Commonwealth of Australia Coat of Arms
For Peace, Order and Good Government: The first Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia
Early proposals
Six colonies
Drafting a constitution
Declaration of the Commonwealth
Conducting the first Federal election
Who could vote?
The election campaign
9 May 1901
The royal visit
The first federal parliamentarians
Ministry of May, 1901
Edmund Barton
Political parties
Legislative program
Relationship between the houses

Members of the First Parliament

John Moore Chanter

John Moore Chanter (1845-1931)

Member for Riverina (New South Wales) 1901-1903, 1904-1913, 1914-1922


John Chanter was born in Adelaide, South Australia. He moved to Moama, New South Wales in 1881 as an auctioneer and commission agent, and was elected the town’s first mayor in 1891. He was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly 1885-1901. A strong supporter of federation, Chanter played an active role in the establishment of the New South Wales Australian Natives Association and was its first president 1900-01.

In 1901 Chanter was elected as a Protectionist to represent the federal seat of Riverina in the House of Representatives at the first federal election. Defeated in the election of 1903, he petitioned the High Court and regained the seat at a by-election in 1904. A supporter of the Barton and Deakin governments, he opposed the Fusion Government of 1909 and for a period represented Riverina for the Labor Party and then as a Nationalist. Chanter held the seat intermittently until his final defeat in 1922. He was Chairman of Committees in the first House of Representatives (1901-03) and again in 1914-22.

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