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Sir John RobertsonPrint Page Print this page

15-January-2015
15-January-2015

Photographs supplied by Sandra Brown / Russell Byers

Gates commemorate Sir John Robertson, the first member of the electorate for the State Parliament and the author of the 1861 Land Act.

Sir John Robertson, KCMG (1816 – 1891) was an Australian politician and Premier of New South Wales on five occasions. Robertson is best remembered for land reform and in particular the Robertson Land Acts of 1861, which sought to open up the selection of Crown land and break the monopoly of the squatters.

Robertson was elected to Parliament in 1856 supporting manhood suffrage, secret ballot, electorates based on equal populations, abolition of state aid to religion, government non-denominational schools, free trade, and land reform. He saw free selection of crown land before survey as the key to social reform with poor settlers being able to occupy agricultural and pastoral land, even that occupied by lease-holding squatters. This insight enabled him to dominate the politics of 1856–61.


From our columns it will be seen that a meeting of subscribers to the Sir John Robertson Memorial Fund has been called by the Mayor, to be held in the room of the School of Arts, on Monday next, at 11 a.m., when a proposal will be submitted to the meeting that the memorial take the form of a pair of entrance gates with stone columns to the new hospital grounds. It is many years ago, just after the death of Sir John Robertson, that a public meeting was held in Scone to discuss the question of raising a memorial to the deceased statesman, who was the first Parliamentary representative for this electorate when Responsible Government was first granted. Some £20 odd was collected, but nothing was done with it, as no decision could be arrived at as to the disposal of the money. The amount collected was held by the late Dr. Scott, who invested it at fixed deposit in Bank of New South Wales, and at his death the present Mayor got possession of it upon his giving an undertaking that the money would be used for the purpose for which it was collected. The money is now in the Savings Bank, and amounts to about £30. 

There are probably not many of the present generation who can remember the great service rendered to the working men of the State by the late Sir John (then Mr. John Robertson) in his fight to give them an opportunity of securing land on which to make homes for themselves.  It is to the man who, in his day, rendered great service to his country, although at a great personal sacrifice (for he was large landholder himself), that it is now proposed to erect this memorial and surviving selectors, under his great Land Act, or their immediate descendants, are asked to send their contributions to the Mayor, who has already, in response to an appeal, received a number. 
The Scone Advocate (NSW), 9 May 1913.

Location

Address:Stafford Street, Scott Memorial Hospital, Scone, 2337
State:NSW
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -32.051782
Long: 150.876284
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Gate
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - Colonial
Link: http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/adbonl…

Dedication

Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1913
Right Side Inscription

                  1913

THESE GATES WERE ERECTED
             IN MEMORY OF  

SIR JOHN ROBERTSON K.C.M.G.
THE FIRST MEMBER FOR THIS ELECTORATE 
     IN THE STATE PARLIAMENT 
AND AUTHOR OF THE LAND ACT OF 1861. 

Source: MA,H,ADB
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