Resource Sheet 4

The Commonwealth League—benefits of Federation

An image of a document listing the benefits of Federation, issued by the Commonwealth League in 1898.

Advance Australia, May 1898, State Library of South Australia.

The anti-Commonwealth Bill League flyer

An image of an Anti-Commonwealth Bill League flyer.

Anti-Commonwealth Bill League, yellow flyer, State Library of South Australia, Advance Australia.

Summary of the anti-Commonwealth Bill League flyer
  1. The Commonwealth will be expensive to run. Taxes will rise.
  2. South Australia will have to collect taxes for the Commonwealth. This will be costly for South Australia.
  3. A national defence force will be very expensive. South Australia will have to help pay for other colonies.
  4. The Commonwealth will take over South Australia’s income but not its debts.
  5. Industries are expected to move to the larger colonies of New South Wales and Victoria. This will lead to a rise in unemployment in South Australia.
  6. Wages are likely to be reduced in South Australia.
  7. Things will become more centralised around New South Wales and Victoria.
  8. Post office telephone and telegraph services would be better and cheaper under local control.
  9. There could be state taxes on land, added on to Commonwealth taxes. This would harm farmers.