Separation of Queensland

During the late 1840's the "Northern Districts of New South Wales" began to agitate for separation from New South Wales; and, in 1851, a petition was sent to the Queen, urging the right of Moreton Bay to receive the same concession as had, in that year, been made to Port Phillip. On this occassion their request was not granted; but, on being renewed about three years later, it was met with a favourable reception; and, in the following year and Act was passed by the Imperial Parliament giving to the British Government power to constitute a new colony. Again, as in the case of Port Phillip, delays occurred; and, in 1856, a change of ministry caused the matter to be almost forgotten. It was not until 1859 that the territory to the north of the 29th parallel of latitude was proclaimed a separate colony, under the title of Queensland.

In December of that year, Sir George F. Bowen, the first governor, arrived; and the little town of Brisbane, with its 7,000 inhabitants, was raised to the dignity of being a capital, the seat of Government of a territory containing more than 670,000 square miles, though inhabited by only 25,000 people. A few months later, Queensland received its constitution, which differed but little from that of New South Wales. There were established two Houses of Legislature, one consisting of members nominated by the Governor, and the other elected by the people.



History of Australia