Thank you for visiting this website. In the period preceding an election, the Australian Government assumes a caretaker role.

The Department of Social Services hosts this website and the department will manage it in accordance with the Guidance on Caretaker Conventions.

Our Centenary of Women's Suffrage


PDF Cover Image


The first parliamentary election following the federation of Australia was held on 29 March 1901 in New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia, and 30 March 1901 in Queensland and South Australia. The election was conducted according to then-existing state electoral laws - as laid down in the Federal Constitution - until the newly constituted Federal ‘Parliament otherwise provides’.

The states were very diverse in their approach to voting eligibility requirements. Such things as residential and property qualifications for enrolment, whether adult women could vote, Aboriginal and non-white voting rights, and whether members of the police forces could vote varied markedly between jurisdictions.

Last updated: