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The Legislative Council

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From 1832, the Governor appointed a Legislative Council of four government officials to assist him and, in 1839, four leading colonists were also appointed.

"Our Legislative Council is now open to the public, and we are directed to conform to the rules of the British Parliament in our proceedings, so that actually you may regard me as a member of Parliament here."

Later more colonists were appointed to the Legislative Council and it developed a more independent voice. In time, some of these members were elected but only by a very small number of colonists.

The "demon" drink

One of the first acts of the Legislative Council was to regulate the sale of alcohol and fermented drinks in the colony.  Even so, by 1848 the use of alcohol was considered excessive by some. 

"The subordinate classes have shown much good feeling and industry; but it is to be deplored, that the facility of obtaining intoxicating beverages has proven too powerful a temptation... an evil which is so injurious to the master and the man, the father and the child."

Nathaniel Ogle, Colonist 1848

The first Legislative Council, 1832
The first Legislative Council met on 7 February 1832, and passed a bill presented by Governor Stirling. The men shown here were all government officials. From 1839, some leading settlers were also appointed to the Council.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Government of Western Australia acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.