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The value of South Australia's exports nearly halved.

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Colonel William Light, one of Adelaide's founding fathers, designed the city and chose its location close to the River Torrens, in the area originally inhabited by the Kaurna people.Grey slashed public expenditure against heavy opposition, although its impact was negligible at this point: silver was discovered in Glen Osmond that year, agriculture was well underway, and other mines sprung up all over the state, aiding Adelaide's commercial development.The city exported meat, wool, wine, fruit and wheat by the time Grey left in 1845, contrasting with a low point in 1842 when one-third of Adelaide houses were abandoned.Light's design set out Adelaide in a grid layout, interspaced by wide boulevards and large public squares, and entirely surrounded by parklands.Early Adelaide was shaped by prosperity and wealth—until the Second World War, it was Australia's third-largest city and one of the few Australian cities to not have convict history.Financial institutions in Melbourne and banks in Sydney closed.

The national fertility rate fell and immigration was reduced to a trickle.

The rural area surrounding Adelaide was surveyed by Light in preparation to sell a total of over 405 km (156 sq mi) of land.

Adelaide's early economy started to get on its feet in 1838 with the arrival of livestock from Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania.

Wool production provided an early basis for the South Australian economy.

By 1860, wheat farms had been established from Encounter Bay in the south to Clare in the north.

Today, Adelaide is noted for its many festivals and sporting events, its food and wine, its long beachfronts, and its large defence and manufacturing sectors.