Politics of Australia
The politics of Australia takes place within the framework of a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Australia largely operates as a two-party system in which voting is compulsory, the Parliament of Australia, known as the Commonwealth Parliament or Federal Parliament, is the legislative branch of the government of Australia. It is bicameral, and has influenced both by the Westminster system and United States federalism. Under Section 1 of the Constitution of Australia, Parliament consists of three components, the Monarch, the Senate, and the House of Representatives, the Australian Parliament is the worlds sixth oldest continuous democracy. Voting within each electorate utilises the instant-runoff system of preferential voting, the party or coalition of parties which commands the confidence of a majority of members of the House of Representatives forms government. The Australian Senate has 76 members, the six states return twelve senators each, and the two mainland territories return two senators each, elected through the single transferable voting system.
Senators are elected for flexible terms not exceeding six years, with half of the senators contesting at each federal election, as such, the Senate has the power to bring down the government, as occurred during the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis. Such deadlocks are resolved under section 57 of the Constitution, under a procedure called a double dissolution election. Such elections are rare, not because the conditions for holding them are seldom met, of the six double dissolution elections that have been held since federation, half have resulted in the fall of a government. The most recent double dissolution election was in July 2016, with the government holding a slim majority, the trigger bills did not have much prominence throughout the campaign. The role of head of state in Australia is divided between two people, the monarch of Australia and the Governor-General of Australia. The functions and roles of the Governor-General include appointing ambassadors, the Governor-General is the President of the Federal Executive Council and Commander-in-Chief of the Australian Defence Force.
These posts are held under the authority of the Australian Constitution, in practice, barring exceptional circumstances, the Governor-General exercises these powers only on the advice of the Prime-Minister. As such, the role of Governor-General is often described as a ceremonial position. The Prime Minister of Australia is Malcolm Turnbull, leader of the Cabinet and head of government, the office of Prime Minister is, in practice, the most powerful political office in Australia. Despite being at the apex of executive government in the country, barring exceptional circumstances, the prime minister is always the leader of the political party or coalition with majority support in the House of Representatives. The only case where a senator was appointed minister was that of John Gorton. The Cabinet of Australia is the council of ministers responsible to Parliament
Aboriginal Australians are legally defined as people who are members of the Aboriginal race of Australia. Until the 1980s, the legal and administrative criterion for inclusion in this category was race. In the era of colonial and post-colonial government, access to human rights depended upon your race. If you were a full blooded Aboriginal native, the Constitution of Australia, in its original form as of 1901, referred to Aboriginals twice, but without definition. Section 51 gave the Commonwealth parliament power to legislate with respect to the people of any throughout the Commonwealth. The purpose of this provision was to give the Commonwealth power to regulate non-white immigrant workers, the only other reference, Section 127, provided simply that aboriginal natives shall not be counted in reckoning the size of the population of the Commonwealth or any part of it. The purpose of section 127 was to prevent the inclusion of Aboriginal people in section 24 determinations of the distribution of House of Representatives seats amongst the states and territories, after both of these references were removed by the 1967 referendum, the Australian Constitution had no references to Aboriginals.
Since that time, there have been a number of proposals to amend the constitution to specifically mention Indigenous Australians, the change to Section 51 gave the Commonwealth parliament the power to make laws specifically with respect to Aboriginal peoples as a race. The case concerned an application of legislation that would preserve cultural heritage of Aboriginal Tasmanians and it was held that Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders, together or separately, and any part of either, could be regarded as a race for this purpose. As to the criteria for identifying a person as a member of such a race, Deane said, It is unnecessary, for the purposes of the present case, to consider the meaning to be given to the phrase people of any race in s.51. Plainly, the words have a wide and non-technical meaning, the phrase is, in my view, apposite to refer to all Australian Aboriginals collectively. Any doubt, which might otherwise exist in regard, is removed by reference to the wording of par.
The phrase is apposite to refer to any identifiable racial sub-group among Australian Aboriginals, while Deanes three-part definition reaches beyond the biological criterion to individuals self-identification, it has been criticised as continuing to accept the biological criterion as primary. It has been difficult to apply, both in each of its parts and as to the relations among the parts, biological descent has been a fall-back criterion. If it is to be used to refer to us as a group of people. This has just really crept up on us and we are very happy with our involvement with indigenous people around the world, on the international forum because theyre our brothers and sisters. But we do object to it being used here in Australia and her lecture offered a new perspective on the terms urban, traditional and of Indigenous descent as used to define and categorise Aboriginal Australians. She said, Not only are these categories inappropriate, they serve to divide us, governments insistence on categorising us with modern words like urban, traditional and of Aboriginal descent are really only replacing old terms half-caste and full-blood – based on our colouring
Elections in Australia
Elections in Australia take place periodically to elect the legislature of the Commonwealth of Australia, as well as for each Australian state and territory. Elections in all jurisdictions follow similar principles, though there are variations between them. Part IV of Chapter 1 of the Australian Constitution briefly deals with eligibility for voting and it does not prescribe how elections should be conducted. Election campaigns and associated political advertisements have some regulation, Public funding of political parties and party registration was introduced in 1983. Voting is almost entirely conducted by paper ballot and is compulsory for adults, the informal vote is not usually significant, but a donkey vote is more common. They may, have an impact in marginal seats. The Parliament of Australia consists of two chambers, the House of Representatives and the Senate, the House of Representatives has 150 members, elected for a maximum term of three years in single-member constituencies. Elections are conducted by a system of preferential voting, electors in the two territories elect senators for non-fixed terms that are defined by the term of the House of Representatives.
State senators serve fixed terms, except in the case of a double dissolution. In the event of a dissolution, the terms of all the members of the Senate. Although elections for the House of Representatives have usually corresponded to half-elections of the Senate, under the Constitution, the House of Representatives lasts no more than three years after it first meets, but may be dissolved earlier. After the House is dissolved or expires, writs for election must be issued within 10 days, the next House must meet within 140 days of the writs being issued. The terms of representing the states are of fixed duration. The terms of representing the territories are not fixed, and are tied to the dates of elections for the House of Representatives. Where a House is dissolved early and Senate elections may be asynchronous until either the House is again dissolved sufficiently early or a double dissolution occurs. The Australian Constitution requires that in half-Senate elections the election of State senators must take place one year before the places become vacant.
As the terms of half the senators end on 30 June, there is no constitutional requirement for simultaneous elections for the Senate and the House of Representatives, and elections for half the Senate only have taken place in the past. There is a government and electorate preference for Senate elections to take place simultaneously with those of the House of Representatives
Immigration history of Australia
From the early 17th century onwards, the continent experienced the first coastal landings and exploration by European explorers. Permanent European settlement began in 1788 with the establishment of a British penal colony in New South Wales, from early federation in 1901, Australia maintained the White Australia Policy, which was abolished after World War II, heralding the modern era of multiculturalism in Australia. From the late 1970s there was a significant increase in immigration from Asian, Australia is a signatory to the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and recognizes the right of asylum. The first inhabitants in Australia were the ancestors of the present indigenous people, whether these first migrations involved one or several successive waves and distinct peoples is still subject to academic debate, as is its timing. The minimum widely accepted time frame places presence of humans in Australia at 40,000 to 43,000 years Before Present, while the upper range supported by others is 60,000 to 70,000 years BP.
In any event, this migration was achieved during the stages of the Pleistocene epoch. Repeated episodes of extended glaciation resulted in decreases of sea levels by some 100–150 m and it is theorised that these original peoples first navigated the shorter distances from and between the Sunda Islands to reach Sahul, via the land bridge to spread out through the continent. Archaeological evidence indicates human habitation at the upper Swan River, Western Australia by about 40,000 years ago, the ancestral Australian Aboriginal peoples were thus long established and continued to develop and settle through much of the continent. As the sea levels rose at the terminus of the most recent glacial period some 10,000 years ago the Australian continent once more became a separated landmass. However, the newly formed 150 km wide Torres Strait with its chain of islands still provided the means for cultural contact, these exchanges do not appear to have involved any extended settlement or migrations of non-Aboriginal peoples to the region.
According to a new German study by a team of researchers on Indigenous Australian DNA genes reveal that a wave of migrants from India arrived in Australia about 4,230 years ago. It shows that the Indian migrants settled in Australia before Captain James Cooks first recorded contact with the Australian coastline, the study suggests that up to 11 per cent of Aboriginal Australians DNA derives from Indians. During the migration period, dingos first appeared in the fossil suggests that the Indians took their dingos with them and they may have brought stone tools called microliths. This study overturns the view that Australian continent was isolated from the time it was first colonised about 45, 000-50,000 years ago until Europeans discovered Australia in the eighteenth century. Professor Alan Cooper, from the University of Adelaides Centre for Ancient DNA and it has taken a while for the Indian influence to be discovered because Indigenous Australians have been hesitant to participate in these kinds of genetic studies.
After the loss of the United States, Britain experienced overcrowding of its prisons, in 1787 the First Fleet of 11 ships and about 1350 people under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip sailed for Australia. On 26 January 1788 a landing was made at Sydney Cove, the new colony was formally proclaimed as the Colony of New South Wales on 7 February. Other transport fleets bringing further convicts as well as freemen to the colony followed, as a result of agitation by the free settlers in Sydney, transportation of convicts to Sydney ended in 1840
Geography of Australia
The geography of Australia encompasses a wide variety of biogeographic regions being the worlds smallest continent but the sixth-largest country in the world. The population of Australia is concentrated along the eastern and southeastern coasts, the geography of the country is extremely diverse, ranging from the snow-capped mountains of the Australian Alps and Tasmania to large deserts and temperate forests. Australia is a country, and a continent and it is located in Oceania between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean. The Australian mainland has a coastline length of 35,877 km with an additional 23,859 km of island coastlines. There are 758 estuaries around the country with most located in the tropical and sub-tropical zones, Australia claims an extensive Exclusive Economic Zone of 8,148,250 square kilometres. This exclusive economic zone does not include the Australian Antarctic Territory, Australia has the largest area of ocean jurisdiction of any country on earth. The northernmost points of the country are the Cape York Peninsula of Queensland, the western half of Australia consists of the Western Plateau, which rises to mountain heights near the west coast and falls to lower elevations near the continental centre.
The Western Plateau region is flat, though broken by various mountain ranges such as the Hamersley Range, the MacDonnell Ranges. Surface water is lacking in the Western Plateau, although there are several larger rivers in the west and north, such as the Murchison, Ashburton. The Eastern Highlands, or Great Dividing Range, lie near the eastern coast of Australia and these Eastern Australian temperate forests have the greatest relief, the most rainfall, the most abundant and varied flora and fauna, and the densest human settlement. Off the eastern coast of Australia is the worlds largest coral reef complex, the State of Tasmania, a large and mountainous island, resides in the south-eastern corner of Australia. Australia is the lowest and oldest continental landmass on Earth, geological forces such as tectonic uplift of mountain ranges or clashes between tectonic plates occurred mainly in Australias early history, when it was still a part of Gondwana. Its highest peak is Mount Kosciuszko at 2,228 metres, erosion has heavily weathered Australias surface.
Australia is situated in the middle of the plate. Minor earthquakes which produce no damage occur regularly, while major earthquakes measuring greater than magnitude 6 occur on average five years. The terrain is mostly low plateau with deserts, rangelands and a plain in the southeast. Tasmania and the Australian Alps do not contain any permanent icefields or glaciers, the Great Barrier Reef, by far the worlds largest coral reef, lies a short distance off the north-east coast. The Australian continental landmass consists of 6 distinct landform divisions, the headwaters of some waterways are located in tropical regions where summer rains create a high rate of discharge
Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the worlds sixth-largest country by total area, the neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea and East Timor to the north, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east, and New Zealand to the south-east. Australias capital is Canberra, and its largest urban area is Sydney, for about 50,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians, who spoke languages classifiable into roughly 250 groups. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades, and by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored, on 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia has since maintained a liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy comprising six states.
The population of 24 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard, Australia has the worlds 13th-largest economy and ninth-highest per capita income. With the second-highest human development index globally, the country highly in quality of life, education, economic freedom. The name Australia is derived from the Latin Terra Australis a name used for putative lands in the southern hemisphere since ancient times, the Dutch adjectival form Australische was used in a Dutch book in Batavia in 1638, to refer to the newly discovered lands to the south. On 12 December 1817, Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office that it be formally adopted, in 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known officially as Australia. The first official published use of the term Australia came with the 1830 publication of The Australia Directory and these first inhabitants may have been ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians. The Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, were originally horticulturists, the northern coasts and waters of Australia were visited sporadically by fishermen from Maritime Southeast Asia.
The first recorded European sighting of the Australian mainland, and the first recorded European landfall on the Australian continent, are attributed to the Dutch. The first ship and crew to chart the Australian coast and meet with Aboriginal people was the Duyfken captained by Dutch navigator, Willem Janszoon. He sighted the coast of Cape York Peninsula in early 1606, the Dutch charted the whole of the western and northern coastlines and named the island continent New Holland during the 17th century, but made no attempt at settlement. William Dampier, an English explorer and privateer, landed on the north-west coast of New Holland in 1688, in 1770, James Cook sailed along and mapped the east coast, which he named New South Wales and claimed for Great Britain. The first settlement led to the foundation of Sydney, and the exploration, a British settlement was established in Van Diemens Land, now known as Tasmania, in 1803, and it became a separate colony in 1825. The United Kingdom formally claimed the part of Western Australia in 1828.
Separate colonies were carved from parts of New South Wales, South Australia in 1836, Victoria in 1851, the Northern Territory was founded in 1911 when it was excised from South Australia
History of monarchy in Australia
These countries operate as independent nations, and are known as Commonwealth realms. The history of the Australian monarchy has involved a shifting relationship with both the distant monarch and the British government, the east coast of Australia was claimed in 1770, by Lieutenant James Cook, in the name of and under instruction from King George III. The colony of New South Wales was founded in the name of the British sovereign eighteen years later, followed by five more, Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland. Prince Alfred, fourth child of Queen Victoria, became the first member of the Royal Family to visit the colonies of Australia. He visited for five months in 1867, when he commanded HMS Galatea and he toured Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney. The Melbourne Argus wrote on 26 November 1867, Victoria has not known in her thirty years life a day than yesterday. On his second visit to Sydney, the assassination attempt against a member of the Royal Family in Australia took place. While the Prince picnicked at Clontarf, near Sydney, Henry James OFarrell, the attack caused indignation and embarrassment in the colony, leading to a wave of anti-Irish sentiment.
The next day,20,000 people attended a meeting to protest at yesterdays outrage, the Prince granted the use of his coat of arms as the hospitals crest, and the institution received royal designation from King Edward VII in 1902. Fourteen years after the arrival of Prince Alfred, his nephews Princes George and Albert arrived to tour South Australia and New South Wales, on 1 January 1901 Australia became a nation and dominion of the monarchy. In the latter half of the century public concern over intercolonial tariffs, defence. Dominated by the Father of Federation, New South Wales Premier Sir Henry Parkes, a series of constitutional conventions prepared a constitution, which Australians presented to London. On 1 January 1901, the six Australian colonies federated into one self-governing colony of the British Empire and this followed the granting of Royal Assent to the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act by Queen Victoria on 9 July 1900. In 1901 Prince George returned to open the first Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, in 1920 Prince Edward, Prince of Wales visited Australia.
The public called him the Digger prince, in 1927, Prince Albert visited Australia to open the first Parliament to sit in Parliament House, the Australian capital. Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, came to assist in the celebrations of the centenary of the state of Victoria in 1932, in 1945 he was appointed Governor-General of the Commonwealth, against the advice of the Australian government. He was the member of the Royal Family to serve as a viceroy in Australia. Isaacs was the first Australian-born Governor-General, the Commonwealth Cabinet, headed by James Scullin, considered his name in 1930
Fauna of Australia
The fauna of Australia consists of a huge variety of animals, some 83% of mammals, 89% of reptiles, 24% of fish and insects and 93% of amphibians that inhabit the continent are endemic to Australia. A unique feature of Australias fauna is the scarcity of native placental mammals. Uniquely, Australia has more venomous than non-venomous species of snakes, the settlement of Australia by Indigenous Australians between 48,000 and 70,000 years ago, and by Europeans from 1788, has significantly affected the fauna. Hunting, the introduction of species, and land-management practices involving the modification or destruction of habitats have led to numerous extinctions. Some examples include the parrot, pig-footed bandicoot and the broad-faced potoroo. Unsustainable land use still threatens the survival of many species, to target threats to the survival of its fauna, Australia has passed wide-ranging federal and state legislation and established numerous protected areas. Both geologic and climatic events helped to make Australias fauna unique, Australia was once part of the southern supercontinent Gondwana, which included South America, Africa and Antarctica.3 MYA.
The establishment and evolution of the fauna was apparently shaped by the unique climate. As Australia drifted, it was, to some extent, isolated from the effects of climate change. The unique fauna that originated in Gondwana, such as the marsupials, after the Miocene, fauna of Asian origin were able to establish themselves in Australia. The Wallace Line—the hypothetical line separating the regions of Asia. Although marsupials and placental mammals did coexist in Australia in the Eocene, the placental mammals made their reappearance in Australia in the Miocene, when Australia moved closer to Indonesia, and bats and rodents started to appear reliably in the fossil record. For the most part, mammals are not a visible part of the faunal landscape, as most species are nocturnal. Furthermore, there are few extant large ground-dwelling species, two of the five living species of monotreme occur in Australia, the platypus and the short-beaked echidna. The monotremes differ from other mammals in their methods of reproduction, in particular, the platypus—a venomous, egg-laying, duck-billed amphibious mammal—is considered to be one of the strangest creatures in the animal kingdom.
When it was first presented by Joseph Banks to English naturalists it was thought to be so strange that it was a cleverly created hoax, Australia has the worlds largest and most diverse range of marsupials. Marsupials are characterised by the presence of a pouch in which they rear their young, the carnivorous marsupials—order Dasyuromorphia—are represented by two surviving families, the Dasyuridae with 51 members, and the Myrmecobiidae with the numbat as its sole surviving member. The Tasmanian tiger was the largest Dasyuromorphia and the last living specimen of the family Thylacinidae died in captivity in 1936, the worlds largest surviving carnivorous marsupial is the Tasmanian devil, it is the size of a small dog and can hunt, although it is mainly a scavenger
Prehistory of Australia
This period is estimated to have lasted between 40,000 and 60,000 years. This era is referred as prehistory rather than history because there are no remaining records of human events before 1788. There is considerable discussion among archeologists as to the route taken by the first migrants to Australia, migration took place during the closing stages of the Pleistocene, when sea levels were much lower than they are today. Repeated episodes of extended glaciation during the Pleistocene epoch resulted in decreases of sea levels by more than 100 metres in Australasia, people appear to have arrived by sea during a period of glaciation, when New Guinea and Tasmania were joined to the continent of Australia. Nevertheless, the sea presented a major obstacle so it is theorised that these ancestral people reached Australia by island hopping. One follows a chain between Sulawesi and New Guinea and the other reaches North Western Australia via Timor. Rupert Gerritsen has suggested a theory, involving accidental colonization as a result of tsunamis.
The journey still required sea travel however, making them amongst the worlds earlier mariners, given that the likely landfall regions have been under around 50 metres of water for the last 15,000 years, it is unlikely that the timing will ever be established with certainty. The minimum widely accepted timeframe for the arrival of humans in Australia is placed at least 40,000 years ago, many sites dating from this time period have been excavated. In Arnhem Land the Malakunanja II rock shelter has been dated to around 55,000 years old, radiocarbon dating suggests that they lived in and around Sydney for at least 30,000 years. In an archaeological dig in Parramatta, Western Sydney, it was found that the Aboriginals used charcoal, stone tools and possible ancient campfires. Near Penrith, a far suburb of Sydney, numerous Aboriginal stone tools were found in Cranebrook Terraces gravel sediments having dates of 45,000 to 50,000 years BP. This would mean there was human settlement in Sydney earlier than thought.
Archaeological evidence indicates human habitation at the upper Swan River, Western Australia by about 40,000 years ago, which was connected to the continent by a land bridge, was inhabited at least 30,000 years ago. Others have claimed that some sites are up to 60,000 years old, palynological evidence from South Eastern Australia suggests an increase in fire activity dating from around 120,000 years ago. This has been interpreted as representing human activity, but the dating of the evidence has been strongly challenged, charles Dortch has identified chert and calcrete flake stone tools, found at Rottnest Island in Western Australia, as possibly dating to at least 50,000 years ago. The sea level stabilised to near its present levels about 6000 years ago and it is unknown how many populations settled in Australia prior to European colonisation. Both trihybrid and single-origin hypotheses have received extensive discussion, human genomic differences are being studied to find possible answers, but there is still insufficient evidence to distinguish a wave invasion model from a single settlement one
Environmental issues in Australia
Environmental issues in Australia describes a number of environmental issues which affect the environment of Australia. Many human activities including the use of resources have a direct impact on the Australian environment. These issues are the concern of the environmental movement in Australia. Climate change is now a political talking point in Australia in the last two decades. Persistent drought, and resulting water restrictions during the first decade of the twenty-first century, are an example of natural events tangible effect on economic, Australia ranks within the top ten countries globally with respect to greenhouse gas emissions per capita. The current federal and state governments have all stated their belief that climate change is being caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Vocal minority groups within the campaign against mining and coal-fired power stations in Australia. There is claimed to be a net benefit to Australia in stabilising greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at 450ppm CO2 eq in line with the political stance.
Public disagreement with this opinion is generally dismissed as expression of vested interests, Australia is a major exporter and consumer of coal, the combustion of which liberates CO2. Consequently, in 2003 Australia was the eighth highest emitter of CO2 gases per capita in the world liberating 16.5 tonnes per capita, Australia is claimed to be one of the countries most at risk from climate change according to the Stern report. Conservation in Australia is an issue of state and federal policy, Australia is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world, with a large portion of species endemic to Australia. Preserving this wealth of biodiversity is important for future generations, a key conservation issue is the preservation of biodiversity, especially by protecting the remaining rainforests. The destruction of habitat by human activities, including land clearing, the importance of the Australian rainforests to the conservation movement is very high. Australia is the western country to have large areas of rainforest intact.
Forests provide timber and food and should be managed to maximize the possible uses, there are a number of environmental movements and campaigners advocating for action on saving the environment, one such campaign is the Big Switch. Land management issues including clearance of vegetation, reafforestation of once-cleared areas, control of exotic weeds and pests, expansion of dryland salinity. Intensification of resource use in such as forestry, fisheries. Coastal and marine environments have reduced biodiversity from reduced water quality caused by pollution and sediments arising from human settlements, in central New South Wales where there are large plains of grassland, problems have risen from—unusual to say—lack of land clearing
Federation of Australia
Fiji and New Zealand were originally part of this process, but they decided not to join the federation. When the Constitution of Australia came into force, on 1 January 1901, the efforts to bring about federation in the mid-19th century were dogged by the lack of popular support for the movement. A number of conventions were held during the 1890s to develop a constitution for the Commonwealth, Sir Henry Parkes, Premier of New South Wales, was instrumental in this process. The election returned Barton as prime minister, though without a majority and this period has lent its name to an architectural style prevalent in Australia at that time, known as Federation architecture, or Federation style. A serious movement for Federation of the colonies arose in the late 1880s, a time there was increasing nationalism amongst Australians. The idea of being Australian began to be celebrated in songs and this was fostered by improvements in transport and communications, such as the establishment of a telegraph system between the colonies in 1872.
The Australian colonies were influenced by other federations which had emerged around the world, notably in Argentina, Switzerland. Sir Henry Parkes, Colonial Secretary of New South Wales, the Federation had the potential to ensure that throughout the continent and interstate commerce would be unaffected by protectionism and measurement and transport would be standardised. The final push for the Federal Council came at a conference in 1883, called to debate the strategies needed to counter the activities of the German and French in New Guinea, Sir Samuel Griffith, the Premier of Queensland, drafted a bill to constitute the Federal Council. The conference successfully petitioned the Imperial Parliament to enact the bill as the Federal Council of Australasia Act 1885, as a result, a Federal Council of Australasia was formed, to represent the affairs of the colonies in their relations with the South Pacific islands. New South Wales and New Zealand did not join, the self-governing colonies of Queensland and Victoria, as well as the Crown Colonies of Western Australia and Fiji, became involved.
South Australia was briefly a member between 1888 and 1890, the absence of the powerful colony of New South Wales weakened its representative value. Nevertheless, it was the first major form of inter-colonial co-operation and it provided an opportunity for Federalists from around the country to meet and exchange ideas. The means by which the Council was established endorsed the continuing role that the Imperial Parliament would have in the development of Australias constitutional structure, the individual colonies, Victoria excepted, were somewhat wary of Federation. Queensland, for its part, worried that the advent of national legislation would restrict the importing of kanaka labourers and these were not the only concerns of those resistant to federation. Smaller colonies worried about the abolition of tariffs, which would deprive them of a proportion of their revenue. New South Wales, traditionally free-trade in its outlook, wanted to be satisfied that the federations tariff policy would not be protectionist, Victorian Premier James Service described fiscal union as the lion in the way of federation. A further fundamental issue was how to distribute the excess customs duties from the government to the states