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Photographs supplied by Stephen Warren

The plaque, featuring a bas relief portrait, commemorates Tom Price who was the first Labour Premier of South Australia (1905-1909). 

The trees were planted in the reserve in 1907 and was known as Price Avenue in his honour. In 2019, the plaque was unveiled in the reserve in memory of Tom Price and details his achievements. 

Thomas (Tom) Price (1852-1909), was born in Brymbo, Denbighshire, Wales in 1852 to John and Jane Price. His family moved to Liverpool in 1853 where Tom grew up. Tom Price emigrated to South Australia with his family in 1883. He was a stonecutter, teacher, lay preacher, businessman, stonemason and clerk-of-works. As a stonemason, Price helped to build the Parliament House of South Australia, a building he would later serve in as an elected politician

Price quickly became involved in trade union activity, and was elected to the Souht Australian House of Assembly for Sturt in April 1893, becoming Labor leader in 1899. He contested the single statewide Division of South Australia at the 1901 federal election as the second of two Labor candidates behind Lee Batchelor. The seat elected seven members, Price finished eighth with a 38.2 percent vote.

Price came to power at the 1905 state election in a minority government. With the support of eight liberals headed by Archibald Peake, Price forced conservative Premier Richard Butler to resign. Price retained the premiership at the 1906 double dissolution election with an additional five Labor seats in the House of Assembly, just two short of a parliamentary majority in their own right. It was the world's first stable Labor government, and was so successful that, following the 1910 election, Labor, led by John Verran, formed the first of the state's many majority governments. On Price's death in 1909, Peake formed a minority government until 1910.

Price introduced many reforms, including free state secondary schools, the formation of wages boards, the institution of a minimum wage, and the establishment of the Municipal Tramways Trust through nationalisation. The costly administration of the Northern Territory was surrendered to the Federal government, and there was limited reform of the Legislative Council. Price obtained a double dissolution on the issue of the reform of the upper house. Nevertheless, the Council continued to be intransigent regarding its reform, and Price accepted its compromise proposal of a £17 householder franchise. Labor's left wing criticised him for the concession. The Price Government enacted a number of laws relating to social matters and the government also achieved successive budget surpluses and reduced the accumulated public debt.

Price suffered from diabetes but died from tuberculosis of the throat or lungs at Mount Lofty on 31 May 1909. He was given a State funeral and buried at Mitcham Cemetery. 


Address:Cuthbert Street, Brownhill Creek Recreation Park, Mitcham, 5062
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.983116
Long: 138.625146
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - State


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Tuesday 17th September, 2019
Front Inscription

The Hon. Tom Price MP (1852 - 1909)
South Australia`s first Labor Premier (1905 - 1909)

From stonecutter to Premier, Tom led a Labor - Liberal
coalition government, which reformed South Australia
and left a legacy that enriches our lives today.

On 29 June 1907 Tom planted the first plane tree
in this avenue of trees, dedicated in his honour
by Mitcham Council.

Tom established the State Tourist Bureau in 1908, an 
authority that constructed this stone monument
and park tourist facilities here in 1954.

Beloved by the people of South Australia, Tom died in
office on 31 May 1909 and is buried in Mitcham Cemetery
overlooking Brownhill Creek Recreation Park.

Unveiled by the Hon. Steven Marshall MP 
Premier of South Australia, on 17 September 2019




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