We're on our way back home (only 1000 kms to go), following the Murray towards it's source. The Murray River forms the boundary between the states of New South Wales and Victoria. Mildura is on the Victorian side of the border. Leaving Mildura we took a short detour south into Victoria's Mallee country before swinging back up to the river at Swan Hill.
Mallee describes the growth habit of the eucalypts endemic to the area which have multiple stems rather than a single trunk and don't grow very high.
Soldier Settler blocks were allocated in this area after the world wars ... a scheme to provide returned soldiers with occupation as well as developing rural areas. The settlers struggled -- no farming know-how, lack of capital for development, blocks too small, agricultural product prices low. If it was me I wouldn't have a clue where to start in this hot dry land.