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Originally described by explorer John Oxley as an area which was "uninhabitable and useless to civilised man", would become the city of Griffith. It was hampered by a lack of natural irrigation sources yet, unlike other early-New South Wales settlements, was not situated on a river or near a water source. This all changed in 1906 when the Barren Jack and Murrumbidgee Canals Construction Act was legislated by the government to make this semi-arid tract of land a sustainable agricultural centre by directing the Murrumbidgee River into canals which reached these inland plains.
When the land was made available to farmers in 1912, it was popular with gold rush miners who were looking to settle permanently in New South Wales. This included a significant population of migrant Italians who recognised the land as similar to their home farming land and saw an opportunity to utilise their own agricultural techniques to set up market gardens and vineyards.
As one of many New South Wales towns used as part of the Returned Soldiers Settlement Scheme, the city of Griffith began to swell in population size after the 1920s. As the fledgling agricultural industry started to flourish so too did the secondary manufacturing and transportation industries which services the orchards, dairies and rice paddies in the area.
Food production remains an important part of Griffith City; one of the state's largest poultry farms is situated nearby, rice fields and their mills account for the city’s biggest industry and a significant proportion of the state's fruit juices originate from the cities orchards. With over 80% of all wine in New South Wales made by the grapes from Griffith's vineyards, wine production has become a boom industry for the town with La Festa - a music, food and wine festival - held in Easter every year.