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§ 70. “Queensland.”

The circumstances which conspired to prevent the representation of Queensland in the Federal Convention are detailed in the Historical Introduction, pp. 162, 187, 193. At the Conference of Premiers which met at Melbourne in January, 1899 (see Historical Introduction, p. 218, supra), Mr. Dickson, the Premier of Queensland, pleaded hard for an amendment in the Constitution enabling the Parliament of that colony, if it became an Original State, to divide it into divisions for the election of Senators and to determine the number of Senators for each division. The Conference decided that, although this concession would involve a departure from the fundamental principle, yet the Conference, considering the special circumstances of Queensland, its vast territory and scattered population, coupled with the fact that its population seemed to be naturally growing and developing in three divisions which may hereafter become separate States, and considering also that Queensland had not been represented in the Convention and was therefore derived of the opportunity of having her views and interests adequately considered, decided to recommend the insertion of the special provision which now stands as the second paragraph of the section.

That Queensland would be an Original State was ensured by the affirmative vote of the people of that colony on 2nd September, 1899, and confirmed by the Address to the Queen subsequently passed by both Houses of the Queensland Parliament.

This power of the Parliament of Queensland only exists “until the Parliament of the Commonwealth otherwise provides.” The Parliament of the Commonwealth has, therefore, the power to require that the State of Queensland shall be represented in the Senate as a corporate whole.

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