A new constitution in Western Australia was adopted in 1870. This was not the democracy that we have today, but it did give the colony more local control over its laws. The constitution created a Legislative Council with three colonists nominated by the (British-appointed) Governor, 3 officials and 12 elected members.
The first elections were held on 19 October 1870. Not everyone could vote. Voting was dependent on property ownership and length of time a person had lived in the colony. As Chate reports, women, Aboriginal people, 'Asians, Africans, traitors, felons and the insane' were excluded from voting.
After its establishment, the Legislative Council played an important role in the systems developed to 'care and protect' children in WA.
Sources used to compile this entry: Chate, A.H; Graham, Bruce; Oakley, Glenda, Date it!: a Western Australian chronology to 1929, Friends of the Battye Library (Inc.), Northbridge, Western Australia, 1991.
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 18 January 2012, Last modified: 21 August 2013