By Robert Murray
Parliamentary govt in Victoria is now greater than a century and a part outdated. it's a tale of low and high lighting, idealistic commitment and self-serving manipulation, with many vibrant figures - yet over the a long time the advance of an excellent culture of democratic provider to a difficult public with excessive expectancies. This e-book concisely describes the delivery within the 1850s of democratic, self sustaining govt and its growth over fifteen many years. This booklet is a paperback publication of 244 pages and comprises many black and white political cartoons.
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Extra info for 150 Years of Spring Street: Victorian Government 1850s to 21st Century
But it was progress at a cost. Churches had dominated education in Britain and Europe for centuries and this came naturally to Australia. Churches ran most of the schools in early Victoria, paid for by a mixture of government, parental and church funds. Whereas in the British Isles there was usually a dominant church and its role in education was more or less accepted, Australia had several strong rival, often jealous denominations. Some towns had up to half a dozen schools for a few hundred pupils.
Stonemasons secured the eight-hour day as early as 1856. Their campaign included a march on the half-built parliament building. Previously, they had to work ten hours a day, six days a week. Under union and political pressure, the eight-hour day spread to other workers and it was an inspiration for Labour Day, first held in 1879. Underground mine workers won the eighthour day in 1874. The boon of a half-day holiday on Saturdays also began to spread, allowing many workers a 48-hour week. A principal way forward was through the government requiring an eight-hour day for its services and contractors.
It was a moot point how far the legislation itself was the catalyst for the farming expansion of the 1870s and 1880s and how far, simply, that the time had come. Land under the plough approximately doubled in the 1870s alone. Railways, markets, steam shipping and advances in agricultural machinery and techniques all came together felicitously. By the 1870s, ‘squatters’ varied from the very large entrepreneurial and absentee to the well-to-do resident grazier assuming an upper-class life, through to the ‘small man’ making a living from a few thousand undeveloped acres.