Resource Sheet 1

Queensland financial divisions, 1901

A map of Queensland showing financial divisions in 1901.

Based on Queensland Financial Divisions, 1901 in Ross Fitzgerald, The Federation Mirror: Queensland 1901–2001, Queensland University Press, 2002.

The separation question

First comes the Separation question…As far as I can see if we accept the bill we should have to fight, not only South Queensland, but all Australia as well before we will be able to obtain our rights…

Every man whose interests are centred either in Northern or Central Queensland, and who votes for this bill as it is, will be committing an act of political self-murder, an act which will tend to prevent for several generations the attainment of our…right to manage our own affairs and spend our own revenue.

WEH Elgar, letter to Capricornian, Rockhampton, 26 August 1899.

From the far north

Brisbane has practically a monopoly of the trade of the North—a monopoly which exists by reason of the tariffs which a Southern Parliament had imposed…

Under Federation our products will be admitted duty free to the markets of Australia, instead of to Brisbane only, and our imports being admitted duty free will enable us to secure the best goods in the best market at considerably less cost than at present. Once the present Intercolonial tariffs are removed, the South can have nothing to gain from holding the North in bondage, and…there is infinitely more chance of the State agreeing to Separation than if the inducement is allowed to remain.

Morning Post, Cairns, 31 August 1899.

A southern view

Under federation, people might get a slightly cheaper article, but at what a cost! The total extinction of our industry, employing 500 workers, of whom 200 are male adults, and as each of these latter has a wife and 3 children, on an average, this means at least 800 persons dependent on them.

supplement to Queensland Times, Ipswich, 31 August 1899.

Federation and sugar

Sugar growers will be in an infinitely worse position outside of the Federation than they would be even if the first Act of the Federal Parliament were to prohibit the introduction of colored labor. If the Bill is rejected by Queensland, sugar growers will lose their best and ever-growing market— the market of Australia, in which their products would otherwise secure the advantages of a large protective duty.

Morning Post, Cairns, 10 August 1899.