flat-topped columns at the junction with the surface soil. Usually in the lower horizons the acidity falls, and in some cases calcareous concretions are present. In their natural state these soils are very infertile, and are deficient in nitrogen and phosphorus as well as trace elements. Although commonly containing concretionary calcium carbonate in the deep subsoil, the calcium levels of the surface soil are often so low as to be deficient for such shallow rooting plants as the introduced pasture species. Deficiencies of potassium occur in many areas, and molybdenum deficiency is widespread. Their development, which has so far only been undertaken in limited areas, requires the rectification of these deficiencies and the introduction of a suitable legume.

solonized brown soilssolonized brown soils—lie largely in a zone of low rainfall, approximately 9 to 15 inches per annum of unreliable, winter incidence. They are deep, sandy to shallow loamy soils overlying deep rubbly and powdery caleareous clay subsoils, and are neutral to alkaline at the surface, becoming more alkaline with depth. Their landscape is frequently characterized by a parallel, east-west dune system. These soils make up a large part of the low-yielding wheat lands of southern Australia. They are farmed on a wide rotation, comprising volunteer pasture-fallow-wheat, in which superphosphate is used solely with the wheat. Sheep graze the pastures. These soils, especially the sands, are very susceptible to wind erosion, and much effort is now devoted to the stabilization of the once cleared and cultivated dunes. The common plant for reclamation is cereal rye. Where the solonized brown soils lie adjacent to the Murray River they are widely irrigated, especially for horticultural production, principally of grapes and citrus fruits. Under skilled management they are very productive, but are liable to rising groundwater and secondary salinity problems where drainage is inadequate.

some hope!—no hope.

something out of the bag/box—outstanding; excellent; exception: e.g., This new wine is really something out of the bag.

son (or daughter) of the manse—the child of a Presbyterian etc minister.

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