Kyabram Reform MovementPrint Page Print this page

Kyabram Reform Movement : 21-July-2012
Kyabram Reform Movement : 21-July-2012
Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

Commemorates the achievements of the Kyabram Reform Movement from 1901 to 1902

In late 1901, Kyabram Citizens started a Movement, which in the space of two years was to see the number of Victorian State politicians reduced from 151 to 99. The people of Victoria had agreed to Federation of the States on the understanding that there would be a reduction of State Parliamentarians, and reduced spending. Once Federation was achieved the promises were forgotten.

A public meeting held in Kyabram in late 1901 received enthusiastic support. A committee was elected, a circular drafted and sent to every Shire and public body in Victoria. Three hundred delegates from across Victoria attended the meeting. There was complete support for the Kyabram Committee. One of Victoria's earliest political parties, the Kyabram Reform League was formed. Kyabram resident, Mr. Samual Lancaster JP, was elected President.

Two thousand members were enrolled in seven days and within six months, 214 branches were established. The Kyabram Movement was gaining momentum. One goal of the reform League was to reduce the Legislative Assembly from 95 to 46 members, the Legislative Council from 46 to 23 and the Ministers from 10 to 5.

The Peacock government refused to budge but the opposition led by Mr W Irvine embraced the reforms. In the general election held on October 11th, 1902 , backed by the Reform League, Mr Irvine's party swept into power.

A number of the Reform Clauses were adopted by the Irvine Government. Numbers in Parliament were reduced to 65 in the Legislative Assembly, 34 in the Legislative Council. However there were other changes that did not please the Reformers and adversely affected the town. Not only did the high flyers take a cut in pay, but the rank and file public servants also faced hefty decreases. Railway workers were hit hard and for years parcels traveling by train to Kyabram went mysteriously astray. When the Waranga outlet channel was being dug, 30 miles away, Kyabram suppliers were hounded from the site and blacklisted.


Address:Allan Street, Kyabram, 3620
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.31295
Long: 145.042628
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Government
Approx. Event Start Date:1901
Approx. Event End Date:1902


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Tuesday 13th November, 2001
Front Inscription

Erected by the Kyabram Historical Society

In recognition of the achievements of the Kyabram Reform Movement which began on November 13th 1901 when Mr G. H. Bishop convened a public meeting int he Mechanics` Institute to initiate parliamentary reform throughout Victoria.

S. Lancester J. P. Chairman

B. Goddard  C. H. Wilson  Joint Secretaries

Unveiled by Mr. Mervyn K. Lancaster - great grandson of S. Lancaster on November 13th 2001


Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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