Fremantle Stuff > Organisations > State Government

State Government

Government of the Swan River Colony immediately after British occupation was the sole responsibility of the governor, James Stirling. However, Executive and Legislative Councils were soon set up to assist and advise him.

[Stirling's 1832] Commission not only conferred authority and delineated his powers as Governor, it also authorised the appointment of councils to assist and advise him, each of four persons with the quorum for decisions being set at himself plus two. An Executive Council, authorised by the King, was to be in addition to a Legislative Council empowered by Parliament through the Order-in-Council officially constituting the colony. The Legislative Council was to comprise the Governor, the Senior Military Officer, the Colonial Secretary, the Surveyor-General and the Advocate-General—exactly the same membership as the Executive Council. In an accompanying dispatch dated 28 April 1831, Lord Goderich took pains to explain the distinction between the two councils. They were both necessary because ‘the Royal authority was not competent, without the aid of Parliament, to create a Legislature except by popular representation, or to establish courts on lines that differed from those of Westminster’. But the Executive Council would convey assent, and do most of the day-to-day business. Proceedings of both were to be kept separate. Statham-Drew: 204.

In December, 1890, the first election under responsible government was held, the members elected to the Legislative Assembly for the Fremantle district being:—
Fremantle: W. E. Marmion (who received the portfolio of Minister for Lands).
North Fremantle: W. S. Pearse.
South Fremantle: David Symon.
W. D. Moore was appointed by the Governor to represent Fremantle in the Legislative Council as, under responsible government, the Council did not become elective until the population of the State reached 60,000 which did not come about until 1893. Hitchcock: 71.

References and Links

Bowe, William & Martin Drum 2012, 'The state and federal seats of Fremantle: past, present, and future'Fremantle Studies, 7: 77-91.

Hitchcock, JK 1929, The History of Fremantle, The Front Gate of Australia 1829-1929, Fremantle City Council.

Statham-Drew, Pamela, James Stirling, UWAP, 2003.

Governors of Western Australia - in Wikipedia


Garry Gillard | New: 4 May, 2018 | Now: 2 June, 2018