Why did Western Australia say no to federation?

There were a number of reasons for Western Australia’s leaders to be uncertain about Federation. The discovery of gold in the early 1890s led to rapid growth in the colony’s population and wealth. Farming, the timber industry and shipping were also strong. This provided money to support its development.

What were three of the reasons Australians did not want to federate?

The capacity of a strong national government to manage issues such as trade, the economy, defence and immigration. The cost of setting up and running an Australian Parliament. Concerns we would lose our cultural ties to England and the emerging cultural identities of the 6 colonies would be lost.

What were the reasons against Federation?

Arguments against Federation

Federation would be expensive to achieve and a federated country would be expensive to run. The colonies had different policies about immigration, trade and other matters. Customs duties protected factories in the smaller colonies from goods made in factories in the larger colonies.

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Which colonies did not want to federate?

While a majority of voters in each colony voted ‘yes’, the referendum in New South Wales did not attract the 80 000 votes set by the New South Wales colonial parliament as the minimum needed for it to agree to Federation. Queensland and Western Australia did not hold referendums.

When did Western Australia try to become its own country?

The Dominion League persuaded the Nationalist government led by James Mitchell to submit a referendum for secession to WA voters. The referendum took place on April 8 1933, at the same time as a state election. By a majority of two to one, Western Australians voted in favour of secession.

What would Australia be like if we did not federate?

If the British colonies in Australia had never federated then the British colonies probably would have become separate countries like New Zealand. The Northern territory probably would have remained in the territory of South Australia as it once did.

What are the cons of Federation?


  • Many feared cutting communications, cutting ties with England our mother country.
  • States would believe that other states would have more power.
  • Colonies may disagree with making Australia as a nation whilst the citizens within the state do agree.

What was Australia like before Federation?

The British monarch remained the head of state, but Australia was now largely self-governing, though it retained close ties to Britain and its empire. Australians remained British citizens until the Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948 provided for separate Australian citizenship.

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Why was Victoria against Federation?

They encountered stiff opposition from the labour movement and others who thought the Australian Constitution being proposed for the new Commonwealth would not be democratic. The concern was that it would give too much power to States with smaller populations.

What did Federation mean for Australia?

The Federation of Australia was the process by which the six separate British self-governing colonies of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, and Western Australia agreed to unite and form the Commonwealth of Australia, establishing a system of federalism in Australia.

Why did New Zealand not join Federation?

In Australia, one of the reasons that had been put forward to federate was the need for a united defence force. New Zealanders thought that the British would protect them if needed: So long as Britannia ruled the wave, New Zealanders could rely on imperial protection of their own coastline.

What did Henry Parkes do to help Australia become a Federation?

Parkes delivered his famous Tenterfield Oration in 1889 which led to his instigation of a conference in 1890 and a Constitutional Convention in 1891, the first of a series of meetings that led to the federation of Australia. He died in 1896, five years before this process was completed.

Do we have free speech in Australia?

The Australian constitution does not have such an explicit statement regarding free speech. But Australia is a party to seven core international human rights treaties and the right to freedom of opinion and expression is contained in articles 19 and 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

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Did Western Australia want federation?

Because of such concerns, Western Australia’s Government put off a decision about Federation, hoping that it could negotiate a good deal for the colony before making any commitment. But, there were many people in Western Australia whose views did not match those of the politicians.

Did WA try to leave Australia?

On 8 April 1933 the people of Western Australia voted to secede from the Commonwealth of Australia by a margin of more than two to one. The result represented a culmination of nearly three years of intensive campaigning by the Dominion League during the height of the Depression.

Can WA split from Australia?

On a number of occasions secession has been a serious political issue for the State, including in a successful but unimplemented 1933 state referendum. … The Constitution of Australia, however, describes the union as “one indissoluble Federal Commonwealth” and makes no provision for states to secede from the union.