By Robert Murray
Parliamentary govt in Victoria is now greater than a century and a part outdated. it's a tale of low and high lighting fixtures, idealistic commitment and self-serving manipulation, with many vibrant figures - yet over the many years the improvement of a good culture of democratic provider to a not easy public with excessive expectancies. This booklet concisely describes the beginning within the 1850s of democratic, self reliant executive and its development over fifteen a long time. This booklet is a paperback booklet of 244 pages and contains many black and white political cartoons.
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Additional resources for 150 Years of Spring Street: Victorian Government 1850s to 21st Century
Both the first Selection Act (1861) and the Civil Service Act had huge loopholes in practice. The early Selection Acts made it too easy for squatters to retain huge tracts of land. The Civil Service Act of 1862 introduced an examination for appointment to the government service, but also allowed appointment without examination of ‘persons of known ability’. The result was that between 1862 and 1883, when the system was drastically tightened 21 150 Years of Spring Street Melbourne Punch (22 January1863) forecast a much more civil and attentive government service when the Civil Service Act 1862 came in-to force.
An Australian perspective may have helped the sureness of touch: Grant had come to Sydney from Scotland as a boy and McPherson was born in Australia. The Selection Acts limited selectors to a single block of 320 acres (half a square mile). This proved much less than a living block on the northern plains, where three to four times as much was required if land was to be fallowed, to provide a buffer against drought and allow grazing to alternate with cropping. Under-estimation of the land required for farming was a chronic problem in colonial times.
The pay in question was 300 pounds a year, far from munificent, but a good living to many of those behind Berry. It could only be renewed or made permanent if the Council agreed, however. Berry used a tactic the Council had rejected on a memorable previous occasion. This was to make the provision for paying MPs part of the Appropriations Bill (budget), which provided the government’s spending money. The idea was to force the Council to either accept the ‘tack’, as it was known, or reject the supply of money to pay for government services.