Australians began to experience shortages of almost everything they needed in daily life.
To ensure that everyone received a basic amount of essential supplies such as meat, butter, sugar and tea, the government brought in a system of rationing. Everyone had to apply for ration books, which contained a number of coupons.
Hoarders only made shortages worse. It also led to a black market: items that were in demand were sold privately, at very high prices, outside the rationing system. But rationing was not enough. The government also needed large amounts of money to pay for weapons, aeroplanes, ships, tanks, ammunition, and soldiers’ wages.