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 Page

James Page (1861-1921)

Member for Maranoa (Queensland) 1901-1921

Born in Bethnall Green, London, England, Jim Page joined the British Royal Artillery as a gunner boy. He went with the Horse Artillery to Natal and served in the Zulu War. Having spent seven years in South Africa, Page purchased his discharge and migrated to Queensland in the early 1880s. Page was a “jack of all trades” and in time acquired a hotel in Barcaldine, and a pastoral property. He also worked on the railways.

In 1901 Page was elected to represent the federal seat of Maranoa in the House of Representatives at the first federal election. He had canvassed his large electorate on a bicycle and he is rumoured to have travelled up to 80 miles (133kms) per day. Page was elected as a free trade supporter, and joined the Labor caucus the day before Parliament was opened. He represented his electorate continuously until his death in 1921. He was the Labor Party Whip 1913-17 and 1920-21.

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