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1384.6 - Statistics - Tasmania, 2006  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/09/2002   
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Contents >> History >> 1901-1940s, A federated State

On the first of January 1901 Tasmania became a State under the newly formed Federation of Australia. Despite the fact that Australia was now a united nation, Tasmanians loyalties were still firmly with the Empire. Within two weeks of World War I being declared in 1914,  2,020 Tasmanians had registered at recruiting depots around the island.

Few households were untouched by the war. From 1914-18 about 13,000 Tasmanians left to serve their country at war. Close to 2,500 of those lost their lives and many others were physically or psychologically damaged.

Whilst war was being fought in Europe, new power developments and industrial growth were changing the face of Tasmania. The opening of the Great Lake Power Scheme, in 1916, made power available for the establishment of new industries such as the Electrolytic Zinc Company’s Risdon plant, Cadbury’s chocolate factory, Claremont  and the Electrona carbide works. By 1927 a line had been opened from the Great Lake to supply power to Sheffield, Devonport, Ulverstone and Penguin in the north-west.

Major public works were also undertaken by the Government during the Great Depression years of 1929-39. These included the Lyell Highway linking Hobart with the west, and the summit road on Mt Wellington.

During World War II the State’s industrial base was strengthened further as a number of factories were established or re-structured to supply war equipment and munitions for the armed services. Due to manpower shortages women increasingly worked in the factories, as well as on the land. By 1942 there were 1,364 factories in Tasmania employing 13,000 people (25% of whom were women).

1901
January 1
Tasmania becomes a State in Australian Federal System of Government.

March
First elections for Federal Parliament held.

April 15
Ulverstone-Burnie railway line opened.

July 2
Royal visit by Duke (later King George V) and Duchess of York.

September
Conference held, Zeehan, leading to formation of the Tasmanian Workers Political League (forerunner to Labor Party).

1902
Last troops return from Boer War.

May 26
Board Of Commissioners for Closer Settlement appointed to purchase tracts of land for subdivision into smaller holdings.

1903
Women become enfranchised to vote in House of Assembly elections.
Telephone line opened between Hobart and Launceston.

June
Outbreak of smallpox in Launceston.

June 4
A Conference held by the Hobart Workers Political League establishes the party’s organisational structure.

December
The Morning and Terra Nova depart Hobart on a relief expedition to free Scott’s Discovery from the Antarctic ice.

1904
Tasmanian Field Naturalists Club formed.
Act passes allowing women to enter the legal profession.

June 15
The Tasmanian National Association inaugurated (forerunner to the Liberal Party).
Emu Bay Times (Burnie) amalgamates with the North Western Advocate to provide a daily newspaper for the north-west.

1905
Experiments in wireless telegraphy between Tasmania and the mainland undertaken.

1906
April 2
Tasman Lighthouse first lit.

1907
Royal Commission held into wages and wage-earners.

February
A new public library, built with money donated by American Andrew Carnegie, opened in Hobart.

1908
January 30
Queen Alexandra Maternity Hospital opened in Hobart.

June 5
A day nursery or creche first opened in Hobart.

December 3
State school fees abolished.

1909
Irish blight wipes out potato crop. Bush Nursing Association formed.

April 30
Hare-Clark electoral system first used Statewide for a Tasmanian election.

August
Tasmanian Liberal League formed.

1910
Factory Act and Wages Board Act passed, setting maximum of 48 working hours a week and minimum wages in a number of areas.
Free Kindergarten Association founded by Emily Dobson, providing poor children with pre-school education.

December 17
First sod of Great Lake hydro-electric project turned by Mrs Ida McAulay.

1911
February
Philip Smith School for teacher training opens in Domain, Hobart.

July 12
Scottsdale-Branxholm rail line opened.

August 16
First tramway service in Launceston begins.

November 5
Mawson’s Australasian Antarctic Expedition vessel Aurora docks in Hobart.

1912
March
Roald Amundsen arrives in Hobart on return from being the first expeditioner to reach the South Pole.

June 9
Baden-Powell appears in Launceston to promote the Scout movement.

June
Tasmania’s first Girl Guide company formed at Lindisfarne, Hobart.

October 12
Disastrous fire at Mt Lyell traps miners underground, killing 42 men.

December 6
The Cape Barren Island Reservation Act provides Aborigines with a leasehold arrangement for the island, and enforces strict government regulation of their activities.

1913
First State high schools established in Hobart and Launceston.

February 1
Burnie-Wynyard rail line opens.

February 5
Marrawah tramway opens.

1914
Tasmanian Gold Mine, Beaconsfield closes.

August
Hydro-Electricity Bill passes bringing hydro-electricity under State control.

August 4
World War I declared.

September 2
Tasmania’s first contingent (engineers) sail for war.

October 20
The 12th Battalion leaves for war service.

1915
November 26
The Scenery Preservation Act passes, creating the first special authority in Australia for the creation and management of parks and reserves.

1916
April 25
First Anzac Day held in Tasmania.

May
Opening of Waddamana power station.

July 1
The first all Tasmanian battalion (the 40th) leaves for the war.

August 29
Tasmania’s first National Parks at Mt Field and Freycinet declared.

October 1
Daylight saving introduced.

October 28
Nationwide referendum rejects conscription, although Tasmania largely votes in its favour.

1917
Construction of the Carbide works at Electrona commenced.

February 9
Zinc first produced at the Electrolytic Zinc Company’s Risdon plant.

December 20
The second national referendum on conscription held, with voters again rejecting conscription.

1918
May 15
The Hospital Act provides for the establishment of district hospital boards and the licensing and regulation of private hospitals.

November 11
Armistice Day.

1919
Spanish Influenza epidemic sweeps through Tasmania, affecting one third of the population.

September
First sod turned in the construction of war service houses, Moonah.

December
First aeroplane flight across Bass Strait.

1920
Site selected for Cadbury’s chocolate factory at Claremont.

July 19
Royal visit by Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII).

1921
January 1
Forestry Department formed following the Forestry Act 1920.

1922
February 14
Legislation passed enabling women to stand for Parliament.

May 16
Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park proclaimed.

1923
January 17
Official opening of the second stage of the Great Lake power scheme.

February 13
Kelsall and Kemp Ltd open woollen mills, Launceston.

August
Patons and Baldwins spinning mill opens, Launceston.

1924
February 8
National Portland Cement Company begins operations on Maria Island.

December 17
7ZL (later ABC) radio station goes to air for first time.

1925
The Electrolytic Zinc Company starts using zinc from Rosebery in its processing operations.

July 24
The Devon Cottage Hospital, Latrobe taken over by the Government.

1926
The Tasmanian Cement Company (later Goliath Portland Cement Company) begins operations at Railton.
Acts passed granting forestry concessions to two companies in order to encourage the pulp and paper industry.

January
Federal Government appoints Sir Nicholas Lockyer to investigate Tasmania’s economy.

1927
Royal visit by Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth).

December 19
First meeting of the Nurse’s Registration Board held, marking an important step towards professional growth and regulation of nursing.

1928
Tasmanian Paper Pty Ltd construct an experimental pulp mill at Kermandie.
Compulsory voting introduced.

1929
Start of the Great Depression.

April
Severe flooding experienced in the north of the State, causing the loss of 22 lives and massive damage to property.

1930
Unemployed Workers Movement branches formed in Hobart and Launceston.

January 18
Hydro-Electric Commission (HEC) established following a 1929 Act.

1931
May 1
Opening of Shannon power station.

May 7
The United Australia Party forms with Joseph Lyons as leader.

1932
Lyell Highway linking Hobart with the west opened.

January 6
Tasmanian Joseph Lyons sworn in as Prime Minister of Australia.

1933
Commonwealth Grants Commission established to allocate grants to the States.

1934
October
A thrice-weekly air service from Launceston to Melbourne is begun by Holyman Airways Pty Ltd (later amalgamated with Adelaide Airways to form Australian National Airways Pty Ltd, the forerunner of Ansett Airlines).

1935
March
The Bass Strait steamer Taroona makes its maiden voyage.

1936
Hobart’s ABC Orchestra established.

January
‘Area’ school system established in rural districts.

September
Last Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacine) held in captivity dies at the Hobart Zoo.

September 28
The Federal aerodrome at Cambridge, Hobart first used.

1937
Nationwide poliomyelitis epidemic hits Tasmania.

January 25
The road to the summit of Mt Wellington opened.

1938
February 25
Tarraleah power station opened.

August 27
Production begins at Associated Pulp and Paper Manufacturer’s (APPM) Burnie mill.

1939
January 18
New Hobart Hospital opened.

April 27
Official opening of the Lake Fenton water supply scheme for Hobart.

July 1
Transport Commission established.

September 3
World War II begins.

1940
January 10
Tasmanians leave in first contingent of the AIF (6th Division) for service in the Middle East.

May
New Spencer Hospital, Wynyard, opened.

November 7
Bass Strait closed to shipping following the sinking of British steamer Cambridge by a mine.

1941
Womens Land Army formed to carry out vital farming tasks during the war.

February 22
Production begins at Australian Newsprint Mills’ Boyer (New Norfolk) mill, being the first in the world to produce newsprint from hardwood.

1942
Vegetable dehydration factories established at Scottsdale, Ulverstone and Smithton for defence food requirements.
The new Launceston General Hospital buildings completed.

July 1
Uniform Federal income tax commenced.

December 2
An ammunition shell-case factory opens, Derwent Park.

1943
August 21
Tasmanian Enid Lyons is elected, being one of the first two female members of Federal Parliament.

December 22
The floating pontoon bridge opened, Hobart.

1944
University of Tasmania begins transfer to Sandy Bay site.

January 1
The State Library of Tasmania established.

February
A vegetable canning factory (later Edgell's, then Simplot) begins at Quoiba in the north-west.

November
A Commonwealth-State Housing Agreement signed providing for the development of large public housing estates.

1945
May
Launceston Library is reconstituted as a free library.

August 15
World War II ends.

December
War Service Land Settlement Act passes providing for settlement of returned soldiers.
Inaugural Sydney-Hobart yacht race held.

1946
February
School leaving age raised to 16.

1947
April
State Forestry Commission appointed.

July
British migrants under assisted passages arrive to work for the HEC.

July 23
Ben Lomond National Park declared.

October
280 Polish migrants arrive to work for the HEC under 2 year contracts.

1948
ANARE sets up a permanent research station on Macquarie Island.

January
First ‘displaced’ persons arrive from Europe.

April 14
Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra formed.

May
Tasmania’s first female parliamentarian, Margaret McIntyre is elected to the Legislative Council.

December
Australian Titan Products Pty Ltd (later Tioxide Australia) begins operations at Burnie, producing titanium oxide pigments.

1949
Outbreak of poliomyelitis causes cancellation of Hobart Show.

October
Large naturalisation ceremony held at Butler’s Gorge and Bronte Park HEC villages for Polish migrants.

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