Australia under attack
Prime Minister John Curtin’s “maximum effort” required that most of the resources and means of production be directed towards winning the war: “Austerity calls for a pledge by the Australian people to strip every selfish comfortable habit, every luxurious impulse, every act, word and deed that retards the victory march.”
Australians had to adjust to life in which even the most common commodities in peacetime became rationed or simply unavailable. Most Australians embraced recycling and made do with what they could buy, find or scrounge.
The austerity campaigns encouraged Australians to work longer hours and consume less, reuse rather than discard, and invest any spare cash in war savings certificates.