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

Allan McLean

Allan McLean (1840-1911)

Member for Gippsland (Victoria) 1901-1906

Born in the Scottish Highlands town of Oban, Allan McLean arrived in Australia in 1842 with his parents. The family settled in Gippsland, Victoria and McLean grew up in true pioneering fashion. In 1865 he and his brother Norman took up a station lease and in 1872 established a highly successful stock and station agency. After a period spent in local government, McLean became a member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly in 1880. He was Premier and Chief Secretary 1899-1900.

At the first federal election held in 1901, McLean was elected to represent the federal seat of Gippsland in the House of Representatives.  In 1905, as leader of the Protectionists, he joined George Reid, leader of the Freetrade faction, in a coalition commonly referred to as the Reid-McLean Government.  McLean was Minister for Trade and Customs in this Government, which was defeated by a Liberal/Labor alliance in June 1905.

McLean was defeated in the election of 1906.  As a politician McLean championed his region and the importance of agriculture, and welcomed female suffrage as promoting “a more solid family vote”. According to Reid he “united the best qualities of a Highlander with the best qualities of an Australian colonist”.

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