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

James Macfarlane

James Macfarlane (1844-1914)

Senator for Tasmania 1901-1910

James Macfarlane was born in Glasgow, Scotland and arrived in Tasmania around 1870. With his brother he formed Macfarlane Brothers which became one of the colony’s leading shipping businesses. He was Chairman of the Hobart Chamber of Commerce.

At the first federal election in 1901 Macfarlane was elected to represent Tasmania as a Freetrader in the Senate. He was active in the first Senate on matters relating to shipping and navigation, including the Select Committee appointed to inquire into steamship communication between the Australian mainland and Tasmania in 1901, and was a member of the Royal Commission on the Navigation Bill 1904-06. Macfarlane was defeated in the election of 1910.

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