38. New South Wales Labor Platforms, 1909.

OBJECTIVE.—(1) The cultivation of an Australian sentiment based upon the maintenance of racial purity, and the development in Australia of an enlightened and selfreliant community. (2) The securing of the full results of their industry to all producers by the collective ownership of monopolies and the extension of the industrial and economic functions of the State and Municipality.

State Pledge.

I hereby pledge myself not to oppose the selected candidate of this or any other Branch of the Political Labor League. I also pledge myself, if returned to Parliament, on all occasions to do my utmost to ensure the carrying out of the principles embodied in the Labor Platform, and on all such questions, and especially on questions affecting the fate of a Government, to vote as a majority of the Labor Party may decide at a duly constituted caucus meeting. I further pledge myself not to retire from the contest without the consent of the Executive of the Political Labor League of New South Wales.

  ― 599 ―

State Platform.

Fighting Platform.

  • 1. Constitutional Reform.
    • (a) Abolition of the Legislative Council and the office of State Governor.
    • (b) Electoral reform to provide proper machinery for the true representation of the people in Parliament.
  • 2. Land and Financial Reform.
    • (a) Cessation of further sales of Crown Lands.
    • (b) A proper system of Closer Settlement.
    • (c) Water Conservation and Irrigation.
    • (d) Restriction of Public Borrowing.
    • (e) State Bank.
    • (f) Graduated Land Tax.
  • 3. Free Education.
    • (a) Secondary.
    • (b) Technical.
    • (c) University.
    • To be available on the Bursary System to all children passing a qualifying test.
  • 4. Re-enactment of the Industrial Arbitration Act.
  • 5. The Zone System of Railway Fares and Freights.
  • 6. Regulation of Hours of Labor.
  • 7. Workers' Compensation.

Details of Fighting Platform.

  • 1. Constitutional Reform.
    • (a) Abolition of the Legislative Council and the substitution therefore of the Initiative and Referendum.
    • (b) Abolition of the office of State Governor and other unnecessary offices.
    • (c) All citizens, other than criminals or lunatics, to be entitled to the franchise, after six months' residence in the State, irrespective of electoral boundaries.
    • (d) Full civil and political rights to all State and Municipal employees.
    • (e) Provision to enable electors when travelling to record their votes for their electorates in any part of the State, and facilities for seamen and others to record their votes by post.
    • (f) State elections to be held early in the year, from February to April inclusive; polling day to be a Saturday, and be proclaimed a public holiday; hours of polling, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

    •   ― 600 ―
    • (g) All polling returns for the small centres in country electorates shall be sealed in the ballot-boxes at close of the poll and forwarded to the Returning-officer for the electorate, who, with his Scrutineers and Poll Clerk, shall be the only persons authorised to count them.
  • 2. Land and Financial Reform.

Land Reform.

  • (1) Immediate cessation of Crown Lands Sales.
  • (2) Land Acts to be consolidated and simplified, and to provide for—
    • (a) Compulsory resumption of private lands for Closer Settlement, value to be determined by a competent tribunal; such value not to exceed that fixed by the owner for taxation purposes plus 10 per cent., together with the value of the improvements at the time of the resumption.
    • (b) Where areas of country lands are subdivided by private owners for sale, purchasers to be subject to such conditions as to residence, area, etc., as may be approved of by the Government for Closer Settlement purposes.
    • (c) Rents payable by settlers on private lands to be determined by a competent tribunal on application by the tenant or landlord. Security of tenure and tenant right in improvements effected by tenant.
    • (d) No land suitable for bona-fide settlement to be set apart for improvement or scrub leases. Land proposed to be offered under these tenures to be made available for settlement for a period of not less than twelve months.
    • (e) Existing improvement and scrub leases to be viewed with a view to the withdrawal of those suitable for settlement, and the forfeiture of any improperly or illegally granted.
    • (f) Every Australian citizen not already holding land to the value of £500 to have a preferential right to acquire an area of land up to that value. Preference to be given, first, to persons holding no land, and, second, to small holders requiring additional holdings, such areas not necessarily to be deemed living areas.

    •   ― 601 ―
    • (g) Any person acquiring ordinary Crown lands for permanent settlement to be entitled to remission of rent for the first five years, conditional upon permanent improvements of not less than the value of the remitted rent being effected.
    • (h) The reappraisement of homestead selections and settlement leases at the instance of the Crown shall not take place oftener than once during each 20-year period, the first reappraisement to take place 25 years after the date of application.
    • (i) Rentals of homestead selections in no instance to exceed a sum equal to the difference between the shire or municipal taxation on such holdings and freeholds in the same shire or municipality, together with interest at 2½ per cent. on the capital value placed on lands alienated from the Crown of similar quality in the same locality.
    • (j) Provision for workingmen's blocks in centres of population.
    • (k) Provision to be made to prevent speculators from monopolising business and residential allotments in towns and villages.
    • (l) Election of local members of Land Boards.
    • (m) Crown land agents to be compelled to fill in forms for applicants for land free of charge.
    • (n) Lands Agents to be made officers of the Court.
    • (o) Members of Parliament to be debarred from acting as paid agents in Crown lands matters.
  • (3) Water Conservation and Irrigation with resumption of all frontages to water so conserved, together with such lands as are benefited thereby which are suitable for Closer Settlement.
  • (4) Existing legislation providing for the distribution of wire-netting to be amended to provide for the direct supply of wire-netting to landholders by the Government.
  • (5) The duties of the Pastures and Protection Boards to be taken over by the Shire Councils.
  • (6) That immigration be not encouraged until sufficient land is made available for eager and desirable settlers at present in this State.

Financial Reform.

Public Borrowing.

  • (1) Cessation of borrowing except for
    • (a) Redemption.
    • (b) Completing works already authorised by Parliament.

    •   ― 602 ―
    • (c) Undertakings which will pay interest from the beginning, and provide 1 per cent. sinking fund.
  • (2) Provision to be made for a sinking fund in connection with renewed loans.
  • (3) Loans to be converted locally as far as practicable

State Bank.

  • (1) Amalgamation of existing Savings Banks into a State Bank; a portion of the funds to be available for—
    • (a) Repurchase of private estates for Closer Settlement.
    • (b) Advances to settlers on the land held by them or the improvements thereon.
    • (c) Conditional advances to be granted for the purpose of effecting permanent improvements; such advances to be made in instalments as required during the progress of the work at the rate of £75 for each £100 worth of permanent improvements effected.
    • (d) Advances to workmen and others to build homes themselves.
  • (2) All charges in connection with loans made by the Advance Department of the Savings Bank to be added to the amount advanced and be paid off with the loan.

Fresh Taxation.

  • (1) Graduated Land Tax on all estates over £5000 in value on an unimproved basis, increasing ½d. for each £5000 in value over that exemption.
  • (2) Graduated Income Tax.
  • (3) Special taxation of land owned and incomes derived by absentees.
  • (4) Increased Probate Duties on estates of over £20,000 in value.
  • (5) Probate duty on the estates of absentees to be double the ordinary rates and without exemption.

State Socialistic Services.

  • (1) Receipts and Expenditure to be kept separate from the Consolidated Revenue Account.
  • (2) Any surplus accruing after paying working expenses and charges for upkeep and depresiation to be used—
    • (a) For the reduction of charges to users;
    • (b) For paying off capital cost.

  •   ― 603 ―
  • (3) Estimates of receipts and expenditure in connection with all Socialistic services to be submitted an-annually to Parliament.

  • 3. Free Education.
    • (a) Secondary.
    • (b) Technical.
    • (c) University.
    • To be available on the Bursary System to all children passing a qualifying test.
  • 4. Re-enactment of Industrial Arbitration Act.
  • 5. The Zone System of Railway Fares and Freights.
  • 6. An Eight Hour Bill on similar lines to that introduced by the Parliamentary Labor Party.
  • 7. Workers' Compensation Act, to embrace all classes of labor, including Seamen and Waterside Workers.

General Platform.

  • 8. Industrial Reform.
    • (a) Anti-Sweating Legisation, providing for punishment by imprisonment for breaches.
    • (b) Arbitration Act Amendemnt.
      • (1) The general provisions of the Act to be so enlarged as to make it impossible to apply for a writ of prohibition, except in cases where the Court flagrantly goes beyond its powers.
      • (2) An amendment of the Act in its definitions and general provisions so as to make it clearly apparent that the Arbitration Court is a Court with power to determine the general conditions of any industry for given periods at the instigation of either Unions of employers or employees.
      • (3) An amendment which will enable the Court in dealing with different industries to appoint Boards of Conciliation to assist it in the making of its awards.
      • (4) An amendment permitting the Court to grant a common rule on any industrial agreement where the parties thereto substantially represent an industry.
      • (5) An amendment directing the Court to take the profits of an industry into consideration in fixing minimum wages, such minimum not to be less than a living wage.
      • (6) An amendment excluding the legal profession and paid advocates, excepting bona-fide representatives of Unions of employees or bona-fide servants of employers from the Courts of Arbitration or Boards of Conciliation unless by consent of both parties to a reference.

      •   ― 604 ―
      • (7) An amendment providing expressly that all contract and piece work, where employees supply labor only, shall come under the jurisdiction of the Court.
      • (8) An amendment providing that all awards and orders of the Court shall be enforced by the Department of Labor, with power to Unions to proceed on [?] to compel the Minister to act where necessary.
      • (9) An amendment to provide that if an employer is represented on the taking of evidence in camera, employees shall also have the right of representation, and to empower the Court to appoint accountants to assist in its deliberations.
      • (10) An amendment providing for effective preference to Unionists.
      • (11) The Act if satisfactorily amended to be made permanent, and an additional Court to be appointed for two years to deal with mining and such other cases as may be referred to it by the Chief Court.
      • (12) An amendment to include domestic service as an industry under the Act.
      • (13) An amendment to give power to Unions to sue members in a local Court of Petty Sessions for the recovery of all arrears of subscriptions, levies, and fines, provided in their Rules.
    • (c) Regulation of hours of labor.
      • (1) The general reduction of the hours of labor to 44 per week on account of the increased productivity of Labor.
      • (2) That six hours be the recognised day for all underground workers.
      • (3) Amendment of the Early Closing Act on the lines as agreed upon at the Trades Union Congress, 1908.
      • (4) The abolition of night work in bake-houses.
    • (d) A minimum living wage in all occupations, sufficient reasonably to provide for the contingencies of a civilised life. A minimum wage for adult labor shall not be less than 8s. per day. Equal pay for women for equal work.
    • (e) Legislation to provide that payment of wages be a first charge on any assets available in connection with any occupation in which wages are earned.
    • (f) A Lien Bill.

    •   ― 605 ―
    • (g) Amending legislation to secure to Trade Unions the legal position occupied from the legalisation of Trade Unions until the Taff Vale decision altered the application of the law.
    • (h) Repeal of the Masters and Servants Act and the Agreements Validating Act.
    • (i) Amendment of the Trade Unions Act and the Apprentices Act to provide for compulsory apprenticeship and the abolition of premiums, and to provide that employers shall be compelled to properly teach their apprentices the trade or trades to which they have been indentured; also that a limitation be placed upon the number of apprentices in accordance with the number of tradesmen employed. The Act to be administered by the Department of Labor and Industry.
    • (j) A Right to Work Bill.
    • (k) The Labor Agency business to be conducted entirely by the State.
    • (l) Amendment of the Shops and Factories Act, 1896, on the lines agreed upon by the Trade Union Congress, 1908.
    • (m) Abolition of the age limit for employment in all Government Departments.
  • 9. The Encouragement of Agriculture.
    • (a) By the establishment of State mills for sugar, grain, and other produce.
    • (b) The establishment of a State Export Department.
    • (c) The establishment of the bulk system of handling grain.
    • (d) Any other matter which will be effective in assisting in the development of agriculture.
  • 10. State Pensions or Annuities to Residents of the State over 60 years of age and to Invalids; and abolition of State pensions, except those provided under the Old Age Pensions Act.
  • 11. Amendment of the Mining Laws to provide for—
    • (a) Mining on private property without payment of royalty other than to the State, or of rent or compensation except for actual value of land taken or damage done to land or improvements.
    • (b) The abolition of authorities to enter and the substitution therefor of mining on private land licenses.
    • (c) Qualified persons only to be appointed to administer the mining laws.

    •   ― 606 ―
    • (d) Abolition of the leasing system on all new gold-fields.
    • (e) Greater protection to persons engaged in the mining industries; inspectors to hold certificates of competency.
    • (f) Strict enforcement of the Labor conditions on leases.
  • 12. (a) All Government work to be executed in the State without the intervention of contractors.
    • (b) Prohibition of sub-letting.
    • (c) Standard Union wages to be the minimum paid on all Government and Municipal work.
  • 13. A Land Boiler and Machinery Inspection Bill to provide for the more effective supervision of all land engines, boilers, and machinery, and that all persons in charge of engines and boilers hold certificates of competency.
  • 14. Liquor Traffic Reform.
    • (a) State Option, with right to vote as to compensation.
    • (b) Plebiscite of electors, as to nationalising the Liquor Traffic.
  • 15. Amendment of the Navigation Act to provide for the more efficient control of navigation in connection with traffic on harbors and rivers, the suppression of crimping, and the restitution of the six months' survey clause.
  • 16. (a) With a view to the more equitable administration of justice, when a charge is preferred against a person and fails, expenses may be awarded against the Crown.
    • (b) A Crown Defender to be appointed and paid by the Government in all cases where a Crown Prosecutor is employed.
  • 17. Amendment of the State Children's Relief Act to provide that the mother of a State child should receive for its maintenance an amount equivalent to the maximum allowed a foster mother. Such amount to be payable until the child is 16 years of age.
  • 18. State Subsidy to Maternity.
  • 19. (a) All public hospitals to be supported by shire and municipal rates, together with Government subsidies.
    • (b) Boards controlling hospitals to be elected by adult suffrage.
    • (c) Women to have the same rights as men to be on the medical staff.
    • (d) The working hours of nurses to be forty-four hours per week.

    •   ― 607 ―
    • (e) In serious cases where patients are unable to reach hospitals, Government medical officers shall attend them in their homes or wherever located.
    • (f) All country hospitals should have a lunacy ward.
    • (g) A maternity ward to be attached to all hospitals, with provision for home treatment where necessary.
    • (h) All school children to be examined periodically by competent medical and dental officers and treated free where necessary.
    • (i) The establishment of Foundling Homes.
  • 20. (a) All Chinese furniture factories be restricted to forty-eight hours per week, and that the forty-eight hours be worked between 7.30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Mondays to Fridays inclusive, and between 7.30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturdays, and that overtime can only be worked after obtaining the sanction of the Department of Labor and Industry.
    • (b) Stamping of Chinese furniture and other manufactures.
  • 21. (a) Workers' dwellings to be constructed by the Government in suitable localities, and be let to those requiring them at reasonable rentals.
    • (b) Provision of small cottage homes for indigent aged couples.
    • (c) Amendment of the Landlord and Tenants Act to provide that in distress for rent cases the landlord shall leave in the possession of the tenant all necessary goods and chattels to the value of £20, together with tools of trade.
  • 22. Absorption of the Unemployed by—
    • (a) The establishment of State ironworks.
    • (b) The establishment of State farms and labor colonies.
    • (c) The establishment of State woollen mills and clothing factories.
  • 23. Nationalisation of any industry which becomes a private monopoly.
  • 24. The Nationalisation of Land.
  • 25. Nationalisation of Coal Mines.
  • 26. All iron required for State use to be produced from State mines.
  • 27. (a) Amendment of the Metropolitan Water and Sewerage Act so that rates shall be assessed on the unimproved value of the land.
    • (b) Members of all Water and Sewerage Boards to be elected by adult suffrage.

  •   ― 608 ―
  • Objective, Regulations, and Platform.


The Objective shall be the acquisition of the right to exercise any or all the powers provided for in Section 109 of the Local Government Act, 1906, and broadening its scope, and extending the powers of Council in the direction of communal activity.


1. Leagues in any municipal area shall have the work of formulating municipal programme suitable to local requirements.

2. Such programme must be in accord with the general principles of the P.L.L. Municipal Platform.

3. The Rules and Regulations of the P.L.L. governing the selection of candidates for Parliament shall, as far as practicable, apply to candidates seeking selection for municipal honors.


1. To advocate and support measures to amend the Local Government Act to gain—

  • (a) Full adult suffrage on a one month's residential qualification.
  • (b) That it shall be the duty of Councils to collect the roll annually of all adult residents.
  • (c) That the present power of Council to vote Mayoral allowances be extended to include aldermen.
  • (d) Extending the hour of closing the poll till 8 p.m.

2. Day Labor where practicable, with preference to Unionists in all municipal work.

3. Rating on the unimproved values of land only, with no exemption.

4. The adoption of and wielding of all communal powers and activities possible under the Act, especially of the activities hereunder:—

  • (a) Infants' milk depots.
  • (b) Ferries.
  • (c) Gas and electric light.
  • (d) Hydraulic or other power when desirable.
  • (e) Night shelters.
  • (f) Public shelters.
  • (g) Public markets, abattoirs, and retail meat depots.
  • (h) The arrangement and beautification of the area, and the acquisition of land, streets, buildings, etc., therefor, together with the lease of land or building after such rearrangement.

  •   ― 609 ―
  • (i) The subsidising of public bands or orchestras.
  • (j) The regulation and licensing of public vehicles, and of the drivers and conductors thereof.
  • (k) The regulation and licensing of hawkers of goods.
  • (l) Provision for separate lavatories for men and women.

5. The adoption and enforcement of provisions requiring the payment of Union rates of pay for all municipal work.

6. Readjustment of finances and the establishment of a Loans Redemption Fund.

7. Taking over the control and maintenance of parks and reserves.

  • Objective, Regulations, and Platform.


The Objective shall be the acquisition of the right to exercise any or all of the powers provided for in Section 109 of the Local Government Act, 1906, with amendments as herein suggested.


1. Leagues in any local government area shall have the work of formulating a County Council programme suitable to local requirements.

2. Such programme must be in accord with the general principles of the P.L.L., and shall be forwarded to the Executive for confirmation.

3. The Rules and Regulations of the P.L.L. governing the selection of candidates for Parliament shall as far as practicable apply to candidates seeking selection for County Councils.


1. Election to Shire Councils to be on the basis of adult suffrage.

2. That no land shall be sold by the Shire Council, and that the Local Government Act shall be amended in Part 12, Section 104, and wherever else necessary, to prevent the sale of lands by the Council.

3. That no new licenses be granted to Asiatics. This not to apply to renewals of existing licenses.


In the constitution of the Greater Sydney Municipality and Council, the following things to be observed:—

  • (a) The powers, rights, and liabilities of any one and all of the civic bodies referred to to be the powers, rights, and liabilities of the Greater Sydney Council.

  •   ― 610 ―
  • (b) The Council to have control of all services affecting the communal life of the citizens, such as water and sewerage, tramways, gas supply, electric supply, harbor control, parks and open spaces, housing of the working classes, trans-harbor ferries, hydraulic power, roads and bridges.
  • (c) The municipality to be divided into forty wards, each ward to return two aldermen.
  • (d) Any person (except such as are disqualified by Section 70 of the Local Government Act, 1906) whose name is on the roll to be eligible for election and to act as alderman.
  • (e) The aldermen to be elected for three years; the elections to be held on the same day as other municipal elections in the State, and the poll to remain open till 8 p.m.
  • (f) The election of aldermen to be by adult suffrage.
  • (g) Each elector to have one vote only, to be exercised in ward where resident.
  • (h) The Mayor to be elected annually by the electors.
  • (i) Provision to be made for payment of Mayor and aldermen.
  • (j) One general rate to be struck for all requirements; such rate to be on the unimproved value of the land.
  • (k) The Railway Commissioners, the Australian Gas-light Company, the Telephone Department, and all other public or private bodies interfering with or permanently using any of the public ways to pay rates.
  • (l) The Council not to sell any land acquired by it.