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 Wilkinson

James Wilkinson (1854-1915)

Member for Moreton (Queensland) 1901-1906

James Wilkinson was born in born in Ipswich, Queensland. Wilkinson worked on the railways and was a founding member of the Railway Employees Association and the Engine-drivers and Firemen’s Association of Queensland. He became the editor and controller of the Queensland Railway Times in 1890. As one of the founding members of the labour movement in Queensland, Wilkinson was elected to represent the seat of Ipswich in the Queensland Legislative Assembly 1894-96. He was a prominent speaker and writer in the Moreton district of Queensland in favour of federation.

In 1901, Wilkinson was elected to represent the federal seat of Moreton in the House of Representatives at the first federal election. Originally an Independent Labor member, he joined the Labor Party prior to successfully contesting the federal election of 1903. He lost his seat in 1906 largely due to an electoral redistribution.

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