White Australia Policy begins

White Australia Policy begins

White Australia and the Empty North.
Image courtesy of State Library of Victoria
23 December, 1901

Amongst the first laws to be passed by the new federal parliament are the Pacific Islands Labourers Act 1901 to provide for deportation of Pacific Islanders by 1906, and the Immigration Restriction Act 1901. The Immigration Restriction Act introduces a dictation test (similar to tests used in North America and South Africa) to prevent all 'non-whites' from entering Australia as immigrants, and effectively formalises colonial immigration policies prior to Federation. These new laws create the legal foundations for the White Australia Policy.

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- From the Museum of Australian Democracy's comprehensive interactive timeline, Milestones in Australian democracy.

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