Sign In

Towards Self Government

Text Size a a a Print Print this page

By 1859, all other Australian Colonies had their own parliaments. In the 1860's, 1870's and 1880's, colonists in Western Australia began demanding the right to have a greater say in the affairs of the colony. they argued for the right to govern themselves. However the British Government was against the move to establish a parliament in Western Australia.

The slow rate of growth, and the presence of convicts in Western Australia, caused the British Government to withhold but the colonists continued their demands.

In 1865, and again in 1869, the citizens of the Colony petitioned to ask that they elect representatives to some of the positions on the Legislative Council.

1865 Petition

By 1859, all other Australian colonies had their own parliaments. In the 1860s, 1870s and 1880s, colonists in Western Australia began demanding the right to have a greater say in the affairs of the colony. They argued for the right to govern themselves. However, the British Government was against the move to establish a parliament in Western Australia.

The slow rate of growth, and the presence of convicts in Western Australia, caused the British Government to withhold its grant but the colonists continued their demands.

In 1865, and again in 1869, the citizens of the Colony petitioned to ask that they elect representatives to some of the positions on the Legislative Council.

The petition called for political reform in Western Australia and had support from people throughout the community. Each district of the colony had some representation, although there was a concentration in Perth.

1865 Petition
 
1865 Petition

The petition shows the wide range of occupations in the Colony. Some petitioners registered their `mark' in lieu of a signature.