I have started reading Patrick McCaughey's 1969 book Australian Abstract Art. He says that there is no absolute distinction between abstract and representational art, that much Australian abstraction keeps in close contact with the physical world, and its aim is not to give an illusion of the physical world but to provide us with an experience of it (p.3).
McCaughey argued that the Sydney modernists (eg., Ralph Batson, Grace Cowley) in the 1950s embraced a constructivist interpretation of abstraction as a new order different from the natural order: ie., a new vision appropriate to the 20th century. This is linked by McCaughey to Moholy-Nagy's book The New Vision. The new vision was rooted in the technological culture of the twentieth century.