SECESSION

 

A meeting of the Dominion League for the secession movement.

 

 

 

 

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In 1933 the state government elections coincided with a vote on the secession of W.A. from the Commonwealth of Australia.

The result was a vote of 2:1 in favour of secession but legal technicalities meant the Commonwealth had to agree with the move to secede. As W.A. was (and still is) Australia's major export dollar earner, this was never going to happen.

A petition was taken to Britain by a delegation of Agent General, Sir Hal Colebatch, James MacCallum Smith, and the leader of the Dominion League, Keith Watson in 1934. The British government effectively washed its hands of the matter saying that it could not act without the Australian Federal Parliament's approval.

Tasmania and South Australia were watching proceedings with interest as they also had ambitions to secede from the Commonwealth but as the petition was not accepted and the effects of the Great Depression began to fade away the desire to secede quickly faded as well.

Why was it that just 32 years after W.A. had voted to join the federation, 2 thirds of the people wanted to break away again?

This was mainly due to dissatisfaction with the way W.A. was treated by the Eastern States. W.A. has long been ignored by those who live on the eastern seaboard and even today when we produce vast amounts of export dollars from our mineral resources, W.A. still does not get its fair share of revenue and is treated like a 'poor relation' by the rest of Australia.

 

Secession. Secession.

 

 

 

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