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Research Guides

Commonwealth Government Records about South Australia

Appendix A: Timeline of the Commonwealth and South Australia

1901 Six independent colonies federate to form the Commonwealth of Australia.
South Australian volunteers go to the Boer War.
1902 The vote is extended to all women but denied to Aboriginal people under the Commonwealth Franchise Act.
1911 The Northern Territory is relinquished to the Commonwealth.
1914 World War I begins.
1917 The Trans-Australian Railway is completed.
The River Murray Commission is established.
1918 World War I ends.
1924 The Waite Agricultural Research Institute is established.
Regular radio broadcasting commences.
1928–29 The Royal Commission on the Finances of South Australia, as Affected by Federation is held.
1929 Alice Springs is connected to Port Augusta by rail.
Parafield Airport opens.
1939 World War II begins.
1942 Responsibility for income tax is taken over by the Commonwealth.
1945 World War II ends.
The War Service Land Settlement Scheme is implemented.
1946 The Commonwealth gains constitutional powers to provide social services.
Munitions factories are taken over by private companies.
1947 The first ‘displaced persons’ arrive.
The Long Range Weapons Establishment is established at Salisbury.
1948 Commonwealth wartime controls ends.
The 40-hour working week is awarded.
Preparations begin for the Woomera Rocket Range.
1949 A nationwide coal strike begins.
1950 The Korean War begins.
1951 A bilateral migration agreement with Italy is established.
1951–52 The Royal Commission on the Port Augusta to Alice Springs Railway is held.
1952 Bilateral migration agreements with Germany, Greece and Austria are established.
1953 The first atomic device is exploded at Emu Field, near Maralinga.
The Korean War ends.
1954 Queen Elizabeth II visits Australia.
1955 Adelaide Airport opens.
1956 The first atomic device is exploded at Maralinga.
The River Murray floods.
1958 The Federal Council for Aboriginal Advancement forms at an Adelaide conference.
1959 South Australia is no longer a claimant for the Commonwealth Grants Commission.
The first women are elected to parliament.
Television broadcasting begins.
Aboriginal people are made eligible for pensions.
1963 The South Australian population exceeds 1 million.
1965 Australia sends the first troops to the Vietnam War.
1968 The first Australian-born governor is sworn in.
Demonstrations are held against the Vietnam War.
1971 The first South Australian-born governor is appointed.
1973–74 The Aboriginal Land Rights Commission is established.
1975 Country Railways is transferred to the Commonwealth.
1976 The first Indigenous governor of an Australian state is appointed in South Australia.
1982 Direct international flights from Adelaide Airport begin.
1984–85 The Royal Commission into British Nuclear Tests in Australia is held.
1987–91 The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody is held.
1995 The Adelaide–Melbourne railway gauge standardisation project is completed.